If you’re anything like me, you’re waiting with baited breath for the Hunger Games to open next Friday. Oh sure, tell me I’m just like the Twilight fans I despise, but I’ll straight up own you in my rebuttal.
Katniss is an ordinary girl put in extraordinary circumstances, and she handles the crap out of it. Bella practically dies because her boyfriend breaks up with her. Katniss’ love interest tries to kill her, and there still remains no crap unhandled.
So, yeah, I’m a fan. And Hunger Games fans should be different than Twilight fans.
And now we’re moving on to the purpose of this article…
In addition to being a bookworm, I’m also a little bit of a kitchen witch. I love to bop around my kitchen making one of the three or four dishes that I actually can make without a recipe. That includes Kraft mac and cheese.
But, some of you are bound to have Hunger Games parties. So, in honor of that, I have made up a recipe for you to feed your legions of Tributes (Is that what we’ve determined that we’re calling Hunger Games fans? It’s not my favorite, but it beats the ever loving heck out of twee compounds like “Twihards” or “Potterheads.” Seriously, Harry Potter fans, couldn’t we do better?).
In honor of the 74th Annual Hunger Games (That’s the one that Katniss first competes in. Come on, I told you I was a fan. Keep up, people.) , I give you the Hunger Games Tribute 12-Layer Salad!!!!!!
Because no food is more badass than salad.
Okay, to be honest, this exists because salads are easy to layer and require minimal actual cooking. See previous articles re: laziness.
So, here’s the recipe so you can make your very own salad. It’s pretty darn healthy, so it’ll keep your cholesterol ever in your favor. (See, now because I’m lazy and really wanted to use that phrase, I’ve just wasted it on a strained metaphor or something like that.)
Hunger Games Tribute 12-Layer Salad
- A bow and arrow to wear while prepping…because you should
- Cabbage, leaves shredded by hand
- A bag of those mini carrots that are delicious in hummus
- 5 ribs of celery, sliced 1/3″ thick
- One English cucumber, sliced
- 1/3 lb. bacon, cooked and chopped (I used peppered bacon.)
- 1 medium tomato (diced, but I was lazy, so I just sliced mine)
- A couple handfuls of whatever shredded cheese you have lying around (We’re making a Midwestern layered salad here, people. A celebration of a complex mélange of flavors it isn’t.)
- 1/3 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained
- Iceberg lettuce - either from one of those salad bags, or ripped by hand
- A few handfuls of bean sprouts
- 1/2 yellow pepper, sliced lengthwise
- 1/2 orange pepper, sliced lengthwise
Layer all of the ingredients in this order in a trifle dish. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
I didn’t include dressing, because I was already at 12 layers. But, you can totally use it to represent the creamy (if you like Ranch) or oily (if you like Italian dressing) excesses of the Capitol. I didn’t really try to have a corresponding district to a layer. I actually wanted this to be something I’d want to eat rather than a tortured analogy.
But, per the request of my slave-driving editor, here are my tortured and nearly entirely arbitrary layer to district correlation.
District 1 – Bacon. As the wealthiest district, I give it the bacon because the bacon was the most expensive ingredient. Also, I burned the bacon when I made this salad, so my bacon was less than awesome. Ergo, since no one really likes either burned bacon or District 1, they go together.
District 2 – Croutons. District 2 both provides peace keepers and masonry, and croutons are hard and crunchy, like bread rocks. Also, I really dislike croutons. I also dislike District 2 in the books. So, there’s that.
District 3 – Mini carrots. Those bad boys are prepeeled and mini-fied by some technical means known only to wizards. I propose a ray gun does this function. And, if a ray run was developed in Panem, it would be developed in District 3. Airtight logic.
District 4 – Cabbage. Since I didn’t have fish, the district’s main industry, I grasped at straws and just picked the first ingredient on the list I saw. But, um, cabbage can sometimes kind of look like seaweed. If you chop it up and then put it vertical. Nailed it.
District 5 – Bean sprouts. Foxface is from this district, and she’s very sneaky. Bean sprouts act like lettuce on a sandwich, but they’re way more nutritious. Well played, bean sprouts, well played.
District 6 – Lettuce. You need lettuce in a salad for it to be a salad. But, you aren’t really sure why. Also, you need District 6 for it to be the Hunger Games, but does anyone know anything about that district?
District 7 – Celery. They look like trees and you need to chop it like trees, and that’s my logic, and I’m sticking to it.
District 8 – Cheese. They make textiles. Textiles are usually made from natural things, unless they aren’t. Cheese is usually made from natural things, unless it isn’t (I’m looking at you, Velveeta.).
District 9 – Should have been croutons , but is the tomato. They’re all about grain here, so this should have been the croutons, but I forgot. It’s the tomato because I said so.
District 10 – Ground beef.They’re all about livestock there. This is livestock. Can you hear the swish? Because I just scored!
District 11 – Cucumber. They’re all about agriculture here, so I could have picked any of the natural ingredients and gotten it right. But, a cucumber is fresh and mild, just like Rue. Also, it was the second to last ingredient left, and luckily, it worked.
District 12 – Bell peppers. Katiniss and Peeta are supposed to be on fire, so I chose fire-colored peppers to top the salad. The only instance of forethought that I put into this ingredient list.
My roommates tried my roughage fiesta, and were pleasantly surprised. The bacon (in spite of its charred nature) was a big hit. The salad, overall, was a salad with a tenuous tie to something awesome, making it more awesome. It was the LaToya Jackson of first courses.
So, though the dinner where I featured this dish did end Thunderdome-style in a battle to the death for the last bite, I think this recipe can be firmly placed in the “Success” pile.
What modifications would you suggest? Which correlation was the most tortured? How would you redo it?