It's Monday, so you know what that means: Midwest Cookin!
Intern Alexis and I went to the Fred Meyer today to get groceries for the boss, and one of the items on our list was pasta. Well, as I was pickin it, I noticed a big difference between what's available here in the PNW versus that of my old Midwest store. Back in the Midwest, they'd carry about 30 different kinds of macaroni and a small variety of other pastas, so if I was makin a recipe that called for somethin specific (say, campanelle or gemelli), I was shit out of luck. But here in the PNW they have 30 different kinds of PASTA but only ONE type of macaroni! I thought for awhile about why this might be, and then it dawned on me: macaroni is one of the main carbohydrate staples of the Midwest Cookin food pyramid!
What would Hamburger Helper be without macaroni? Or goulash? Or macaroni n' cheese? I didn't know pasta salads could be made with any variety besides macaroni or tri-color spirals until I went to college. My Dad, the ultimate meat-and-potatoes-only-please Midwestern eater, would only allow two kinds of pasta to cross his lips: macaroni and spaghetti, claiming that all others "tasted different".
Thus I present to you what can surely be called the quintessential Midwest pehstuh sayahled (say that out loud, won't you?): Super Macaroni Salad!
1 lb. uncooked macaroni (elbow style, cooked, drained, & cooled) (I dare you to use another pasta variety!)
1 large onion (diced) (woah - a whole raw LARGE diced onion? ugh, blecch, I can feel my breath gettin bad already)
1 large green pepper (diced) (the amount of raw vegetables in this is surprisin for a Midwest pasta salad - check it out:)
1 c. celery (diced)
5-6 carrots (grated)
1 c. vinegar (but what kind, Gladys?!?)
1/3 c. sugar
2 c. Miracle Whip (A salad just isn't a salad without the tangy zip of Miracle Hhwip Salad Dressing!)
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk (very specific on the brand there - use Borden at your own peril)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Mix well together addin macaroni last. Makes A hugh [sic] salad (a "hugh" salad sounds sadly reclusive; if the word HUGE was intended, then I'm callin this a straight-up Lutheran Potluck classic). It will keep for at least 10 days in the refrigerator. (mmm...week-and-a-half old pasta salad...so watery...)