childhood memories, cooking, Culinary, dinner, farm, farmer's market, farmers, farms, food, foodie, fresh, Guelph, homemade pasta, local food map, love of food, market, mother, Pasta salad, Quebec, recipes, sister, summer, traditional quebec
Do you find that there are certain foods that will forever be linked to a childhood memory. I find myself taken back to the past sometimes simply by the way something smells or looks. I find this utterly interesting… I have also recently learnt to tap into these childhood memories it is helpful to use whatever sense best suits your purpose to bring you back to those happy days – for me that’s an easy one and usually has some elements of food snuck in there.
This weekend – I had a need to reconnect with a favorite dish. A dish I remember making with my step mom on scorching summer days. At the time, we lived way up north in Québec. We owned the village restaurant, which to my pleasure, gave me access to a filled pantry at any time of the day or night 🙂 I maybe didn’t know it yet at that age – but this would eventually become the background to many of my most memorable dreams – a filled pantry and more time on my hands than anyone could really wish for. That’s my kind of lottery winnings.
So let me paint this picture for you – it amazes me how easily these details come back to life…
We’re stepping back to late 70’s, 1979 to be exact. As I said, we’re in a small village in northern Québec which approximately 400 people call home. We owned a restaurant which translated to the best amusement park for me 🙂 My step mom at the time was a true sun worshipper – we spent our entire summer in the sun, back in the day when I was still able to wear a tiny yellow dot bikini. We set up our chairs in the backyard far away from any impeding shade… Then, using a spray bottle filled with baby oil, she would spray me down from head to toe —- ah motherly love LOL!!!
I don’t think I need to tell you that Swiss Chalet rotisserie had nothing on us – we were just like two little birds roasting until perfectly browned and crisp – what the heck were we thinking… We spent hours and hours out there in the sun, reapplying the oil every few hours, as any good cook would to a savory bird in the oven.
Finally came lunch time. We toweled ourselves dry, leaving a messy oily towel behind and into the restaurant we went.
My step mom, as much as I love her, was not a cook – not even close. She did not enjoy cooking and did it only because she obviously had to feed us.
So, what does a person with no cooking skills do in a kitchen filled with fresh produce from many of our adjoining farms neighbors – well of course, she takes everything that she knows she likes and throws it all in a large bowl. I am ready to share with you what we’ve concocted over the years and what has sustained years of memories for me.
4 cups of cooked pasta – which ever shape you fancy
5 green onions, cut into small pieces
1 bag of shaved carrots – or cut up carrots if you choose to work a little harder
1 complete celery, cut into small pieces
2 cups of cooked meat, I like to use ham, chicken or turkey
Enough dressing to make it moist… I like to use Heinz Salad Cream English Dressing – its taste is very different – yummy… you can also use Mayonnaise.
Celery Salt to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions: Mix everything in one large bowl, get a fork and Voilà!!!
I tend to make enough of this salad to last a number of nights – that even includes lunches – obviously can’t get enough of it 🙂
This salad is even better the second and third day – enjoy and feel free to change it up to suit your family’s needs and likes!