The making of a SOUS

10 Aug

Over the weekend, while visiting the Brandywine Zoo, my family and I saw a real-life R.O.U.S (rodent of unusual size)! I thought it was a mythical creature found only in the Thieves’ Forest. Imagine my surprise when I saw this hanging out at a tiny little zoo in Delaware: 

A real live ROUS!

While staring with utter fascination and disbelief, my train of thought went like this: 

Holy sh*t, an ROUS really does exist! I need a picture of this! (takes out cell phone) 

That sign over there says it’s a relative of guinea pigs. How do you pronounce that name, anyway? 

Guinea pigs are cute. I’m not sure what I think of this thing. But I miss Norma and Donna (our deceased guinea pigs) 

Norma and Donna ate a lot of lettuce and carrots 

I’m hungry for a salad 

Hey, that was a great salad I made at my sister’s house. I should make that again for dinner this week. 

It’s not often that one can digress from an ROUS to a salad but I made it happen. Most likely due to the fact that the salad I made at my sister’s house was delicious. And enormous. Granted, I was trying to feed about 10 people but it was perhaps the largest salad I had ever made. You know those humongous serving bowls that you see at potlucks and think “wow, that is a huge bowl. I will never have a need for that size bowl“. Well, I needed that size bowl for this salad: 

The Empty Kitchen’s Salad Of Unusual Size  


  • 3 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cucumbers, diced
  • 3 avocados, pitted and sliced
  • 1 each of the following: red pepper, orange pepper, yellow pepper, chopped
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans corn, drained
  • 1 jar Marie’s Creamy Chipotle Ranch salad dressing
  • optional: 6 thinly sliced grilled chicken breasts, Texas Toast Chili Lime Tortilla Strips or Croutons


  1. Wash and cut all vegetables
  2. Toss all ingredients together in very large bowl (or a smaller bowl if you’re scaling down the recipe)
  3. Mix thoroughly with dressing

Serves approximately 10 main entrée salads 

My sister scored the deal of the month on the chicken (something like 3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast for $7.50) and the rest of the ingredients only cost $22. I fed 10 people for $29. The pizza that we had ordered for 4 at lunch, plus the Ralph’s ices for dessert, cost $50. The salad proved to be not only healthier but way better economics. 

I wonder how much an R.O.U.S costs to maintain…


2 Responses to “The making of a SOUS”

  1. Barb @ 1 Sentence Diary August 11, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    Ahhh.. R.O.U.S., a well-known hazard of the Fire Swamp. [I *love* The Princess Bride!]

    [after Westley rescues her from the lightning quicksand]
    Buttercup: We’ll never succeed. We may as well die here.

    Westley: No, no. We have already succeeded. I mean, what are the three terrors of the Fire Swamp? One, the flame spurt – no problem. There’s a popping sound preceding each; we can avoid that. Two, the lightning sand, which you were clever enough to discover what that looks like, so in the future we can avoid that too.

    Buttercup: Westley, what about the R.O.U.S.’s?

    Westley: Rodents Of Unusual Size? I don’t think they exist.

    [Immediately, an R.O.U.S. attacks him]

    • theemptykitchen August 11, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

      thank you so much for posting that! i *love* the princess bride as well.

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