Real Good Salad

A few years ago, San Geraldo’s youngest sister (he’s got two) and her daughter went through Alice’s (San Geraldo’s mother’s) recipe box, lovingly photocopying onto card stock the fronts and backs of every recipe. They then gave a boxed set to Jerry and another boxed set to Linda. Some recipes are wonderful (her banana bread and her sour cream/raisin pie, for example). Some are entertaining, like five-can hot dish. Most, surprisingly, taste real good, as one might say in South Dakota.

Well, today, while looking for a new potato salad recipe, San Geraldo discovered The real good recipe. It’s on a double-size card, folded in half. On the outside is Alice’s standard recipe card picture with “From the Kitchen of Alice.” On the blank line provided for the recipe name, Alice wrote “Real good salad.” Jerry had a real good laugh and then opened the card to discover that Alice wasn’t the one who gave it that name. The recipe appears to have been cut out of a magazine and taped to the card. The name of the recipe is in fact “REAL GOOD SALAD.”

I know for certain My-Mother-The-Dowager-Duchess will feel just a little bit ill simply by reading this recipe.  But I know the rest of you will not want to wait one day to try it out for yourselves. I mean, it’s real good.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

38 thoughts on “Real Good Salad”

  1. Anything with strawberries and marshmallows is bound to be wonderful!
    We say "real good" in Minnesota too. When I was in England, I came to realize their equivalent is to say "very nice". How's that for typical English understatement!

    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      I had a feeling you would like this recipe! The major difference between "very nice" and "real good" is grammatical, I think! My English family always says "quite nice, really."

  2. That sounds more like a desert to me than a salad… but then… Waaaaayyyy back then, I worked one summer in a cafeteria at the local university… the dietitian had us making lime jello with shredded cabbage "salads".. and I thought that was weird… what do I know?

    1. The Odd Essay:
      LOL. I tried to pin down San Geraldo as to whether this would be served with the meal or as a dessert (because there have been many dishes that I would have thought were desserts and were not). He insisted this was a "salad" so it would have to be served with the meal. When I listed out all the ingredients, he hesitated but stuck with the "side salad" theory. His family has a traditional cranberry salad — crushed cranberries, crushed pineapple, marshmallows (of course), sugar, and whipped cream. It's like a parfait when it's all mixed together. It's a side salad!

      But it still surprises me to see what Mid-Westerners (and others) will mix with Jello!

  3. I know that you're having a big laugh at that title but be we talk that way around her. Mind you, it's not when Fred is in the room or he'll correct us.
    m.

  4. The colloquialisms have invaded the east coast and mid-west BECAUSE we talk the very same way here. I can remember being corrected by my teacher in Grade 3 about such language. Gees what did she know anyway…I know I had a real good time funning her…..a hilk!
    Ron

    1. Ron:
      LOL. What's a hilk? My 6th-grade teacher kept telling us there was no such word as "alot." It took me the entire year to understand that we could still use it; we just had to write it as TWO words and not one. Oh, yeah, we couldn't say "yeah" either.

  5. Let's take this even further. On the Eastcoast of Canada we are noted to say 'Rate some good' to describe just about anything that is 'rate some good'!!
    I'm with your mother Mitch, I'll pass on the real good salad.

  6. We talk real good here in Indiana, too.

    I would love to have been there when the creator of this recipe had the epiphany, "You know what this needs? A crushed Butterfinger bar!"

  7. I say old chap, that salad looks absolutely … honking!

    However, one is terribly and awfully pleased to find that, commuting as one does regularly betwixt and between Poonah and Outer Lincolnshire, one is quite devoid and divested of any and all regional colloquial dialect and oddity save for the estuarial vowel, the occasional charitable consonant, a couple of minor "family tradition" fricative sibilants and one or two unguarded glottal stops per calendar yar (sic).

    [Yeah, right!]

    I remain your most 'umble servant, best wishes to the adverb, etcetera etcetera, copy to file and encs.,

    Sir Pedant lost in his own posterior,

    Owl Esq.

    p.s. the salad still sounds honking! I'll stick to the bananas and raisins creation you mention thank you very much!

  8. Can I just say that the real good salad sounds real bad to me. REAL bad. Why would anyone melt marshmallows? And even though I don't know exactly what a butterfinger is, I just love Michelle's comment.

    1. Judith:
      I, too, think that real good salad sounds real bad. But, I've had some other awful-sounding Mid-Western dishes and had to admit (privately) that I liked them. Still, I can't imagine that being the case this time!

  9. Our neighbors here in Vermont make this thing they call Ambrosia Salad which seems like it should be a dessert but it's not, it's served with the meal. Like both you and The Odd Essay 24 said, it's kind of odd when you're not used to it. It's basically jello, coconut, marshmallow, and fruit. the first time Chris ate it at their house for a barbecue he said, "If this is your idea of a salad, I can not wait to see what you're serving for dessert!"

    Dessert turned out to be deep fried bananas wrapped in bacon, and then covered in chocolate sauce. We both had to take a pass on that.

    I wanted to comment that the gift of copying all those family recipes on cardstock and presenting them to other family members like that, was truly awesome. What a beautiful idea.

    1. Victor:
      I've had ambrosia salad. Not a big fan. San Geraldo won't eat it because it has coconut. See my replay above to The Odd Essay for another great "side salad" very popular in Jerry's family. After more than 30 years, my mother still thinks it should be dessert.

      Deep fried bananas wrapped in bacon and covered in chocolate sauce. Just the thought of it gives me nightmares. (But wouldn't we be surprised if it tasted "real good"?)

  10. I'm with the Duchess on this one. How to ruin perfectly good strawberries! Well, maybe the Butterfinger would be OK. A bite of Butterfinger, a bite of strawberry. And a good cup of coffee.

  11. In my copy of the Lutheran Women's Church cookbook there is a recipe for Jell0
    It calls for jello , hot and cold water. Try to tell as many people as you can in town.

    1. Spo:
      I've seen that unusual recipe (we used to have the book… plus "Cooking with Jello") and could even manage it myself. But I had a friend once who actually failed at making Jello. She clearly didn't mix it and there were pockets of hardened Jello in the corners that didn't jiggle. They were more like plastic. Can't tell anyone here about the recipe though because we haven't seen Jello in the supermarket. Maybe I should bring some boxes back with me on my next visit to NY.

    1. Monkey Man:
      Glad word verification is cooperating. This is not the "yummy" salad. This is the "real good" salad. I'm sure one of these days San Geraldo will come across a salad called "yummy."

Share your thoughts and experiences. It's always nice to know I'm not alone.