My Mama’s Macaroni Salad
This recipe is one of my absolute favorites, however, it is one that I have had the hardest time mastering. Not because it is difficult (it’s actually very easy) but because no matter how many times I have tried, it just never tastes like my Mama’s.
I have gotten the recipe from her numerous times and no matter how closely I have followed this recipe, it never quiet tastes like hers….until now!
Let me just tell y’all, I have for over 30 years, been getting this recipe from her and trying to duplicate it. When she comes to visit or I go to her house she ALWAYS makes a batch of this. I have been known to sneak into the kitchen at midnight to shovel spoonfuls into my mouth.
I remember a time that my Aunt Lucille came with my Mama to visit. I was so excited, the macaroni salad was about to be made. My Aunt, wanting to help out, volunteered to make the macaroni salad. I gasped and bit my tongue, I was seriously almost in tears knowing that absolutely no one (including myself) could make this salad and have it taste the way my Mama’s does. Seeing the panic on my face, my Mama just smiled and nodded gently. Of course, I smiled to my Aunt and thanked her for her generosity to make the salad.
Now let me tell y’all, my Mama sat right there while my Aunt made it. She made sure that my Aunt made it exactly the same way that she usually makes it. I was hopeful that it everything was going to be ok. How could it possibly taste any different, right? ~sighing~ It did! Don’t get me wrong, it was very very good, it just wasn’t my Mama’s.
Well, this weekend, Tom was home from having been on the road. I hadn’t seen him in 3 months and wanted to do something special for him. He also LOVES my Mama’s macaroni salad and it being Labor Day weekend, I was going to attempt this for him.
I again, called my Mama to make sure that I had everything written down with every little detail. I will tell you that Marilou (my Mama) laughs every single time I call her about this because I call every single time I make it. I got everything together and was determined to make it taste like Mama’s, it was important since it was for Tom.
When it was all put together, I tasted it…… I did it!!!! It was as close as could possibly be to Mama’s!!!!
Tom came into the kitchen and I asked him to taste it, mind you the salad was still a bit warm because of the cooked pasta. He put a big fork full into his mouth, I held my breath. He took another fork full, and another, and another. I asked him what he thought, I couldn’t take it any longer. I asked him if it was good and he shook his head no, I felt deflated…until I watched him continue to shovel it into his mouth. He got a sly little smile on his face and we both laughed. He said that it was absolutely terrible and that he should eat it all so that no one else would have to eat it.
I’ll tell y’all, I have figured out what makes this taste like my Mama’s, it’s a secret ingredient….. LOVE!
I wanted to share this recipe with you but you have got to remember to have Love in your heart when you are making it, I swear it is the thing that makes it taste the way my Mama’s does.
Make it a great day!
Mama’s Macaroni Salad
1lb Small Macaroni Shells (cooked according to package directions)
4 Hard Boiled Eggs (be sure to check out our post on Perfectly Cooked Hard Boiled Eggs)
2 Cans Albacore Tuna
3 Ribs Celery chopped fine
1/2 Medium Onion minced
1/2 Tall Jar Green Olives (sliced)
1/3 Small Bag of Frozen Peas
2 tsp Yellow Mustard
2 Cups (approximately) Mayonnaise (I used Dukes, of course)
2 tsp (or to taste) Dill Weed
Salt and Pepper to Taste
In a large bowl combine eggs, tuna, celery, onion, olives, peas, dill weed, salt and pepper.
Drizzle mustard over top of combined ingredients
Add cooked, drained macaroni and stir until combined.
Add mayonnaise a bit at a time to combine. Keep adding until it is how you like it.
When you take it out of the fridge you may need to add some more mayonnaise as the pasta tends to soak it up as it cools.
I generally will cook an additional egg to slice on the top to decorate.
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