Friday, July 7, 2017
NATIONAL MACARONI DAY
When I was a kid, my mother did not have to cook on Saturdays. My father would get groceries at Helfrich's and he would bring home cold cuts ("lunch meat" to us in those days) and deli items. Among the interesting fare was pepper loaf, Dutch loaf, pastrami, liverwurst, souse, potato salad, macaroni salad, huge dill pickles, and what we called the "sweet pickled stuff", which I later learned was giardiniera.
Mother said that the macaroni salad was better than what she made and that she would like to have the recipe. When my father asked for the recipe, they would not divulge it. Years later, a friend's mother went to work in the deli at Helfrich's and we were able to also "acquire" the coveted recipe as well as recipes for the store's version of potato salad and ham loaf. Mother said, dismissively, "Oh, my potato salad is much better than theirs!"
The macaroni salad Les and I now make is very popular with a number of my friends and I am often encouraged to make it for pot-luck dinners.
A couple of years ago, I said to my friend Judy, "What do you want for your birthday?", thinking she might tell me the name of a book or a new perfume, which are the kind of presents I like to buy for people. Not missing a beat, she answered, "Macaroni salad!"