Monday, July 15, 2013

Grandma's Best Macaroni Salad

Posted by Devin

My maternal grandmother, Esther, was a wonderful woman. She loved her grandchildren more than anything and was extremely proud of all that we did. She also worried about us constantly. When I was a kid we would go to Sedona in the summertime and play in tennis tournaments at a club there. When we weren't playing tennis we were always in the pool. My cousins and I were all members of our town's swim team and fairly strong swimmers. But my grandma was so worried that one of us might drown, she always insisted on coming along so she could sit by the pool and watch her grandbabies. SHE couldn't swim, but you know, whatever... It made her feel better to be there watching us.
Grandma was also a dedicated wife and mom and a great cook. She made 3 hot meals a day for my grandpa, day in and day out. Even a hot Arizona summer didn't slow her down! She would still take to her tiny kitchen, turn on the stove, and whip up something delicious. I can't imagine making 3 hot meals a day.
But despite the fact that Grandma was the Queen of the Hot Meal, surprisingly enough I am going to share a cold salad recipe of hers with you all today! My kiddos are crazy about this macaroni salad so I make it quite often. It goes perfectly with so many things: hamburgers, hot dogs, fried or grilled chicken... I frequently take it to parties and have had quite a few people ask for the recipe. Which is why I decided to share it with all of you!
3 1/2 cups macaroni
4 large spoonfuls mayonnaise (about 2 cups)
1/4 as much mustard as mayo (so about 1/2 cup mustard)
4 dill pickle spears, chopped
1 small can sliced black olives (Grandma used green olives but my Mom uses black, as do I)
6 green onions, diced
celery salt
pickle juice

1. Cook your macaroni according to package directions. I always boil mine for 10 minutes. Strain and pour into a large bowl.
2. While the macaroni is cooking, chop your pickle spears and dice your green onions. (Caden was providing a little help in the kitchen to pass off a Cub Scout Requirement.)
3. Add your mayo and mustard to the macaroni and mix. Here are lots of pictures to help show the amounts I use.

4. Add the pickles, olives, and green onions to the macaroni and mix again.
5. Shake some celery salt and pepper onto the macaroni salad, splash with pickle juice, and mix one last time. As for amounts, I typically just shake the seasonings around until the top layer of the salad has a nice sprinkle. And I probably use about 1/4 cup of pickle juice, not too much.
Chill the salad in the refrigerator overnight or for a few hours. If the salad looks a little dry, add one or two large spoonfuls of mayo before serving. I pretty much always do this. No one wants a dry salad. And that is all! Enjoy!

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At July 15, 2013 at 10:09 AM , Blogger Kathleen Goodrich said...

You've got it all in here---a photo of your grandma, a photo with her great-grandson, and photos and descriptions a five year old would understand. I love how you used this recipe as an opportunity to share your grandmother's story with us. I am tempted to make this salad and I am not even fond of macaroni with mayo!

At July 15, 2013 at 11:01 AM , Blogger Tara and Devin said...

Thanks Kathy! I loved having the opportunity to share a little about my Grandma. So glad you enjoyed it! ~Devin


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