As a kid, I always feared potlucks. Mainly because I was afraid to eat other people’s food. I’m pretty sure this stemmed from a tragic incident when a great aunt decided to make some kind of jiggly mess that had fruit loops and other unidentifiable objects in it. I guess that just burned me. After that, I always stuck to what the folks I knew brought. It often reminds me of that scene in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation when Aunt Bethany shows up with the lime jello mold topped with cat food. Ugh! I’ve gotten better over the years, but there are times when I get a little weak-kneed heading into a potluck – especially if I’ve recently watched an episode of Hoarders and have the lingering thoughts about what some people have in their kitchens. And I’ll be the first to admit that I’m probably a little obsessive about cleanliness in my kitchen. But you get salmonella poisoning one time and then you can come back and talk to me about that. In fact, some of my most favorite recipes have come from potlucks, so I’ve got a much different impression now than I did back then. But it’s taken time. One of Aunt *****’s congealed salads will just do that to you.
A potluck in the South just isn’t a potluck without a few staple dishes like macaroni salad, some form of congealed salad, banana pudding, probably a cobbler or two, and enough casseroles to choke an elephant. Do you have a favorite recipe that people always request you bring to the potluck?
- 3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1 small red onion
- 1 stalk celery
- 1/2 green bell pepper
- 1 cup mayo
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- Cook macaroni according to package directions using salted water. Meanwhile, finely chop onion, celery, and bell pepper.
- In a another bowl stir together mayo, mustard, vinegar, pepper, sugar, salt, garlic, and onion powder.
- Once macaroni is cooked, drain and rinse with cold water until pasta is cool.
- In a large bowl, combine dressing, chopped veggies, and macaroni. Mix well. Refrigerate for at least two hours.