What are some of your favorite summer memories from when you were a kid?
Since both of my parents worked, they had to find a way to entertain me once school let out. From about second or third grade until middle school, the city swimming pool was the perfect solution. During those summer months, I wouldn’t even bother getting dressed in the morning. I would just put my swimsuit on and wait until 2 p.m. when the gates opened.
There was a waterslide in the shallow end for the younger kids. Fifty-cents would buy you a brightly-colored popsicle, a bag of chips, or a dill pickle. As my friends and I got older, we positioned our lawn chairs out by the deep end so we could watch the older boys behind our sunglasses and hope someone noticed us. We all had aspirations of becoming lifeguards when we got into high school and by the end of the summer we were all tan as deer.
I think it’s impossible to get through an entire summer without coming in contact with a macaroni salad. There is nothing particularly unique about this salad. I imagine it originated as a quick, easy, and cheap meal my mother could just throw together. I ate this a lot as a kid and it falls into one of my comfort food categories. A big bowl of this stuff, a glass of cold iced tea, and suddenly I’m a nine-year old kid in a bathing suit and flip flops with a sunburned nose.
- 1 (8 oz.) bag elbow macaroni
- 2 (5 oz.) cans chunk light tuna in water, drained
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 1 (15 oz.) can sweet peas, drained
- ⅓ – ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons dill pickle relish
- ⅛ – ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and allow to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine macaroni, celery, peas, mayonnaise. Stir until well-combined.
- Add cayenne pepper and additional salt to taste.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour – preferably eight hours – before serving.