I've been visiting my parents this weekend. Mom always plans special meals when a daughter comes to visit.
When my sisters and I were growing up, Mom did weekly Adventures in Eating nights, trying dishes far afield of Texas. Mom says now that it was a budget-stretcher move, but the end result was that her three daughters like trying new things.
Chinese Salad is not Chinese but it tastes good so we let the name slide. It came from Alice Clower, sister of Dad's friend Clark, and is one of the recipes Mom liked enough to record in the family cookbook.
I never met Alice. Clark passed away at age 95 some years back, but the way he pursued life still makes me smile. In his 70's he took up photography. New camera, courses at the community college. Mom was delighted when he volunteered to take a Scott family portrait at Christmas. Some of the shots were blurry and heads were cut off in others but we had a good time and the pictures from that year still get a giggle.
Judging from this recipe, Alice liked trying new things too. I was surprised when I read the ingredient list and directions but the finished dish has pop and flavor and even cabbage-haters like it.
Serves a lot of people modest servings or 6-8 cabbage lovers.
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup oil (Mom uses canola)
1/2 cup sugar
2 T soy sauce
Bring to a boil, then cool.
1 pkg Ramen noodles (uncooked), broken into bits about 1/2"
2 oz. sliced almonds (she buys a small package of pre-sliced almonds)
Brown in a little oil until noodles are crunchy. Cool.
1 head Napa Cabbage, diced into pieces about 1/4"
Optional: diced red green pepper and spring onions
Put cabbage (and other vegetables if you use them) into bowl. Mix in ramen noodles and almonds. Toss with dressing.
Mom's Note: Wait until you are ready to serve to assemble because if you do it too far ahead of time the noodles get soft.
Kathleen's Note: Enjoy the crunch, color and flavor and make happy dinner memories with your loved ones.
Copyright 2009-2010 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.