I have lost years from my life on I-95—a handful of final days gone to the sound of screeching tires as traffic halts and stretches out as far as the eye can see. I’ve sat anxious, annoyed, hungry in an endless line of cars moving ever so slighting. I’ve traveled it alone, with company, with an angry cat, with a pregnant belly, late at night and early in the day. I’ve always encountered some sort of slow, clustered draining experience. But is it the road that leads north and south from D.C. so we’ve taken it often. Last week I got a sudden urge to go home and see my family; to take Baby L for a long weekend while Mr. L joined a friend for a few days in Baltimore. When I mentioned braving a six hour road trip, which would start on I-95, alone with Baby L both my parents and Mr. L questioned it. Now that we live a couple hours south of D.C. I felt confident that we could handle it. Or at least the right mix of music and podcasts could handle it. We set off on our quarter-day trip and the road was clear. It was a beautiful day for driving, not too bright and not rainy. The trees lining the highway were tinged with orange and yellow. Baby L slept for approximately 2.5 hours and cried for 1.25 while I daydreamed and turned up the radio a few more notches. When it was good, it was great. She smiled as I sang along to Alabama Shakes, we listened on the edge of our seats to the new Serial podcast, and laughed along with the gals from Homefries. But mostly we just wished for the trip to be over. While I hate the trapped feeling of being in traffic, on the open road you are like a bubble floating along. Neither here nor there. So I have time to think about things like the meaning of life as a 30-something and why no one seems to like mushrooms anymore.
Mr. L does not like mushrooms. Believe me, I have tried. I’ve offered them roasted, in quesadillas, in rich and creamy sauces, and on pizza. After our honeymoon we drove through Boone, NC, where I went to college and stopped at one of my favorite old restaurants there for their wonderful fried mushrooms. One bite, and I waited. He then commented that the ranch dressing was awesome. He hated the mushrooms. So while I was at home I thought I would make a batch of crispy-fried mushrooms for my parents. As it turns out my parents are not mushroom fans either. They dutifully tasted them and then commented that the homemade ranch dressing was awesome (not in those words exactly). At least now I know where I stand with all my mushroom-pushing and that the way to people’s hearts is actually homemade ranch.
- 1 small clove of garlic
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley (1 tsp. dried)
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh chives (1/2 tsp. dried)
- Finely chop the garlic then sprinkle the salt over it. Using the side of a wide knife mash and rub the salt and garlic to make a paste. Place in a medium bowl. Add all the other ingredients and whisk together. Let stand for a few minutes to thicken and for the flavors to meld.