This is another very simple side dish that is easy to fix. The ingredient list for this dish can be endless and easily tailored to what you like and what you don't like. Even my carnivore, Frank, likes it, which is a miracle in itself. He even requests it on occasion.
I was making this salad and thinking of how I would describe it on here
I thought, "I really feel sorry for anyone that is a new wife or cook
and trying to follow my recipes." See, when I first got married I could
burn water. Really. Well, maybe not burn exactly, but I sure couldn't
cook very many things and it was just about impossible to get things to
come out ready to eat at the same time. We had to spend some time
eating one thing at a time so it didn't get cold while we were waiting
for everything else to be ready. So, for any newly married young folks
out there, I'm sorry. I know my measurements are usually nonexistent,
which can be really difficult. At least for someone like me. There are
still times when I ask someone how they made something and they kind of
describe it like I do - add a little of this and a little of that until
it tastes like you want it to. Unless I have tried something and kind
of know how it will taste, I need a recipe to follow, at least once. Then I've been known to change things around, sometimes rather drastically, to suit our tastes. This is one of those dishes.
Layer 1: This salad will be good with whatever greens you like to eat. I prefer a leaf lettuce. So first I cut it to bite size, well kinda. Put the greens in a bowl that is big enough for the quantity you want to fix. This will depend on how many people you are feeding. That is the nice thing about this salad. You can make it as large or as small as you need or want. It will be good for several days in the frig, so for us, leftovers are intended.
Layer 2: Celery, 1 or 2 stalks, chopped
Layer 3: Green onions, to taste, chopped (I used 5)
Layer 4: Frozen green peas (we have also used frozen mixed vegetables) I take these out and rinse them in cold water in a strainer to separate them before I start cutting up the lettuce.
Layer 5: Add any other vegetables you want. Sometimes we add bell pepper. I thought about rehydrating some of my dried peppers and putting them on here, but I forgot. Maybe next time.
Layer 6: The dressing. I had a recipe for this once, but it has morphed into this. In a 2 cup measuring cup I put in about 1 cup of mayonnaise. I don't use Miracle Whip or anything like it, so I'm not sure how that flavor would work with this.
To the mayo I add about this much Ranch Dressing. If I had to guess, I would say about 2 or 3 tablespoons.
Next, I add some lemon juice. Again, if I were guessing, I'd say about 3 tablespoons. Mix well until smooth.
Pour this dressing out onto the salad.
Then spread it out evenly and kind of seal off the salad.
Layer 7: Shredded cheese, any kind you like. I used some of our cheddar.
Layer 8: Bacon bits. We like the 'real' ones that come in a bag from the warehouse market. Who knows what's been done to them for preservation, but they sure are convenient.
I have also been known to add a layer of boiled eggs and sunflower seeds. It also looks pretty in a glass bowl where you can see the layers. As you can see, it is a very versatile recipe. Yummy. Easy to fix. Great to eat.
This is especially good in the summer when it can be made with fresh ingredients from the garden. In the winter, we are blessed to have all of these ingredients at our finger tips at the store. It's easy to see why people just a few years ago were so hungry for the first fresh greens of spring after having gone without during the winter. One thing I would really like to be able to do is grow some fresh greens like spinach and lettuce during the winter. It's a goal I have that has not come to fruition yet. But it will. I will soon show you the beginning of my garden this year - I planted some seeds on December 29th. About this time of year I am ready for spring and gardening again. I'll let you see how it's going.
Really ponder what you can do to provide fresh food for your family year round without going to the store. We have grown alfalfa sprouts in a quart jar by the kitchen sink many times. They are easy and only take a few days before they are edible. It isn't our favorite thing to eat, but they are very healthy and easy to grow. This knowledge and supplies gives us one more layer of protection in the coming need for self-reliant food production. Try something new today that you haven't before and see how successful you can be. You're going to need it.
Until next time - Fern