I’ve learned that you can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones as long as you have people in your life who love you and will be there for you. We are all rich with free things — friends, family, love, laughter and memories. All of these blessings were brought to mind recently (along with this delicious recipe, which will put all that leftover ham to good use).
I have had a friend for 36 years who is a combination of all of my riches. She’s my friend and family. We love and laugh. And after 36 years, we certainly have made a lot of memories. She’s one of those friends who would answer the phone in the middle of the night and be on the road to me no matter the time. She’s one of those friends who would defend me to the end, laugh with me, cry with me, travel with me, and share with me. We’ve gone through all the joys and heartache that life can bring.
My husband and I recently stopped by her house on the way home from Knoxville. She’s one of those people who make you feel at home — where you know it is fine to take off your shoes, kick up your feet, lounge on the couch, and watch the beautiful sunset through her doors. It’s as casual and welcoming of a feeling as possible.
Of course, being Southern means there was food involved! As I approached her table of scrumptious and tasty tidbits, I was immediately flooded with memories from long ago. She had fixed a pasta salad that was a blast from the past. It brought back memories of working together and having potluck dinners, to camping together and bringing it to pig roasts, and simply having it for leftovers for lunch.
It is comfort food in every sense of the word. It’s an easy, delicious dish that looked great in Tupperware 36 years ago and still looks delicious today. As I was planning my dishes for Thanksgiving, I found the yellowed and stained recipe card in my box from all those years ago. It’s a keepsake — just like her.
Pasta Salad Veronique (which means prepared with grapes)
2 cups shell macaroni, cooked as directed
2 cups cooked ham, cubed
2 cups seedless grapes, halved
½ cup chopped green onions
Combine all of these ingredients and toss with the dressing. Chill for 4 to 6 hours before serving.
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons vinegar
1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon dried dillweed
¼ teaspoon seasoned salt
Mount Carmel’s Angelia Hensley is a community contributor for the Kingsport Times News.