Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pasta Salad

We had a quiet Independence Day.  Well, as quiet as one can be in a city that hosts a two-hour parade and a two-hour fireworks display at dusk.  Add to that the neighborhood pyrotechnics and it's hard to escape the booms and sirens.  It was 102 degrees when the parade started.  It was even too hot to sit on the front porch and cheer!!

The Baker and Oliver got in a walk while the temperature was only in double digits.  They strolled past the floats that were being assembled at the fairgrounds.  A fireman offered Oliver a ride on his fire engine--the "token" dalmatian perhaps.  Oliver declined by a wag of the tail.

I stayed home and made a version of my mother's pasta salad.  It's from memory but close.  Mother loved a picnic.  It could be on the side of the road (Virginia had lots of "wayside" stops on major highways and "blue"highways when I was a child) or a family reunion.  She always took fried chicken, a pasta salad, cole slaw and corn bread.

Our pasta salad accompanied cole slaw and barbecued pork.  Later, while we watched "A Capitol Fourth" on PBS, The Baker brought out strawberry shortcake.

Almost My Mother's Pasta Salad for 8

2 cups small elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup minced red onion
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 cup of mixed cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3/4 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp superfine sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp cider vinegar
3 Tbsp sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well blended.  Toss with the pasta.

Refrigerate, covered, for several hours before serving.



  1. I'm making a pasta salad this morning and you have given me a new one to try, we have always made this with a tin of red salmon in it, this time I will try it without, the tomatoes sound lovely,

  2. The salad looks wonderful! I remember traveling from Louisiana to Tennessee we would always stop along the side of the road and picnic. There were no fast food restaurants along the way then. I can still remember the red and black plaid tote Mother would pack. There would always be a container of fried chicken, potatoe salad, fresh fruit and a thermos of coffee. Those really were good times. Thanks for taking me back. Bonnie

  3. yummmmy on the pasta salad. back in the early fifties when we did all our traveling there was maybe 2 wayside parks in the whole 12 hour drive. now i bet there are many.

  4. Your pasta salad looks very delicious. Thanks for the recipe...Stay cool!...

  5. Your day and your dinner sound perfect to me.

    I love your mother's idea of having a set routine of what she took to family picnics ... it makes life easier to already have these things in place. Plus it then becomes a sweet tradition.


  6. Except for the heat, sounds good!

  7. I am glad to hear you had a nice holiday, and a delicious one too! These salad looks light and filling. And what better way than to finish the night off with strawberry shortcake?! Blessings to you my dear, your friend, Catherine xo

  8. Sounds like you did have a nice 4th, Bonnie.. The pasta salad looks delicious. We were with family --and had fried chicken, baked beans, potato salad, deviled eggs and my fav, watermelon.... YUM...


  9. This sounds really good! The mustard and sour cream would be new to me:@)

  10. Aww, a bowlful of memories, it looks delicious, I'll bet your mom would approve. I love picnics too!

  11. It looks so tasty Bonnie. Your heat would kill me! The weather here is rain, I did get a nice day yesterday for my garden party, but it's raining again today. It's so humid. Everything sticks to me. xx

    PS I'm glad Oliver didn't make a fool of himself, stuck up there on a firetruck!

  12. Your fourth sounded a bit like ours. I went to bed early for work in the morning, but as I listened to the sound of fireworks while I drifted off to sleep, for the briefest of moments I wondered if that what it sounded like in WW II Europe during raids.

  13. Now this pasta salad looks superb! Great for these hot temps too, Bonnie! Hope you had a great 4th of July and that all is well in your part of the world! Roz

  14. The salad looks wonderful! I don't make pasta salad very often but I certainly do love it.

    It was a very hot 4th this year, wasn't it? It's to cool off a bit around here next week. Hope 'they' know what they're talking about =)

  15. pasta salad is a must at my house! SO glad you see this recipe. It looks divine and screams summertime

  16. We had planned on going to the really big fireworks display on the lakefront downtown but had to call it off because of the heat.

    What a delicious pasta salad and perfect for this weather. Looking forward to the cooler temps!

  17. I love that you have this memory of your mom:)I have food memories too..but no picnics:( With her....Too bad!
    My daughters do picnics all the time w/ their kidlets and I am sometimes invited.
    I love a picnic..a picnic basket.. the blanket..the view..the feeling..Even if the last picnic at the park Tuesday was Ollie making a salami and goldfish sandwich:)
    I have LOVED preparing picnics:)

    And I love creamy pasta salads:)
    Thank you for this heirloom one.

    Liked the "Token Dalmatian":)

  18. I hear you on the heat! It is so hot that I can't think straight. All I can think about is how sweaty my palms are all day. This pasta salad is a great idea to beat the heat. So delicious.

  19. So glad I saw your post. I like the way this pasta salad sounds.. I am planning to put some burgers on the grill This afternoon and this will be the perfect paring. This recipe is a little different from my usual pasta salad. Love the use of sour cream and the vinegar. Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

  20. I sense the richness of your childhood when you speak about your mother. I love your version of her salad and would love to see your recipe for fried chicken. It sounds like you had a great holiday despite that oppressive heat. I hope your weekend is as pleasant.

  21. I did post a link to this post! Wonderful summertime food!

  22. I think I will love that salad

  23. Oh, Bonnie, I loved hearing about your picnics... I can just see the spread and the joy of eating it!! Thank you for this recipe. And, the one with the zucchini! blessings ~ tanna

  24. That looks absolutely fantastic. Saving this for when my tomatoes are ready to eat!


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