Some days I feel surrounded by family. This fall marks five years since two of my dad’s siblings passed away, within a couple weeks of each other. I’ve found myself looking to be connected to members of my family, immediate and extended, over the past few weeks. While having people over and cooking for them, sharing food, I am reminded of family gatherings, where we would often all come together. We don’t gather as often in the years since my grandparents have passed away, cousins have gotten married, and the number of family members has increased significantly as younger and younger kids have been added.
In this quest for family, I pulled out a cookbook that our family put together in 1995 and was looking to add something to the Grilled Honey Lime Chicken Sandwiches when the director of residence life and his family. I found this recipe that was submitted to the Anderson Hand-Me-Downs cookbook by my Aunt Kathy. She was an amazing woman, and she loved all of her nieces and nephews a bunch.
In one of those stories/things of note that sticks with me as a truth, but could have been a one-off experience, Kathy brought deviled eggs to the only Easter celebration I remember celebrating at my grandparents’ house before my grandfather passed away. That holiday is the only memory I have of my grandfather that isn’t a story about his stoicism and matter-of-factness passed down from other relatives. Therefore, in my mind, Kathy always used to bring deviled eggs for Easter. She doesn’t have a recipe for these eggs in our family cookbook, but I do think of her every time I make or eat deviled eggs.
This salad is even better than I remember those eggs being. And, better yet, throughout the week I kept adding more vegetables to it until the dressing was gone. Anything that was fresh in the garden was added and the salad made for a delicious, and slightly sweet, accompaniment to the other items I was eating throughout the week.
1 c green peppers
1 c red onion
2-3 c tomatoes
2 c celery
1 c sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 c vinegar
1 Tbsp dried basil
Pepper to taste
Coarsely chop the vegetables into 1″ pieces. Combine all dressing ingredients in a large jar and shake well until sugar is dissolved. Pour dressing over vegetables and stir together. Refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.