The Last Salad of Summer

The Last Salad of Summer
White Trash Cooking—or, can you ever judge a book by its cover?

This is one from my all-time favorite among my collection of those plastic spiral bound cookbooks; White Trash Cooking, by the late Ernest Mathew Mickler*. Now hold on a minute—don’t be too quick to come to conclusions about what you’ll find between the covers. It spent weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list.

OK, fair enough. There are a few things in there I’ll probably never want to try—Butt’s ‘Gator Tail, Cold Collard Sandwiches, Goldie’s Yo-Yo Puddin with a whole box of vanilla wafers as the main ingredient, or cinnamon candies in a fruit salad. But the likes of Helen Hayes, Roy Blount Jr and Harper Lee all wax rhapsodic in the intro page about the memories these recipes had for them. And the book is worth twice the price for the collection of beautiful ‘stories of home’ photographs that fill the center pages. It includes many familiar, down-to-earth basic recipes. Perhaps one of the first “pantry meal” cookbooks—unless someone leaves the odd squirrel or rabbit on your doorstep.

This rice salad is a real winner. Maybe the last supper salad of summer. Like most great American supper salads, additions can be whatever you want—sliced radishes, dried or fresh fruit, chopped nuts, hot peppers, etc. Best to leave tomatoes and cucumbers to add as toppings, just before serving—they get overly soft in leftover salad.

Rice Salad
• 2 cups cooked rice, chilled
• ½ cup chopped seafood—shrimp, crab, lobster (or even canned tuna)
• ½ cup slivered Virginia ham (deli ham works too)
• ½ cup chopped celery
• ¼ cup chopped parsley
• 1 tblsp chopped chives
• 2 hard boiled eggs (either chopped and added to salad or quartered for topping)
• 1 tblsp each olive oil and white wine vinegar
• ½ cup mayonnaise
• Salt and pepper

Combine by tossing salad ingredients lightly—then add olive oil, wine vinegar, mayonnaise, salt and pepper, and combine again. Best if left to chill for several hours. Top with quartered eggs if saved, tomatoes, cucumber slices, more parsley, etc before serving.


The Kitchen Hive

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