Mile High Picnic Day

Yesterday was Earth Day. In our house, Earth Day signals it’s time to plant our annual garden. Today we’ll be busy planting our garden most of the day. That’s just perfect since today is also Picnic Day. What’s better after a day of toiling in the garden than to have a picnic in our own backyard?

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Celebrate Macaroni Day Without the Cheese

Each year on July 7th, we say Hoorah It’s Macaroni Day! Okay, so maybe not everyone gets excited about Macaroni Day, but some do. Have you ever asked yourself what is Macaroni?

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Cheater’s Macaroni Salad

A little while back, while planning out my family’s dinner menu, I was struck by the idea of a picnic. It’s been a long time since we had a picnic simply for the sake of having a picnic. You know what I’m talking about – loading up the family car and heading out for a drive. Maybe drive along the coast, or up into the hills or just a nearby park. Spread out a blanket, and relax. No big events. No schedules. No distractions. Just quality family time under the shade of a big tree somewhere. So I pulled up our schedule. We love attending little county fairs, street festivals, antique gatherings, and stepping back in both time and space to Celtic or Renaissance gatherings. In March, we attended our first every Civil War Reenactment. It was awesome!

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Mema’s Macaroni Salad

This delicious and super simple Macaroni Salad has been in our family forever (or at least since the 1950s). With the exception of cute little garnishes and presentation ideas, very little has changed. It’s Mom’s recipe and growing up I loved it. Hubby’s favorite, too. He’s a basic kind of guy, so uncomplicated foods suite him just fine. Rather than leave this little gem of a recipe obscured in a montage of recipes, I thought it would be nice to bring it out of hiding. After all, these are the fading days of summer. Soon enough we will be packing away the picnic baskets, backyard grills and whatever else is a part of our summer fun in the sun. In our house, macaroni salad is all a part of this type of year.

When entertaining, I usually make Mema’s Potato Salad to go with my Macaroni Salad. Have you noticed that there are Potato Salad eaters or Macaroni Salad lovers – preferring one type over another? For big gatherings or when I’m asked to make a few dishes, I like to make both just to keep everyone happy.

Mema’s Macaroni Salad
6 Eggs, hard-boiled
1 lb Salad Macaroni
¼ Cup Green Onions, finely chopped
¼ Cup Red onion, finely chopped
2 Celery Stocks, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon Dill Pickle Relish (more to taste)
1 ½ Cups Best Food Mayonnaise
½ Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Green Onions for Garnish (Optional)
½ Cup Chopped Black Olives (Optional)

Peel hard-boiled eggs and set in refrigerator to cool completely.

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package directions. Drain and rinse well under cold running water. Set aside to continue draining.

In bowl, combine onions, celery, pickle relish, mayonnaise and red wine vinegar. Whisk to combine. Taste dressing and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Adjust seasoning according to personal tastes.

Chop 4 eggs. Add to dressing. Cut V marks in remaining 2 eggs to create tulip flowers. Reserve 3 flowers, chop remaining flower and add to dressing. Taste dressing a second time, adjust seasonings as necessary.

Place macaroni in a large bowl. Pour egg dressing over macaroni. If desired, add chopped olives and toss to coat. Smooth out top.

Using the back of a spoon, create 3 indentations in the top of the salad. Place Egg flowers into indentations. If desired, sprinkle lightly with paprika. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until well chilled.

Note: Did you know you can color the macaroni to suite the celebration? Check out the photo below – same salad, colored for the 4th of July. Orange for Halloween, maybe red and green for Christmas – you get the idea.


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