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Friday, July 5, 2013

Random Food Fridays - Macaroni Salad

It has been pretty darn hot. Last night, my instant-read kitchen thermometer said that my living room was 90.8 degrees. That's inside, folks. We are often glad we don't have AC. Our energy bills are next to nothing. This recent heat wave sent us out shopping for a portable room air conditioner. For better or worse, they were sold out all over town. Thank goodness, our over night temps finally came down last night. We were able to cool down the house with our whole-house fan and right now, it is a comfortable 72 degrees.

My cousin, Genny, and her family, have an Independence Day tradition of having a road rally. Usually, folks enjoy driving around with the tops down. This time, not so much. We opted out of the road rally this year but attended the BBQ afterwards. My Aunt Barbara and Uncle Larry are fantastic hosts and we had a great time visiting with friends, old and new. This macaroni salad was our contribution to the pot luck. It is yummy, simple, traditional and always welcome. With potato salad, you can go with the sweet pickle plan or the dill pickle plan. Both are delicious. In fact, Barbara makes a famously delicious potato salad on the dill pickle plan. In my humble opinion, traditional macaroni can only be on the sweet pickle plan. Pick a pickle you like because that is the flavor you will get. I used sweet gherkins. Also - please, no pickle relish. Crunchy chunks of pickle are the way to go.

I used my handy V-slicer to quickly shred the carrot, shallot and celery. Sliced olives are drained and added. The pickles are roughly chopped by hand. Save the pickle juice!

Top with the cooked and drained macaroni. Add the sour cream, mayo, mustard, salt and pepper.

Stir and taste. Go easy on the salt on the first round. Many of the ingredients are salty and very little additional salt is needed. After a few hours in the fridge, you may need to stir in a bit more sour cream or mayo to moisten. Enjoy!

Macaroni Salad
1 lb. dry macaroni
2 small carrots
1 shallot
2 ribs celery
3.8 oz can sliced blacked olives
1 cup coarsely chopped sweet pickles
1/4 cup pickle juice
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp. yellow mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the macaroni in salted boiling water according to package directions. Meanwhile, wash and either grate or chop fine the carrots, shallot and celery. Place in a large bowl. Add the drained olives and the pickles. Once macaroni is cooked, drain and rinse. Add on top of the veggies in the bowl. Pour the pickle juice over the pasta. Add the sour cream, mayo, mustard and salt and pepper. Stir to combine and adjust seasoning. Place in fridge to chill. Fluff the salad before serving. Add more sour cream or mayo if needed.

This makes a lot - enough for a big picnic with some left overs to boot!

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