Definitely one of my more unique concoctions, I derived it from a vaguely-remembered family picnic in the ’80s. I’m from a HUGE German-Catholic family on my mother’s side. Both my Grandma (now deceased) and Grandpa have lived in the same 10-mile radius their whole lives, and their families have resided in the county since the 1850’s, before Minnesota was even formalized as a state. Stories like that are unheard of these days. The area was so rural that my Grandma, despite having been born a citizen long after the family settled in the state, grew up speaking German, and conveniently used it when we were kids if she didn’t want us to know what she was saying.
(Above) A few of us after the Sellner family reunion of 2005. I think there are roughly 10-15 people missing from this picture of our immediate family.
My Grandma had 10 brothers and sisters, and six children of her own. Her siblings also had large families so there are around 144 of my generation (“the grandchildren”). We are the masters of family reunion fare. Very few venues could even hold us, so my second (or third?) cousin built a barn with poured cement flour and electricity on “the family farm” which has been in our family since the 1870’s. We even have the deed to the land signed by President Ulysses S. Grant.
For this salad, I combined what I remembered with one of my current go-to picnic recipes, Oriental Noodle Salad. I had cabbage slaw to use up (we use it in stir fries) and I thought this would be a light, flavorful cold salad to serve with dinner. Maybe I’ll make some kraut next time, any takers?
- 3 cups noodles of your choice, uncooked
- 2 tilapia fillets, cooked till it flakes with a fork
- 3 cups cabbage, finely shredded (red or green)
- 1 stalk celery, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 tablespoons onions, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups of canola oil (feel free to use EVOO in combination)
- ¾ cup of balsamic vinegar (quality brand)
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- Parmesan cheese (I like it on my noodles, it’s optional)
1. Cook tilapia fillets until fish can be flaked with fork. Cut into pieces.
2. Cook noodles as directed on package.
3. Mix noodles, tilapia, cabbage, celery and onion.
4. In a separate bowl, combine salt, pepper, canola oil/EVOO, balsamic vinegar and sugar
5. Mix noodle mixture with dressing and stir until salad is fully coated with dressing. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before meal. Eat fresh, it doesn’t tend to keep overnight.
Neighbor Zach playing with his bull whip. Yes, bull whip. And he made it himself.
It was very good, and perfect for a warm spring evening when everyone is outside and you want to join them. The only I would do differently is add broccoli or an additional vegetable for a “girthier” salad. Hope you Enjoy!
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