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Spinach and Strawberry Salad


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I am sometimes surprised when I discover that something in my life is considered particularly Southern. For instance, I was an adult (transplanted to Indiana) before I realized that Yankees don’t have hissy fits or that, to a Northerner, being ugly had something to do with your looks. I guess you don’t know what is uniquely yours until you learn more about other cultures. Anyway – I noticed on some other board that under a ‘Southern Tea Party Menu’ was spinach and strawberry salad! I have eaten this forever and had no idea that it might be ‘ours’. Is this true?? I know all about fried chicken, collards, candied sweet potatoes and actually edible green beans :laugh::wink: , but what else am I ignorant about?

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Spinidge and strawberries have been a mainstay at Eastern Star, WMU and Garden Club luncheons since before bottled dressing. The usual concoction poured on for tossing is old-fashioned poppyseed dressing, begun by tossing about a quarter of a sweet onion into a blender, along with some vinegar, about five times as much sugar, and some WESSONOIL. Let 'er rip til the whirlpool turns plumb white with the emulsifying---about seven or eight minutes, or til the old Waring starts to give off that hot blender odor usually reserved for the fifth round of daiquiris out on the porch.

Throw in a handful of the little black seeds, store in a "covered jar" in the fridge, and use on any kind of salad, usually with one or more fruit components and enhanced by some crisp-toasted pecans scattered atop. Lots of times, the salad was also punctuated by some thin-sliced mushrooms, sliced bottom-to-top at the last minute to preserve their pure whiteness.

There was a lovely recipe for this salad in the Southern Living of several years ago, picked up in the dentist's office and smuggled home by me because the salad was served in a woven-bread basket made of the pop-a-can breadsticks. (Well, I DID leave them my copy of the latest Readers' Digest and two Guideposts---somebody enjoyed those, I'm sure--perhaps the stories alleviated a little of their apprehension). :raz:

Then, when a special houseguest was coming to visit, I couldn't find the darn thing, so we just had the salad in a cut-glass bowl. I remembered that it involved two cans of breadsticks and a pam-sprayed stainless bowl (more if you wanted a lid), and one of the recipes involved adding chicken, but I haven't tried yet to build the bowl.

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Spinidge and strawberries have been a mainstay at Eastern Star, WMU and Garden Club luncheons since before bottled dressing.  The usual concoction poured on for tossing is old-fashioned poppyseed dressing, begun by tossing about a quarter of a sweet onion into a blender, along with some vinegar, about five times as much sugar, and some WESSONOIL.  Let 'er rip til the whirlpool turns plumb white with the emulsifying---about seven or eight minutes, or til the old Waring starts to give off that hot blender odor usually reserved for the fifth round of daiquiris out on the porch.

Throw in a handful of the little black seeds, store in a "covered jar" in the fridge, and use on any kind of salad, usually with one or more fruit components and enhanced by some crisp-toasted pecans scattered atop.  Lots of times, the salad was also punctuated by some thin-sliced mushrooms, sliced bottom-to-top at the last minute to preserve their pure whiteness.

There was a lovely recipe for this salad in the Southern Living of several years ago, picked up in the dentist's office and smuggled home by me because the salad was served in a woven-bread basket made of the pop-a-can breadsticks.  (Well, I DID leave them my copy of the latest Readers' Digest and two Guideposts---somebody enjoyed those, I'm sure--perhaps the stories alleviated a little of their  apprehension). :raz:

Then, when a special houseguest was coming to visit, I couldn't find the darn thing, so we just had the salad in a cut-glass bowl.  I remembered that it involved two cans of breadsticks and a pam-sprayed stainless bowl (more if you wanted a lid), and one of the recipes involved adding chicken, but I haven't tried yet to build the bowl.

That is actually very cool, Rachel! I might try that sometime. I have made a gingerbread bowl in a similar way to give cookies in for Xmas. No one is going to eat it, probably, so I have just used the tube gingerbread dough. You roll out the dough fairly thick and mold it around the bowl and bake. Then you make cut out cookies and 'glue' the around the top with frosting. Cute.

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As much as I love and respect southerners, being one myself, I gotta disagree. Cukes in vinegar and hot bacon salad dressing are considered to be Pennsylvania Dutch recipes around here and I think they have a case for it -- both sound very Germanic to me.

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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As much as I love and respect southerners, being one myself, I gotta disagree.  Cukes in vinegar and hot bacon salad dressing are considered to be Pennsylvania Dutch recipes around here and I think they have a case for it -- both sound very Germanic to me.

Sounds good to me, Lori! I am not protective about 'Southern Stuff' at all, I was just told that it was very Southern and it surprised me! Nice to know I am not completely ignorant :wink: !

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I don't think most of us should be too protective about our food heritages -- people all over the world take the food they have available and figure out ways to preserve it, combine it with other ingredients in season at the same time, and generally make it something good to eat. It totally makes sense to me that any culture with cucumbers, vinegar, onions, and salt would combine them. Got black pepper? "Hmm, I bet a little of that pepper would be good on those cucumbers..."

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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You mean people actually eat this?

The combination of strawberries, spinach and a sweet poppyseed dressing sounds, to my European palate, disgusting. 

Do you ever add Jello to it?

What flavor jello are you suggesting?

tracey

strawberries - poppyseeds (sweet) - spinach all good things, But.....

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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You mean people actually eat this?

The combination of strawberries, spinach and a sweet poppyseed dressing sounds, to my European palate, disgusting. 

really? what's turning you off about it?

I've never had it - but it sounds good to me. Strawberries are pretty, well delicious, and spinach is a neutral.

I'm not sure about the poppyseed dressing - it sounds good, but i don't know if i'd like it if the sweet outbalanced the vinegar.

I would probably go with a balsamic vinaigrette, but then again, i'm just a transplanted yank, who's Indian to boot, so what do i know?

Edited by tryska (log)
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Poppseed dressing is a Southern thing? I never knew. I thought everyone ate poppyseed dressing on spinach salad and on mixed fruit salad...

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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As much as I love and respect southerners, being one myself, I gotta disagree.  Cukes in vinegar and hot bacon salad dressing are considered to be Pennsylvania Dutch recipes around here and I think they have a case for it -- both sound very Germanic to me.

Sounds good to me, Lori! I am not protective about 'Southern Stuff' at all, I was just told that it was very Southern and it surprised me! Nice to know I am not completely ignorant :wink: !

A lot of German immigrants came to the United States through the port of New Orleans. Maybe that is where the connection is?

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Try a ginger dressing on your spinach and strawberry salad. Delicious!

"I like 'em french fried pertaters." (Billy Bob Thornton as Karl, in Sling Blade.)
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I had a great granmother and grandpa Griner, right there in South Georgia.

We always willted the salad with a hot dressing of bacon grease, vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper. Crumbled bacon on top. Not too much sugar, just enough to cut the acid, and you did have to eat it right away or it got nasty.

That cucumber salad says summer back home in the south to me. I was raised with it. But my German mother-in-law finds it very familiar, as well.

There were too many cultural influences in the South to really run any down, I think. That's what makes the cusine so interesting, complex and unpredictable at times.

Corn, tomatoes, peppers and potatoes from the Native Americans, who had been cooking with them for centuries. Peas and okra from Africa, not to mention some skills concerning preparing and preserving large hunks of meat. If you want to prepare a leafy green vegetable or a sausage, I can't think of a better person to consult with than a European.

Interesting stuff.

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Wilted salads - my mom, who was originally from Kentucky, would pick the baby greens from our garden and layer them with hard-boiled eggs and bacon. Then she'd do the dressing with the bacon grease, vinegar, sugar, s/p to taste and pour over top. Such a treat since her garden wasn't very big, and we'd only get this once or twice a season. I've converted my Yankee husband!

Burgundy makes you think silly things, Bordeaux makes you talk about them, and Champagne makes you do them ---

Brillat-Savarin

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You mean people actually eat this?

The combination of strawberries, spinach and a sweet poppyseed dressing sounds, to my European palate, disgusting. 

Do you ever add Jello to it?

You might be pleasantly surprised, Jack. The first time it was served to me I was as skeptical as you but it turned out to be surprisingly good. I think someone was having us on about the amount of sugar, by the way!

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Try a ginger dressing on your spinach and strawberry salad. Delicious!

and it's lovely with a raspbery vinagarette. Spinkle on some roasted pecan pieces to finish..don't knock it till you've tried it!

btw, I know you've seen this salad with manderin orange slices instead, yes?

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Spinidge and strawberries have been a mainstay at Eastern Star, WMU and Garden Club luncheons since before bottled dressing.  The usual concoction poured on for tossing is old-fashioned poppyseed dressing, begun by tossing about a quarter of a sweet onion into a blender, along with some vinegar, about five times as much sugar, and some WESSONOIL.  Let 'er rip til the whirlpool turns plumb white with the emulsifying---about seven or eight minutes, or til the old Waring starts to give off that hot blender odor usually reserved for the fifth round of daiquiris out on the porch.

Throw in a handful of the little black seeds, store in a "covered jar" in the fridge, and use on any kind of salad, usually with one or more fruit components and enhanced by some crisp-toasted pecans scattered atop.  Lots of times, the salad was also punctuated by some thin-sliced mushrooms, sliced bottom-to-top at the last minute to preserve their pure whiteness.

There was a lovely recipe for this salad in the Southern Living of several years ago, picked up in the dentist's office and smuggled home by me because the salad was served in a woven-bread basket made of the pop-a-can breadsticks.  (Well, I DID leave them my copy of the latest Readers' Digest and two Guideposts---somebody enjoyed those, I'm sure--perhaps the stories alleviated a little of their  apprehension). :raz:

Then, when a special houseguest was coming to visit, I couldn't find the darn thing, so we just had the salad in a cut-glass bowl.  I remembered that it involved two cans of breadsticks and a pam-sprayed stainless bowl (more if you wanted a lid), and one of the recipes involved adding chicken, but I haven't tried yet to build the bowl.

Rachel....I discovered the joy of mushrooms and strawbs together a couple of years ago! They go so well insieme Im only sorry it took me so long to discover that fact. :sad:

I just slice equal amounts of strawberries and white cultivated mushrooms, toss in a lemon based vinaigrette with some chopped scallion, finely chopped mint and some white pepper. Place onto some salad leaves ( including spinach!!) and top with some whipped double cream seasoned with S&P and finely chopped Italian parsley.

Heaven.... I promise. :biggrin:

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