Gardening and Salads

My parents grew up during the Depression, having to plant gardens to supplement meager food on their dinner tables.  My dad said, “You had to farm to live.”  When I was growing up, I was fortunate to feast on a variety of foods, many fresh from the family garden.  Gardening is my dad’s avocation.

Pineapple Avocado Salad

Pineapple Avocado Salad

We recently noshed on a salad recipe from  The recipe called out to my tastes.  Maricel Presilla’s Cuban Avocado-Watercress-and-Pineapple salad rocks!  I used arugula and spring greens instead of watercress, making other minor changes to suit my preference.  The aroma from broiling pineapple in the oven beats air fresheners or scented candles.  You can view the recipe here:

Maricel E. Presilla’s Cuban Avocado, Watercress, and Pineapple Salad

Recipes serve as a guide.  I make changes to suit my taste.  Sometimes, my changes are right on, sometimes not.  The past week, we tried two new recipes.  Both dishes won’t be made again in our kitchen.  Some things sound good but end up being not very good for our tastes.  Others might delight in our rejected recipes.

My husband said that the pineapple/avocado salad was as good as his all-time favorite, a Georgia-Florida Salad from Curtis Aikens.  Louisiana’s divine Pontchatoula strawberries combined with Georgia’s Vidalia onions and other ingredients are excellent.  Florida’s strawberries are also excellent.

View the Georgia-Florida Salad recipe here:

Curtis Aikens provides an excellent  salad dressing recipe for his Georgia-Florida Salad.  I cheat.  In 1978, Marian Burros’  book, “Pure & Simple”  was published.  I found a copy in a used book store a decade or more after publication. The book contains a recipe for an easy French Dressing Mix, that when made is very similar to Curtis’ recipe.  I keep a supply of the dry mix in the pantry.  “Pure & Simple” has some timeless recommendations.  I refer to it often.Marian Burros