Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Relish the secrets of pasta salad

April 10, 2013

The kids switched today. My son wanted to buy school lunch and my daughter packed a sandwich. I checked their school lunch accounts and couldn't believe what I saw. For the past month (although they were out of school for a week), my daughter bought lunch five times and my son only bought lunch three times!

My hubby had a late work day today so we went out for brunch together before he went in. While we were out, we bought a few things for our garden this year (seeds, etc). I got home and did some planning on what veggies would go where in the garden and what to put in the expansion (uh, once my hubby builds it!). That got me thinking about what we all canned last year. I looked through the cupboards to see if I should can the same amount of stuff this year or if I need to plant less of something. I saw that I still have an entire row of sweet green tomato relish. Geez. I need to figure out what to do with it other than topping hotdogs or in deviled eggs. We only use a tablespoon or two at a time. I'll never make it through all my jars like that.

My hubby had to work late so I knew it would be just the kiddos and I for dinner. Hmmmmm. This makes it a perfect night to get creative with dinner. I will probably be going grocery shopping tomorrow or Friday so I wanted to use up items that I would want to buy fresh when I shop. There was still Italian turkey lunch meat. We hadn't even opened the pack! There was one hamburger bun and two hotdog buns left. Ok, that must be a sign. Sandwich night it is. My son loves being in charge of sandwich night. He pretends he is a Subway worker. Ha. He built us sandwiches with Italian turkey, provolone cheese, spinach, red onion, and cucumber. I also had guacamole on mine. He served them with a side of a homemade pickle (man, we still have a TON of those too).

What else should we make? I wanted to use relish.  I asked friends earlier today and some suggested tuna salad, macaroni salad, or potato salad. I decided to throw together a random pasta salad and see if it worked. My daughter and I cooked up the end of the bag of vegetable shell pasta. We chopped celery that was starting to get a little wilted (the rest of it I will use to make chicken broth with soon), red onion, the rest of the cucumber, and one bunch of broccoli. I looked in the fridge and saw there was a bag of shredded cheddar cheese with just a little bit left. That'll work. There was also a small container of chopped tomatoes in the fridge. My son had wanted me to keep it so he could take it to lunch yesterday but he forgot. By small, I mean there was probably only about 10-15 pieces so I threw that in too. For the dressing, I mixed together a little bit of ranch (I didn't want it too heavy on the dressing) and half of a jelly jar of my homemade sweet green tomato relish. Oh boy. Is it going to taste weird? Will the kids eat it?? Well, after getting about 15 minutes into our movie night picnic, I hear.... "Mom, can you please get me more of the macaroni salad?" I asked what the kids thought of the pasta salad and if we should make it again. My son said "every day". Ha! Score! I guess I found what to do with all my relish.

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