Pull Out Those Old Recipes, Folks
Recently, I posted on Facebook that my wife was making chicken salad for supper. Not just any chicken salad, mind you. This was the famous recipe from Younkers' Tea Room. I realize I have a lot of readers outside the Des Moines area. For those of you over the age of 40, you probably had a similar place in a nearby metropolis. Back in the day, Younkers Tea Room was the swankiest place in town. My high school prom was held there... ok, so back loooong before I was in high school, it was really upscale. This was the place where the social elite would be seen dining. It was also the source of many great recipes, among which was the chicken salad.
The memory of Younkers Tea Room evokes nostalgic images of a bygone era, of dressing up for dinner, of old-fashioned high-end department stores, of live entertainment. But no matter how far removed we get from it, there's a recipe that holds a special place in our hearts (and our stomachs). And every once in a while, we have to pull it out and make it (no matter what it might do to our cholesterol levels). It's that old tried and true that always seems to work, that never fails to make us feel better.
We have those in work and in life, too. It might be a book, a poem, a friend, or a painting. It may be a building, a park bench, a road less traveled. It's OK to pull them out, dust them off, and revisit them for a while. Life isn't all about change. Sometimes life is about remembering. And through remembering, it may give you inspiration for the future. So pull out those old recipes. Call that old friend. Read that poem. It's OK... really.
And for those of you who are curious, I will share with you the absolute best chicken salad recipe on the planet (with the discoveries my wife has made along the way):
- 3 cups diced, cooked chicken thighs (it's OK to buy the roasted chicken at the supermarket and use the whole chicken, if you'd prefer, over the thighs)
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds
- 1 cup ranch dressing (we've found the T. Marzetti's light ranch gives the right taste and texture)
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
In a large bowl combine chicken, celery, onion, and sunflower seeds. In a smaller bowl, stir together salad dressing, celery salt, garlic, salt and black pepper. Pour dressing over chicken mixture; toss to mix well. Cover and chill for one hour. Makes six servings. (My opinion: best served with crisp Romaine lettuce on a croissant.)