Old fashioned recipes are some of my favorites and this church cookbook staple is at the top of my list. Hands down, it was one of the favorite dishes I indulged in over Christmas. My Mom asked each of the family members what they wanted (you could pick one dish each) and she made it for her Christmas Eve-Eve (Dec 23) party. I chose this salad as my dish, I have always loved it and I got to make it with Mom the morning of the party.
(My apologies for cell-phone pictures… my camera is out of commission until next week.)
Christmas was so fun, and we spent all the time we could with our family. Some highlights included:
My son dressing as a pirate, thanks to his aunt who got him the silliest pirate accessories. He loved it, and the earring was a total bonus.
Watching my niece go ‘turbo’ on the gift wrap is something I’ll never forget!
We had a cookie decorating contest… the results were hilarious and everyone participated.
Santa was a slob… as usual.
And we got to check cows…
Who also humored me by wearing the gag-gift I got him:
Don’t forget pig chores with new babies…
And to cap off the 2014 Christmas season…
I got pooped on.
I had to tell you I got pooped on. Really, who gets poo’ed upon, on Christmas day? (Other than new moms, farmers and medical staff). I wore it well (aka: without gagging)… and that little boar pig that did it? His name will need to be appropriate… can you help me think of one? (For now, it will simply be “Number 2”.)
Doesn’t he look guilty?
Back to the food, my friends.
On the substitutions we made:
We took some creative liberty to change the layered lettuce salad recipe, to suit our tastes. We substituted the onion in the original recipe (1/2 an onion!) with a couple of chopped green onions, this subdued the overpowering onion flavor a lot. If the regular onion is in this dish, it doesn’t keep as well and the leftovers taste like one big onion… if you ask me. We also spiffed up the dressing or ‘frosting’ on the salad by adding 1/2 a packet of ranch dressing dry mix. This adds some flavor and salt and just makes the salad a bit more interesting. We added a few more eggs (only 4 eggs are called for in the original recipe) and if you ask me, a little more bacon is nice too. When is extra bacon a bad thing? Never.
Old Fashioned Layered Lettuce Salad
Makes one 9×13 pan
6-8 C lettuce, roughly chopped (medium head of iceberg lettuce or 3-4 heads of romaine)
1 C celery, diced
1 C cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced, patted with a paper towel to remove some excess liquid
(seeded means, cut lengthwise and scoop seeds out with a spoon)
1 – 10 oz. bag of frozen peas
2 green onions, chopped (add more if you like lots of onion-y flavor)
6 hard boiled eggs, roughly chopped
3/4 lb. bacon slices (12 slices or so), cooked to crisp, crumbled
(*1/2 lb, or 8 slices is fine too, we just like a bit more.)
2 C mayonnaise
2 TBSP sugar
1/2 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch mix, dry
2 C shredded cheddar or Colby jack cheese
1. To a 9×13 pan, add in layers starting at the bottom: Lettuce, celery, cucumber, peas, scallions, hard boiled eggs, bacon.
2. In a small mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, sugar and dry ranch dressing mix. Stir well. Spread on top of salad like ‘frosting’ on a cake.
3. Spread cheese evenly, on top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. This is the perfect make-ahead dish. Make in the morning, for a suppertime meal or eat right away. I think it is better, if made ahead a few hours.
4. This salad will keep well for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. The leftovers are divine!