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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summer Holidays are Here!

Generally speaking, macaroni salad of any kind wouldn't be thought of as either dapper or dreamy, but with an understanding that to be truly dapper and dreamy one can't be a snob, here are my thoughts on this much loved food...  

Like most people, I believe that particular foods go with particular holidays and Memorial Day is no exception.  Somehow, holiday eating is more about comfort and nostalgia than gourmet experimentation.  For example, I am no great fan of Jell-O and her many associated "salads", but none of our winter festivities would be complete without Oreange Dreamsicle Salad (Orange Jell-O, vanilla pudding, whipped cream and mandaring oranges...  don't get me started...).  Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day seem virtually interchangeable when it comes to the menu. 
In my opinion, it just isn't a holiday picnic without Shrimp Macaroni Salad.  This is something my mother would often make in the summer, and something I'd frequently request for my birthday.  One of the benefits of getting older and being the family cook is that I can make these traditional recipes conform to my tastes.  As a confirmed raw onion hater, I no longer have to pick through the mayonnaise dressed macaroni to remove these awful, crunchy little chunks.  My mother still tries to "fool" me when she makes this or potato salad...  Onion powder and, even worse, dried, minced onions are just as bad, Mom...

But, I digress.  Like so many of these kinds of recipes, there are no exact measurments.  It all depends on how many people you have to feed and what ratio of mayonnaise to mac you prefer.  So, feel free to ignore my measurement suggestions here and make it to your taste!

Shrimp Macaroni Salad

1 package of salad macaroni, boiled until it is tender but firm, drained and rinsed in cold water
1 cup of Best Foods (Hellman's) mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
4 hard cooked eggs, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small jar sweet gherkins, drained and roughly chopped
2 cans of tiny, pink shrimp (fresh shrimp will do as well)

Combine all of the above and serve well-chilled.

Have a happy summer!

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