Nelson family favourites, 206pp.
by the descendants of AJ and Augusta Nelson
Morris Press, Nebraska, 2008
Cooking on page 32
Three cheers for the Nelson family!
When I started this blog, I never, ever expected to find a page-32 recipe that called for Spam. But I came to central Nebraska and struck it lucky at Carol’s house!
As far as I can tell, this little ring-bound cookbook was put together to mark the 75th anniversary of the Nelson family, from in and around Holdrege. Virginia Nelson contributed her Aunt Pearl’s Spam salad recipe and I’m thrilled to share it with you.
Spam is considered a delicacy in Hawaii and Papua New Guinea. I promise to share any future Spam recipes I find. How could I withhold them?
Aunt Pearl’s Spam salad
1 (14 oz.) can Spam, cut into small cubes
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen peas, cooked and drained
1 c. celery, diced
1 small (1 1/2 oz.) can potato sticks
3 hard-boiled eggs, diced
1/2 head lettuce, cut into small pieces
1 c. salad dressing
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 T. sugar
1 T. vinegar
Mix together salad dressing, dry mustard, sugar and vinegar. Combine Spam, peas, celery and eggs. Just before serving, add dressing, lettuce and potato sticks; toss well.
How it played out
It wasn’t until I was typing the ingredients that I realized I forgot to cook the peas. Never mind. They were thawed and not cooking them didn’t seem to make a bit of difference.
I used cider vinegar, because that’s what I found in the cupboard. Otherwise, I followed the ingredients, but I did change the assembly. I haven’t lived in the US for more than 30 years, so I had to ask what salad dressing is. It’s Miracle Whip. I used an unsweetened homemade mayonnaise.
I added the dressing when I made the main salad. Before serving, I spread a bed of lettuce on a platter and topped that with some potato sticks (an American thing also known as shoestring potatoes) and then the salad mixture. I sprinkled more potato sticks on top—using about 3 ounces in all. A very easy recipe and great to make ahead.
This was one of many sides served for a barbecue meal at Carol’s. There were plenty of critics and, frankly, everyone enjoyed this—A LOT! Who knew Spam could be such a hit?