I don't know about everyone else but I just adore the Holidays. There are many reasons for this; family, friends, presents, and just the thought of Christmas in general. I love the music, I am gitty with excitement over the decorations, and there is just something magical about sitting in your living room with the only source of light radiating from the lights decorating your Christmas tree. Of course there is that one other source of excitement in my house and I am sure many of you would agree...FOOD! I love to cook almost as much as I enjoy to eat. Food is the common denominator when it comes to spending time with family and it is a routine that my family has stuck to every Saturday evening for as long as I can remember. Now we are by no means fancy people. We do not turn our noses up at a nice juicy hamburger nor do we deny ourselves the rights to a nice casserole straight from the oven. We do however have those special food items that seem to only make their appearances on special occassions. With the holidays practically knocking on my front door as we speak I thought I would share with you a few of my families favorites. These items are good for Christmas dinners just as they are good for the neighborhood block party. Hopefully I will be able to start posting pictures of the dishes I am speaking about. If you are anything like me, I require pictures. If a cook book does not include pictures of the dishes it is not purchased. I like knowing what my dish should look like and I usually eat with my eyes first so it helps knowing what it looks like. Anyway, here is the recipe for my Step-Mom's famous cauliflower salad. It is a little time consuming and it is best left to "marinate" over night, but trust me when I say...it is worth every minute spent!!!
Cast of Characters:
1 Lg. Head of Ice-Burg Lettuce, chopped and rinsed
1 Sm.-Md. Size Head of Cauliflower, chopped into small florets.
1 bunch of green onions, chopped and rinsed
1 Box of frozen peas
2 Cups of Hellman's Mayo
1 package of Good Seasons Garlic and Herb Dressing Mix
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
All of these measurements are estimates. The magic of this salad is that you can use just about as much or as little of something should you choose. My Uncle doesn't like peas...your Uncle may not either. If this is the case, don't use the hole box, use half. It is entirely up to you! The only requirements is that you must use real mayonnaise. For the love of all things magical this Christmas season, do not use Miracle Whip in place of the real stuff. The taste Miracle Whip gives this salad is horrid!!!!! Don't ask me how I know this...it's a bad memory and I prefer to keep it locked away.
Anyway, back to the salad. The key to the salad is layers, and you are going to layer your salad based on the order in which the ingredients are listed above. When it comes to the Hellmans, I tend to use a little more than the two cups. But that's my preference because I like my salad to be a little more "wet". I probably use close to three cups...gulp. And by the way, that is cups as in dry measuring cups, not wet. Good grief, if you used three cups using your liquid measuring cups, the lettuce would definately be "wet", it would probably need a life jacket. After you spread a nice layer of the mayo over your salad, you will then sprinkle your Garlic and Herb seasonings topped off with another layer of parmesan cheese. I have never really measured how much I use, but I am generous with it. You want a nice layer of the stuff, but it is totally up to you on how much you use. Last layer is the bacon. Now the recipe calls for a pound, but see...my family has a fascination with bacon. Who am I kidding, we have a fascination with food in general. My Step-Mom always suggested using more than a pound, so if you have no probably clogging an artery or two then throw in an extra pound. Normally because of my need to use more mayo each time, I try to behave myself by only using the one pound. After you are done layering your salad, cover it up and throw it in the fridge. If you are good like some people, you will forget about it until the next day. If your bad like me then that means you made it the morning of the event you need it for and it won't get to marry overnight. No big deal, but people...it does need a few hours so plan ahead. Oh yeah...you can toss the salad right before serving. No sooner...no later!
Now I know this all seems a jumbled mess, but bear with me people. This is my first food post so I am a work in progress. Just remember, the key is in the layering, and if you follow the layers based on how the ingredients were listed above then you are golden.