Over a Cup of Coffee: Salad filled with plenty of taste | CraigDailyPress.com

Over a Cup of Coffee: Salad filled with plenty of taste

Diane Prather

I've long admired people who can make delicious dishes by putting together a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

My sister-in-law, Florence Van Tassel, is such a cook. So is our son Jamie's entire family. They're geniuses at putting together meals from what they have on hand.

I guess it's kind of like playing a musical instrument — some "play by ear." Others have to read music. I'm the "read the music" type, and I have to "read a recipe," too.

However, several years ago I did experiment with pasta salad.

I had seen photos of pasta salads in magazines. The deli had pasta salads, too, and they looked so delicious. I had always made macaroni salad, similar to potato salad, so I thought, "How hard can it be?"

What resulted from my experimentation was a pretty tasty salad that my family seems to like, and I make it fairly often, especially when I need a big salad.

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A note about the following list of ingredients for "Diane's Pasta Salad." Experiment with the amounts and kinds of ingredients you like. I use an assortment of small elbow macaroni, "bow-type" and shell macaroni, and even a small amount of spaghetti that I break up before cooking. But, use whatever you have.

Instead of tuna, consider using leftover ham, chicken, or beef.

The ingredients for a large "Diane's Pasta Salad" are: 1 to 2 cups of assorted pastas; 4 to 6 hardboiled eggs; Ranch dressing (to taste); 1 to 2 cans of tuna (drained); chopped dill pickle, tomato, onion, green bell pepper; sliced celery and carrots; some canned or frozen peas or broccoli, cooked and cooled; and salt to taste.

I even add a little pickle juice and sometimes about a tablespoon of Miracle Whip.

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the packages.

Don't get it too soft. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Put it into a large bowl to cool. I sometimes cook the pastas and eggs the day before, let it all cool in the refrigerator, and make the salad the next day.

When the pasta and eggs have cooled, peel and chop the eggs.

Prepare all of the other ingredients. Cook and cool the peas or broccoli (cut broccoli).

Put everything in the bowl with the pasta. Then add Ranch dressing and salt, mixing thoroughly until you get the desired taste and consistency. Cover with wrap and refrigerate until time to serve. Refrigerate leftovers.

Don't forget to send your rhubarb recipes!

You can reach me at Box 415, Craig 81626 or by calling me at 824-8809.

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