I have found something that is good and I thought with the calendar moving the way it is, it is a good time for it.
And I almost didn’t get it to the paper.
And then I picked up one of my favorite books, and if you don’t have a copy, you should. You may already know about it because it was published in 1997, and for me, it is still an encyclopedia of Appalachia, not just those who live there, but all of us because Appalachia is a big part of Kentucky.
“Wood Songs” by the folksinger Michael Johnathon.
Johnathon’s 176 pages is filled with J. D. Crowe: banjo master; Jean Ritchie: Appalachian balladeer; Homer Ledford: traditional musician; and the legendary Odetta: singing on the duet of “New Wood.”
But that is only a start. The book is pictures, stories and songs of all kinds, even recipes.
And that is what struck me: a recipe with this title: “CPeaA summer salad.”
A summer salad! Well, we had better hurry, because two weeks from today, Saturday, will be the beginning of autumn. So, we better do what we can with the ending of summer.
CPeaA summer salad
“This recipe offers a wonderful, cool and low-calorie taste of summer you can have all year long. I got this from a good friend of mine, Tammy Farley, from Lexington, Kentucky. She and her husband, Mark, are a bit of music fans and have been very supportive of my various music projects during the past several years. Mark also happens to be quite a craftsman, sort of Kentucky’s own version of Norm.
“As for Tammy, she’s a certified public accountant by trade who also happens to be a great cook. Of course, I’m not implying here she cooks anything but food. She’s so honest she first verifies the number of peas used in the recipe and then makes you sign it before she commences making the concoction.
“Just layer the following in a big salad bowl (keep the stuff in order!)
— 1/2 head of lettuce torn into bite-size pieces
— 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
— 1/4 cup green bell peppers
— 1/2 package of sweet peas
(par-boil these suckers ‘bout 5 minutes first)
— 1/4 cup of sweet onions
— 1/4 cup chopped celery
— 1/4 cup bacon bites
“Spread 1/2 pint of Miracle Whip over the top of the salad, “sealing” the edges against the bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon of white sugar on top. Set it in the ‘fridge about six hours. That’s right... six hours.
“When you’re ready to serve the addictive entree to your guests, get a big wooden spoon and first mix it all up.
“First time I experienced my “pea salad high,” I was hooked for life. If I could dispense this in a syringe and mainline it, I would. Served best with iced tea for lunch while building a dual compartment, six-drawer, colonial style dining room hutch with cherry wood trim. Music? A Malcolm Dalgish hammer dulcimer CD, of course.
“Serves a half-dozen normal people, or one pea-lovin’ folksinger like me.”
Joe Rhinehart can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.