Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Chicken Salad

on June 26, 2015

This salad recipe comes from grandma’s church cookbook – the one that is THE place to go for the best recipe for EVERYTHING!! Chicken Salad is a great recipe, but I add a few things to make it one of my son’s favorites. Every time I make a recipe from the Svea Church cookbook (Svea’s Heritage Cookbook – 125 years of Good Cooking, 1870-1995, copyright 1995), I recognize names and am reminded of those women, and it makes me nostalgic for those days when that church was such a big part of the lives of all of the farmers surrounding the small town where the church still stands. Believe it or not, the church even has a website now!!! This time of year really takes me back because my sister and I were able to stay with Grandma and Grandpa more in the summer when school was out. We would play games (like catch or Jarts) after dinner when Grandpa was done with his chores for the day, have an ice cream treat (which was something like Eskimo Pies, ice cream sandwiches, or Drumsticks – they were dairy farmers, after all), and make a big deal out of being outside in the evening to hear the chimes coming from the church at 7 pm (if I remember the time right) because their farm was a mile straight east of the church “as the crow flies”. This is a photo of the front of the church (but the steeple is cut off) and it has Grandma and Grandpa’s name on the back of it, but it’s a bit hard to tell if it’s them or not.

Chicken Salad

The church had a big 4th of July picnic and reunion every year (I don’t think they do it anymore), and church members past and present were invited to come and eat and chat and enjoy the day. It was an old-fashioned celebration with speakers, music in the town park bandstand, and lots of food! The picnic was a potluck, and there was always a lot of great food with different kinds of meat (I remember a lot of fried chicken), what seemed like hundreds of pies of every description, and Ost Kaka (because the church is Swedish in origin).

Chicken Salad

I just love the old church cookbooks and the memories they bring back.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Chicken Salad

1 can of chicken or tuna (I sometimes use cubed ham, but for this batch, I used a whole chicken cooked in the crock pot)

1 cup celery, diced

1 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup cubed cheese (I use Velveeta for this)

1 cup carrots, grated

1/2 cup onions, ground (grated, but for this batch I used green onions)

1/2 cup mayonnaise (I up this to 1-2 cups when using a pound of cooked macaroni)

1 can shoestring potatoes (I could only find the big cans now so I used 1/2 of a can)

I sometimes add 1 pound of cooked macaroni, 1 teaspoon celery seed, salt and pepper, and I usually add as many chopped veggies as I can find.

Mix all together and chill.

Add shoestring potatoes just before serving.

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You can see that I added some sliced carrots and diced red pepper for this batch. I also added cooked macaroni.

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It’s a pretty and colorful salad.

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Using the macaroni and a whole chicken made this a BIG batch, but it didn’t last long.

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Who are we kidding? Putting shoestring potatoes on top is just like putting crushed up potato chips on top. You could use those in a pinch. Try this delicious salad this summer. You’ll love it as much as we do!

 

 

 

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