Thursday, June 2, 2011

Holiday Food - Memorial Day

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 the winter festivities are complete without Oreange Dreamsicle Salad. 

For me, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day are virtually interchangeable when it comes to the menu.  What are your favorite dishes for the summer holidays?  Are there any that a long gone relative used to make that you pine for?

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.

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