"We seldom get into trouble when we speak softly. It is only when we raise our voices that the sparks fly and tiny molehills become great mountains of contention."
- - Gordon B. Hinckley
May 27, 2013
The Perfect but Elusive Salad Dressing
by Kathryn H. Kidd

As I have said many times, my husband Fluffy is all boy. If that is true now, when boyhood is far behind him, it was certainly true when his favorite literature was "Boy's Life" magazine and his favorite activities were building spook alleys and constructing stray cat electrocutors.

Because he was all boy, it comes as no surprise that Fluffy was a fish stick and French fry kind of guy. He didn't like frou-frou girly foods like salads, and he certainly had no intention of eating them.

All of that changed when he got to elementary school and started eating school lunches. The lunches were prepared by cafeteria ladies, and as far as Fluffy was concerned, they were master chefs.

Their great culinary achievement was their secret recipe for salad dressing. It was so amazing that even kids who were all boy were enticed to eat salads, some of them for the first time.

Having tasted the Only True Salad Dressing, Fluffy informed his parents that he would be willing to eat salads at home if they could only duplicate that miraculous dressing.

When his parents asked him to describe it, he mustered up his all-boy powers of concentration and said, "It's kind of orange."

Everybody who grew up eating bottled salad dressing knows which dressing is orange, so Fluffy's parents visited the grocery store and returned with a bottle of French dressing. Young Fluffy was not amused.

They bought another brand, and then another one, and then another. Fluffy turned up his nose at all of them. Not to be outdone, his parents tried mixing different kinds of dressings, or adding spices to existing dressings, or searching cookbooks and food magazines for any French dressing recipe that might be the magic one.

But it was all to no avail. At long last, having purchased every orange salad dressing and tried every possible recipe, his parents knew they had to go to the top. They humbly approached one of the lunch ladies, and asked her for the secret recipe. The lunch lady said, "All you do is mix equal parts of ketchup and mayonnaise."

Fluffy's parents went home, made a batch of the pink salad dressing, and the rest is history. We later learned that this same secret recipe was regularly served as "fry sauce" by one of the common hamburger chains that dotted Utah. If Fluffy’s parents would have gone there for fries, they would have saved themselves a lot of work.

Fluffy is still an avid eater of salads, and has since expanded his palate so that he enjoys many types of dressing. But it still warms my heart when I serve him a salad topped with a big dollop of his secret childhood salad dressing.

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that it's the simple things in life that give us joy. You don't always need a bottle of $5 salad dressing when a little ketchup and mayo will do the trick.

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About Kathryn H. Kidd

Kathryn H. Kidd has been writing fiction, nonfiction, and "anything for money" longer than most of her readers have even been alive. She has something to say on every topic, and the possibility that her opinions may be dead wrong has never stopped her from expressing them at every opportunity.

A native of New Orleans, Kathy grew up in Mandeville, Louisiana. She attended Brigham Young University as a generic Protestant, having left the Episcopal Church when she was eight because that church didn't believe what she did. She joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a BYU junior, finally overcoming her natural stubbornness because she wanted a patriarchal blessing and couldn't get one unless she was a member of the Church. She was baptized on a Saturday and received her patriarchal blessing two days later.

She married Clark L. Kidd, who appears in her columns as "Fluffy," more than thirty-five years ago. They are the authors of numerous LDS-related books, the most popular of which is A Convert's Guide to Mormon Life.

A former managing editor for Meridian Magazine, Kathy moderated a weekly column ("Circle of Sisters") for Meridian until she was derailed by illness in December of 2012. However, her biggest claim to fame is that she co-authored Lovelock with Orson Scott Card. Lovelock has been translated into Spanish and Polish, which would be a little more gratifying than it actually is if Kathy had been referred to by her real name and not "Kathryn Kerr" on the cover of the Polish version.

Kathy has her own website, www.planetkathy.com, where she hopes to get back to writing a weekday blog once she recovers from being dysfunctional. Her entries recount her adventures and misadventures with Fluffy, who heroically allows himself to be used as fodder for her columns at every possible opportunity.

Kathy spent seven years as a teacher of the Young Women in her ward, until she was recently released. She has not yet gotten used to interacting with the adults, and suspects it may take another seven years. A long-time home teacher with her husband, Clark, they have home taught the same family since 1988. The two of them have been temple workers since 1995, serving in the Washington D.C. Temple.

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