Apple Salad

The Covered Dish

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Well, this past weekend we bid adieu to our Dodge pick-up. Now the fun begins, as we search for the perfect 1500 Quad Cab. There was a great deal of good memories wrapped up within. Now we’ll build more good times, with a bigger and more spacious rig. We aren’t the type to drop thousands upon thousands, for a brand-new vehicle, we tend to like them a bit on the ‘seasoned’ side. It will be a busy busy week sharing one mode of transportation!

I cannot remember the last time I ran this rather infamous salad. Our family really never had a recipe for this ‘fresh’ apple salad. Due to a recipe ‘fluke’ several years ago, at the culinary school, I had to truly write down how to make my grandmother’s salad. At the time of writing, we were trying to feature recipes from a well-known magazine, doing some sponsoring with us. The salad recipe from their archives had some cutting-edge ingredients and the guests did not care for it. I remember watching the folks as they pushed the rather unique ingredient to the sides of their plates. I ‘think’ there’s a good lesson here for all of us. Stick to what you know when preparing a meal, especially for guests. Sure, stick something new in, but ‘something’ not the entire menu. Also; listen to your gut. I knew this unique salad was not going to be a hit, but I doubted myself. I did have the chance to rectify the ‘salad’ as we switched it out before the next presentation.

That’s right, I switched it to my grandmother’s fresh apple salad.

If you grew up with a farming background many had orchards and gardens on their property. You used what you raised. At my grandparent’s home this included about every fruit that would grow in our great state. Thus, the reason for many versions of apple salads. Grandma ‘Lucy’ only made this one for special occasions like

Thanksgiving and Christmas. The candy used inside the salad usually went along with the season, orange for fall and red, green & white for the Christmas holidays. We grandkids also got to eat the gumdrops that didn’t go with the season!

The only hard part is the fact that the salad cannot be made in advance. You want it just as fresh as possible at serving time. I truly like to make my whipped cream fresh, and on the apples, I prefer soaking them ahead of time in white soda pop. Drain well, and then pat dry on a paper towel before entering the salad. The celery might not work with the smaller children, if you think you should leave it out, do so. Also; double check on the nuts, especially if you have any guests with nut allergies. Following the good ole’ days at my grandparent’s farm, my mother, Betty, continued to make lots of different versions of fresh apple salads. One that was my favorite was done with peanut butter in the dressing.

I remember 3 salads particularly being present at all our family dinners, the apple salad, fresh cranberry salad, and a creamy pineapple salad.

Grandmother’s egg money was used to purchase any groceries not raised on the farm. I recall watching her carry in groceries one year and having all these special holiday ingredients. This was highly unusual for the Richardson side of the family. We had the only sorghum mill in Lewis County, so we had lots of cakes made with sorghum along with sorghum candy.

We’d best get to this yummy salad. Keep those holiday lists going and enjoy the reason for the season! Simply Yours, The Covered Dish.

Fresh Apple Salad

1 cup finely diced celery

8-15 ounce can light tidbit pineapple, juice reserved

4 cups or 5-6 average apples, diced

(I leave skins on for color, can also be removed.)

1 cup grapes, cut into halves

1/2 cup chopped pecans or English walnuts

1 cup halved gumdrops in assorted colors

Dressing

1/4-1/3 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons honey

8 ounces whipped cream

*Options: raisins and marshmallows

Serves 10-12 persons

After chopping the apples generously roll them in the reserved pineapple juice. This will help keep the apples from browning. Drain well and

Place in large bowl with celery, pineapple and grapes. With a whisk blend the dressing in a separate bowl. Stir dressing into ingredients. Lastly stir in the gumdrops and pecans.

As a young girl this was always on the table for Thanksgiving and Holiday dinners. My grandmother, Lucy Rightmire Richardson, would put black, yellow and orange gumdrops for the fall dinners. At Christmas she often used red, green and white.

Sometime only diced orange slices were implemented. It was always one of my favorites and I called it ‘The Candy Salad’.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I sure miss Debbie at the Culinary School at SDC. Any chance they will open it back up or that you might give lessons somewhere else?

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