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  • Writer's pictureAngie Dotson

A family "recipe"

I once again thought long about my current writing assignment in this project. The assignment is "object". I was asked to reflect on a particular object in my life and what it means to me. I considered writing about the obvious - my camera, a mug I still have from childhood, my dad's old white t-shirt turned my kindergarten paint shirt. However, I thought I'd take it a little differently this time.

There is this macaroni salad that my family has been making as long as I've been alive. I don't know where it originated exactly, but there has never been a potluck family gathering without it. My Grandma always made it, and somewhere along the way, my mom took over the tradition, and in recent years I've been doing it. It's ridiculously good, for no apparent reason. It's literally 4 ingredients - Miracle Whip (YES, it HAS to be Miracle Whip, not that "real" mayo stuff), elbow macaroni, celery and green olives with pimentos. Now, before you say "ew, olives?!", I can say that I know several people who love this salad and simply eat around the olives. I'm serious.

So, here's the secret. Give it a shot.

Please be aware that I "eyeball" the measurements on most of this, but I'll try to explain it the best I can. The NUMBER ONE MOST IMPORTANT RULE is that you MUST make this the day before whenever you want to eat it. This makes a large bowl that's perfect for a potluck or party.

1) Start a large pot of water to boil (4-6 qts?)

2) While waiting on that, clean and chop up a few stalks of celery

3) You can either buy the "salad" green olives that are already cut, or get the whole ones like me and roughly half them real quick. I get the large 21 oz jar and use about half of the olives at this point (my family will scarf the rest of them so it's good to have extras around).

4) Right about now, the water will be boiling and you can dump that whole 1 lb. box in and give it a stir every couple minutes to make sure it doesn't stick to the pot. Boil for about 7 minutes.

5) Meanwhile, toss the celery and olives into a large bowl and add some Miracle Whip (a big squirt or so) and mix that up.

6) When the mac is done boiling, dump it in a colander and rinse it with cold water, stirring around to rinse all that extra starch and heat off.

7) Dump about half the mac into the bowl with the other ingredients and mix. Add in the rest of the mac and two BIG squirts of Miracle Whip and mix it all up. Now is the time for THE SECRET WEAPON. Olive juice. Pour directly from the jar - more than you think is necessary. Probably about half the jar.

8) If needed, add more Miracle Whip until it's as creamy as you'd like. Now cover and refrigerate over night.

9) The next morning, it will look pretty dry again. Add in more Miracle Whip and olive juice and stir up until it's creamy again. Then cover again and it's ready to party! Yum-O!

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