I like to go to Church activities where there is food. I always assumed as a kid that food at a church activity was a Mormon thing, then I found out it's really just a church thing. Churches everywhere and everywhen have picnics and potlucks. It doesn't matter what religion you are, if you love God and you worship Him correctly, you get hungry doing so. Also, worship makes you want to socialize after. Cool, huh?
Anyway, I usually bring dessert to Church activities because it's kind of a fail-proof thing; if you bring something with chocolate, you don't bring any home. Unlike funeral potatoes or jello salad or whatever else bland thing people bring. The only time I don't bring dessert is if chili is called for, then I step up and do my duty by bringing one of the best chili's out there, the recipe for which is the original post in this blog.
But for tonight's Relief Society meeting, I didn't get the sign-up sheet cause I was sick on Sunday. So when I called to see what I could bring, the dessert slots were taken...and I was asked to bring a salad. Vegetables aren't my strong suit and low-fat rabbit food doesn't suit me at all. But I have a secret weapon, that will stand me in good stead here...broccoli salad.
Once I hired on for the evening at a big fancy wedding at my ward in Pasadena. I earned $50 putting out the food and arranging it prettily and making sure it still looked good after people had dug into it. It was a fun, if exhausting job. But better than the $50, I was well rewarded with a plate of the food at the end of the night. The broccoli salad was the crowning emerald jewel on that plate and I hadn't ever had one as good since then. But sometimes elements combine to make a miracle and that happened for me as I set out to recreate it.
First, Jen Jackson and I ran into each other at Market Basket and she was buying broccoli slaw. A bag of broccoli stems and carrots and cabbage all shredded to perfection. No florets. It looks fantastic and is easy to use (I've since made eggrolls with it too, wonderful). Also, when I was playing with proportions and online recipes to get the right dressing, I didn't have vinegar on hand so I substituted lemon juice. I was afraid it would be too sour, so I added a little more sugar than I would have. Voila! It's almost exactly as that long ago wedding salad, only easier. Yay for the inventor of broccoli slaw, and yay for Jen Jackson. And yay for you if you read this whole rambling blog before you printed up the recipe. :D
Broccoli Salad with Lemonade dressing
1 bag broccoli slaw
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup Craisins
1/2 cup shredded cheese
5 slices bacon, cooked and chopped into bits
1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
4 tbs lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
Place the dry salad ingredients together in a bowl, mix thoroughly. Mix dressing in a separate container, then pour on salad. I like to shake the salad in the salad bowl with the lid on to get the most coverage. Chill for 10 minutes, or until served.