Some Salads

Both Mom and Gram made really wonderful salads. Following is a selection of some of their best salads. Probably my very favorite is Dandelion Salad which Gram made abundantly in the Spring. I can remember her sitting out in the yard with a screwdriver and a bucket pulling up dandelions when they were still young and tender. She always liked to get a few with the little buds before they blossomed. Mom said Dandelion Salad was a spring tonic. I’ve actually made it with spinach when dandelions were in short supply. It is also good with tender greens or romaine lettuce.

Gram’s Dandelion Salad
Thoroughly wash a large bowl full of dandelion greens (or other greens). Keep the buttons (buds). Drain well. Boil 2 medium potatoes and hardcook 2 eggs.

Slice a large sweet onion and separate the rings. Cool the potatoes and cut them into chunks. Peel and slice the eggs. Toss them with the greens. Add 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp salt.

Over medium heat fry 3-4 slices of bacon cut into small pieces. When bacon is crisp remove it to a paper towel then add to the salad. Pour off all but 2 tbsps bacon grease. Place the pan with the grease back on the burner and turn up heat. When it is sizzling carefully add ½ cup cider vinegar and let it sizzle and sputter. Pour hot from the pan over the greens. Toss again and serve.

Great Aunt Annie’s Carrot Salad

Great-aunt Annie (at right) was Grandma Valentine’s sister. She was a wonderful woman and a real character. She lived in a darling house in Falls Creek, Pennsylvania. I remember one time her son Quay went to visit her and she wasn’t in the house. He went outside and discovered a ladder up against the house. She was up on the roof replacing some shingles. She was in her eighties then.
3 cups shredded carrots
3 tbsps sour cream
4 tbsps mayonnaise
1 cup raisins
1 tsp honey.
Stir together and chill before serving.

Mom’s Freezer Cole Slaw
Mom got this recipe from Mrs. Brown who lived up the hill and had a huge garden. Every year she and her husband had the first corn of the season. Mr. Brown made beautiful grandfather clocks. Their house always smelled like apple pie baking or chili sauce simmering. She always had amaryllis blossoming in her kitchen. It was the first place I ever saw them and I thought they were beautiful.
Chop and mix together:
1 medium head cabbage
1 medium carrot
1 green pepper
1 medium onion
1 tsp salt
Toss together and let stand for an hour. Combine:
2 cups sugar
1 cup vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp celery seed
Bring to a boil for one minute. Let cool and pour over the vegetables. Pack in cartons and freeze. Thaw 45 minutes before serving.

Gram’s Instant Cole Slaw
Heat to boiling:
2 c. vinegar
2 c. sugar
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp mustard seed
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric
Pour this over:
1 quart shredded cabbage
2 shredded green peppers
1 chopped sweet onion
2 grated carrots
1 small jar of pimentos
Mix very well and pack in jars for the refrigerator. Chill at least 12 hours before serving. Will keep for weeks in the refrigerator.

“Alter” Society Salad Dressing
The Altar Society tends the linens, flowers, candles, etc. at the old German Church in St. Marys. This is the dressing that they always served at their monthly dinners. I have copied it exactly as Miss Rose Ebrel wrote it.
3/ cup oil, ½ cup sugar, ½ cup vinegar, 2tsps salt, ½ tsp pepper, dash Garlic Salt, end of tsp of prepared mustard. Put in Blender. I always double this recipe.

Mom’s Russian Dressing
Mom always made this at Easter with the leftover hardboiled eggs. Jack only ate the yolks and I only ate the whites but we wouldn’t eat each others’ leftovers. So Mom made this.
Hardboil 4 eggs (or use leftover Easter Eggs from temperamental children’s baskets). Chop very fine and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in 2 cups mayonnaise, ½ cup ketchup and adjust seasonings. Cut iceberg lettuce into wedges and drizzle the dressing over them.

Mom’s Three Bean Salad
In a large bowl combine:
1 can each green beans, yellow wax beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans (yes, I know that is four beans — I don’t know why she named it what she did.
3 cups salad oil
½ cup sugar
1 cup vinegar
2 cloves minced garlic
1 large onion sliced
salt and pepper to taste.
Stir and chill 2 days before serving.
Adding a heaping tablespoon of horseradish is delicious, too.