Boats and friends and noodle salad

This week I had a nice time on the water with some gal pals. There’s this pop-up comedy show round these parts where people paddle up to a stage, watch some amazing local talent (the one I watched had a lovely musician as well), and paddle back into the sunset before the night is out. I consider myself fortunate to have been able to do such a thing. It felt fancy but not all the way fancy. Think Carrie Bradshaw fancy. Like wearing a fur coat to a ball game.

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I don’t have the disposable income for much of anything these days, but a friend of mine recently got a stable job where she makes Aritzia money- and the cutest new romper as a result! Maybe it was the new job or the new romper, but she agreed to pay for my part of the canoe rental in exchange for boat snacks.

Now I love snacks, but I have a certain amount of anxiety presenting food to people. I think it all stems from this one time when I made my friend a grilled cheese. I was maybe 13. She was a bit of a fussy gal, so I decided to make it real light and fluffy for her. No pushing down on the spatula and getting everything all sloppy for my fussy friend. I thought she’d like something golden and slightly crisp.

This was also someone who tended to bring up my weight a lot, so I was nervous about showing her the way I ate grilled cheese; The good way. The ooey, gooey, buttery, slightly burned and greasy to the touch kind of way.

When I brought her the sandwich, she asked why I made it that way. I stammered and brought it back to the kitchen. Despite having fixed said sandwich immediately, by the end of the week I was “Melanie-doesn’t-push-down-on-the-spatula-Dahling.” I’m just glad no one had Yelp at the time.

So I tried to think of what bougie people might eat on a boat/what I could reasonably incorporate into my upcoming grocery shop. Here’s what I came up with:

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Anything with balsamic vinegarette- preferably something usually sweet because you’re fancy and you know all the fanciest ways to eat things.

(Steps one- all steps: cut cucumbers, apples and grape tomatoes into equal chunks. Add a tiny bit of balsamic vinegarette and stir it up. Optional feta cheese crumbles.)

A macaroni “antipasto salad.” Because I still had things left over from the Artichoke pie, and macaroni is dirt cheap.

(Cook macaroni and strain. Toss olive oil, garlic and onion and any Italian seeming seasonings in a pan. Add black olives, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, and any mayonnaise type dressing. More Italian seasoning, more! Mix it all up and refrigerate it.)

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I also grabbed some baby carrots, fancy popcorn (store-bought), and clementines because how can you go wrong? For bonus boat points I pre-peeled and separated the clementine pieces in a Tupperware.

All in all this feast probably cost me about $15 and my girlfriends have been calling me “snack queen” ever since.

I suppose the moral of the story is that fanciness is about making people feel taken care of. When people have full bellies and nice scenery, it’s easy to feel like this really is as good as it gets. In the nice way, not the salty Jack Nichelson way. And you shouldn’t let a goofy adolescent grilled cheese incident stand in the way of a fancy time on the high seas.

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