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Posts Tagged ‘Salad’

postheadericon Mom’s Ham Salad

This ham salad was guaranteed to make an appearance in Mom’s kitchen twice a year; after Christmas and after Easter — the two times a year we had ham in a form other than center cut ham steaks which were always devoured completely at the meal when served.   But in my younger years, holiday dinners at our Coal Region home included far more folks than my immediate family and so what seemed to a kid like most humongous ham known to man-kind always appeared at the dining room table. Even with a lot of hungry mouths to feed, that meant plenty of leftover ham which was always a good thing!  Because leftover ham was only available twice a year, I looked forward to another one of my favorite holiday foods – ham salad!  I loved opening my metal Barbie (or Scooby Doo, or Monkees) lunchbox and finding a ham salad sandwich made on the square white bread I loved — you know the one — same “bottom” crust all the way around.  To insure I would have my “treat”, Mom always made sure to put some slices away immediately after Dad finished carving off the remnants of the Easter or Christmas ham. Even my ham-loving Pappy (grandfather) made sure to steer clear of the reserved ham; that yummy ham salad was so important to me!

I loved to help my Mom grind the ham for the salad through an old-fashioned, hand-cranked meat grinder clamped on to the side of the kitchen table.  I remember her years later, our roles reversed – she was now the observer watching me grinding and mixing – trying to hide the horrified look on her face as I pulled out my newly acquired food processor and commenced to tossing in the ham AND onion AND celery and EGG and employed the new preparation technique known as “pulsing”.    The look on her face may have been of dismay, but the look in her eyes as she gazed at that whirring wonder said, “Where have YOU been all my life?!?”  We officially retired the hand-cranked grinder for making ham salad that day.

This recipe is one that lends itself to customizing to your taste quite well…put the celery in or leave it out; use more or less mustard; use sweet or dill relish; add more mayo to make it creamier — see where I’m going with this?  There are many, many family recipes for ham salad, this is Mom’s and it is what I have always used. Sometimes, I don’t include eggs (after Christmas is usually egg-less — after Easter usually includes eggs because there are almost always hard-cooked eggs to be found in the fridge). Make it your own, however you do it, it is a classic way to use left-over ham in the Coal Region.

Mom’s Ham Salad

Mom’s Ham Salad

Ham Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 pound leftover ham, chopped in a food processor
  • 1/4 cup celery, finely diced
  • 2 Tablespoons finely minced sweet onion
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish, drained OR dill pickle relish, drained
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or as needed to get the consistency you favor
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard

Instructions

  1. Run the ham through a meat grinder
  2. OR
  3. Cut the ham, onion, and celery (and eggs if using) into small chunks then pulse in a food processor until finely chopped,
  4. Place ham, celery, onion, eggs, in mixing bowl.
  5. Add relish, mustard, and mayonnaise. Mix well, adjusting mayo to your taste.
  6. Chill and use as a spread on crackers, sandwich filling, to stuff tomatoes, etc.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/04/22/moms-ham-salad/

 

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postheadericon Mom’s Waldorf Salad

Waldorf salad is a fruit and nut salad generally made of fresh apples, celery, grapes and walnuts, dressed in mayonnaise. The name comes from the fact that the Waldorf salad was first created for a charity ball given in honor of the St. Mary’s Hospital for Children on March 14, 1896 at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City. The original recipe was just fruit, celery, and mayonnaise. It did not contain nuts, which had been added by the time the recipe appeared in The Rector Cook Book in 1928. The other thing it did not, and usually does not, include is miniature marshmallows, but my Mom, faced with trying to get a fussy kid (who might that be?…) to eat fruit and vegetables got creative and always added the marshmallows.  For decades, I thought she was the only one who ever did that, but lo and behold, I was going through an old cookbook with recipes from the Coal Region and found my Mom’s exact recipe for Waldorf Salad in it — maybe adding  the marshmallows is a Coal Region thing, I don’t know, but to this day, there is not one batch of Waldorf Salad made in my kitchen that does not contain those mini marshmallows! Mom never added the traditional grapes, therefore, I do not, either. Just typing this recipe out takes me back to memories of me as a kid, sitting at our chrome and yellow vinyl covered chairs  kitchen table set, chowing down on a bowl of Waldorf Salad while my Mom puttered around the kitchen doing what Moms do so well — showing you how much they loved you.  Miss you so much, Mom. This one’s for you. (The photo is  missing the marshmallows, apologies, I did  not have one with them included! Photo from Taste of Home)

Mom’s Waldorf Salad

Yield: 6 to 8

Mom’s Waldorf Salad

Mom's Waldorf Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 cups eating apples, peeled and cored, diced into 1/4 - 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Mayonnaise or "salad dressing" (like Miracle Whip)

Instructions

  1. In bowl, combine apples, marshmallows, celery, and nuts.
  2. Toss with enough mayonnaise or sala d dressing to moisten well.
  3. Chill.
  4. Add additional mayonnaise or salad dressing if needed before serving.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/12/14/moms-waldorf-salad/

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postheadericon Creamed Cucumbers

This cucumber salad is very simple, but delicious. It can be found as a side dish offering at some diners and restaurants in the Coal Region and in Pa. Dutch country. You can use common cucumbers in this salad, but the English/European cucumbers – sometimes referred to as “seedless” – have much fewer seeds and are less “watery” making them the preferred choice for keeping the dressing on this salad from becoming too runny. English/European cucumbers are found in the US in grocery stores usually encased in a plastic wrapping. If using regular cucumbers, I peel them, then use a spoon to scoop the interior seed pocket out to get rid of the excess seeds and moisture. Because cucumbers are available in grocery stores year-round, this salad can also be made year-round.

Creamed Cucumbers

 

Creamed Cucumbers

Ingredients

  • 1 - 12 to 14 inch English/European cucumber (also referred to as "seedless"
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • salt
  • 2 Tablespoons white or cider vinegar
  • 1- 2 teaspoons sugar, to taste
  • sour cream as needed (approx. 1/2 to 1 cup)
  • pepper
  • fresh or dried dill weed (optional)

Instructions

  1. Peel and very thinly slice cucumber and onion. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and let stand in a colander for a few minutes.
  2. Pat with towel or absorbent paper to take off all moisture possible.
  3. Place cucumbers and onions in serving dish, add the vinegar and sugar and mix.
  4. Toss with enough sour cream to lightly cover the cukes and onion and sprinkle with pepper.
  5. Sprinkle with fresh or dried dill weed to your taste if desired.
  6. Stir and chill before serving to allow flavors to blend.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/10/08/creamed-cucumbers/

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