Debbie Dance Uhrig
Well I for one totally enjoyed preparing for our big Easter dinner with family. Oh, I did fib on one thing last week when I shared my menu. We had stir fried sugar snaps and carrots instead of creamed peas! I couldn’t find enough space to orchestrate the creamed peas, so I went in another direction.
Planning is always the secret to a good dinner or event. Plenty of lists and pre-made dishes is the best advice, even if the menu is macaroni and cheese and hot dogs! I did purchase something this past week to help with some of our events. I went to Bed Bath & Beyond and purchased a stainless steel chafing dish to use with our vegetables. One of my big pet peeves is when steaming or sautéing; the food cools off too fast. I own crock pots, silver chafers and the restaurant-style chafers, but they were not the ‘look’ I desired. The crock-pot looks like a tail gate party and the silver looks a bit too dressy. The restaurant style is way too big and cumbersome. These little jewels were only $29.99 and they hold 4 quarts. If you do lots of entertaining for family and friends they will pay for themselves very quickly. Just don’t forget to pick up the sterno.
I couldn’t decide what recipe to share with you today. I’ve got a couple of new ones, but they still have some tweaking ahead of them. Since we’re in the midst of a beautiful spring I finally decided to stay with an old traditional dish called, “Pea Salad”. I always enjoy it when someone brings this dish to an event. And I also notice there’s seldom any leftover. My analysis is the fact that folks enjoy the salad, but they don’t want to eat it for days and days. Also; it seems to hold more appeal for the older generation. Take my word, when kids eat canned peas, from the school cafeteria, they develop a serious dislike for these rolley poley guys. When I was growing up they were always fresh or frozen.
Economically speaking, this recipe is very inexpensive, unless you eat too much bacon, while preparing the four slices, for the salad! It makes what I refer to as a tight salad, one that would travel beautifully. It could be totally put together or you could simple stop at the store and get the ingredients once you get there.
If I were on a road trip this would be nice to eat with a cold cut sandwich instead of chips! With the Ranch there’s no individual ingredients to purchase for the dressing, which saves on time.
Like many families we’ll start out the week with Easter leftovers. It’s a nice reprieve after the big dinner concludes. Remember the macaroni I mentioned in the first of the column? Well, now there’s ham inside the macaroni bake. The bone and scraps? Oh, I’ve got big plans for them. I’m planning a salad and soup night with ham/beans, salad and cornbread.
This past week as I was setting the tables for Easter, our sixteen year old son, Phillip, made a comment that I just had to share with you. When you say to yourself: ‘Oh it’s too much effort, no one appreciates it,’ remember what I’m about to share. Phillip says: ‘Mom what are we going to do with all these dishes when you croak?’ I paused, looked at him and said: ‘I don’t know, maybe give them to your wife, if she wants them.’ ‘What do you mean?’ states Phillip, ‘I want them, you have nice dishes!’ It was a clear message that my meals and dinner presentations have been appreciated. And yes, I about cried. Phillip has an appreciation for good food and presentation. I even think there’s a chance he could follow a culinary career at some point. A few years ago around the age of 12 he told my mom that he thought it would be great if she & dad moved in with us. That way he could have food by two good cooks all the time.
Need to say adieu, see you next week friends. Enjoy those ham sandwiches!
Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
4 slices cooked, drained & crumbled bacon
1 (16 ounce) package drained & thawed frozen peas
8-12 small green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4, hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 cup ranch dressing
Thaw and drain peas, mix all ingredients adding the bacon and boiled eggs last. Stir in the ranch dressing. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Use additional ranch or mayonnaise if the salad is not to your desired consistency.
Serves 4-5 persons.
Use a high quality of frozen peas, there is a palatable difference.
This salad is not seen too frequently. Usually we don’t make ‘large’ batches of this salad because it is such a huge concentration of peas.