Many years ago, I moved to the UK from deepest Georgia in the USA to marry a lovely Englishman I had first met in 1974. Since then I have adopted a bit of a Heinz 57 approach to cooking for my family, incorporating the food of my southern mother's family and the food from my New York City father's family.
Both of my parents' ancestors were immigrants to the US; my mother's family went to Georgia when it was a colony in the 17th century - possibly as convicts, but we don't mention that! My father's people arrived more recently when they emigrated from England to New York at the turn of the 20th century. Both branches of the family were of English/German origin.
I’d like to share some recipes with you from both sides of my family, beginning with a summer salad. You can of course have this salad at any time of year!
Serves however many people eat it or come back for more!
1 head of broccoli cut into small florets
1 red onion diced
½ to 1 cup of cooked and crumbled streaky bacon or lardons
(note: bacon is big in the southern part of the US. We like streaky bacon with crispy fat. We use the fat to flavour EVERYTHING! When you cook bacon for this recipe you can fry it in a dry pan or cook it in the oven; do not add any additional oil or fat. Save the fat from the bacon.)
¾ cup raisins
¾ nuts or seeds - I have used sunflower seeds, cashew nuts and sometimes pecans.
1 cup of mayonnaise
½ white sugar - you can use less
2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
Chop broccoli into florets, and cook bacon until crisp, cool and crumble. Combine broccoli, bacon, onions, raisins, nuts or seeds into a large bowl. Mix the mayo, sugar and vinegar together to form a creamy dressing. Add the dressing to the bowl with a smidge of bacon fat (you can of course leave this out) and mix well. Chill for at least an hour. Stir every once in a while to make sure the dressing has a chance to soak into everything before it is served.
Bloom Where You Are Planted - Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva d. 1622