Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Super Summer Salad

Summer is here! Aah, the season of cookouts, picnics, and potlucks. But wait? Did I hear someone say "What about the 'Pitch-in'?" You see, I'm a native Michigander, raised in church halls where the ladies had a "potluck" on every special occasion on the church calendar. When I moved to Indiana three years ago, I was introduced to a new term...the "pitch-in". A "pitch-in" is a feast where everyone contributes, or "pitches in". It makes sense to me. Of course, I still chuckle whenever I hear the term. I'm a potlucker, plain and simple.

This simple cucumber salad is a summertime favorite in my family. We were first introduced to this delicious concoction by Pat, my sister Jenny's mother-in-law. And then Jenny began to make it regularly. And then my mom began to make it regularly. And now I make it regularly. It is soooo good.

I made this dish for a father's day dinner last Sunday. I made it for my father-in-law's family in Tipp City, Ohio. They loved it, and requested to keep the leftovers. That's a good sign!

I make this salad now to remember Pat, who passed away in 2010, and my father, who passed away in 2007. My father was dying of cancer that summer, and he was just a shell of himself, weighing no more than 125 pounds. My mother tried to fix him his favorite foods, just to give him something nutritious. What did he request on his death bed? Cucumber salad. I don't know why, but this makes me smile whenever I think of it. I love this salad just as much as my Dad, and I'd probably request it with one of my last meals, too.

Cucumber Salad

3 cucumbers, peeled and sliced ( I like to slice mine in half again)
1 sweet vidalia onion, chopped
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 pepper, chopped (I used a yellow pepper for the pretty color!)
1 bottle Old Dutch brand Sweet and Sour Dressing

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerator for at least three hours before serving. Toss occasionally to coat all vegetables. Enjoy!

It can sometimes be difficult to find this brand of dressing, so I'm showing you the bottle here so that you'll know what to look for. You'll usually find it in the same department as the salad dressings. Locally, I found that Kroger did not carry it, but Marsh stores did.

It's a beautiful summer day today...the sun is shining, the lawn mowers are buzzing, and my son is wearing his swimming trunks "just in case". Hope your day is blessed like mine!

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