A Twist on Pasta Salad

STILL WATERS by Frances Robson

Good evening. Ya'll come on up to the Net Porch and sit a spell and enjoy the view with me. The picture above is one of our views from the porch and it reminds me of the 23rd Psalm when David said that God will lead us beside the still waters. What a wonderful promise that no matter how troubled our waters become, God will lead us to still waters so that we may refresh our thirst for peace and joy. He is an awesome God!

Haven't written a while but I am trying to follow my daddy's advice - if you don't have anything worthwhile to say, just be quiet. Now I had lots to say but I am not sure it was worth saying. In fact, our son and his wife came to visit this weekend and he said I had to quit writing about unmentionables or underwear. It seems that a colleague of his reads my blog to get recipes and it embarrasses him when his good, Southern mama talks about her undies. Now I don't know why he is surprised for I've been embarrassing him for years with my weird sense of humor and if you notice it was all said in good taste. It couldn't be otherwise or MY good Southern mama would haint me for sure.

A former student of mine told me on Facebook that he always knew I had a twisted mind and now he was sure of it, bless my pea pickin self. I will have to say we became friends because he is a little twisted also. Now I will say it is not a twisted mind but one that thinks a little differently and it just pops out. I have always been a "thinker" just didn't think like most other people. It is called being an individual, marching to my own drum beat, weird, or as we in the South would say - "She's just a little strange." This doesn't bother me for most of my favorite people are a "little strange" or eccentric and this is what makes them interesting. As the philosopher and deep thinker - Kermit the Frog - says, "It's not easy being green."

So today, my son, I am writing about food. We had a good salad for lunch that I kinda concocted on the spur of the moment to use what I had in the refrigerator. To save money and not waste food, I am cooking from what I have in the pantry, freezer and refrigerator. You know we all buy more than we need most of the time and it just sits on the shelves, especially those impulse buys. I am trying not to do that but occasionally I slip up but I am trying to use all of these.

Last night we had fried chicken strips from Carter's Fried Chicken in Adel, GA and because they are so generous with their portions, I had 3 big strips leftover. When trying to decide what to do with them I found a box of Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad Classic which we like. From that I began to pull from the fridge and this is what resulted and Roy said to do it again. When he says that it is a postable for the blog.

Fried Chicken Pasta Salad
1 box Betty Crocker Suddenly Pasta Salad - classic
4-6 cups chicken stock

Bring stock to a boil, add pasta and gently boil for about 14 min. Remove, drain, do not rinse and let cool. Do this earlier so that the pasta will be cooled.

1 Tbsp. balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. cold water
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 clove garlic - pressed through garlic press or diced finely and mashed with knife
3 fried chicken strips diced (can be more - depends on what is in fridge)
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup dill pickle relish
3/4 cup grated cheese (cheese of choice- I used cheddar)

Combine seasoning packet from salad mix with vinegar, lemon juice, water, olive oil, and garlic. Mix well in large bowl. Add the cooled pasta, chicken and vegetables and mix well. Sprinkle with grated cheese and serve on a bed of mixed lettuces. If tomatoes are in season add slices of tomatoes around the salad or chop and include in salad.

If you don't have leftover fried chicken you can use any leftover chicken or buy the chicken strips which are already cooked. You can add other vegetables you like such as bell peppers, banana peppers or others of choice.

I am trying to add as many raw vegetables to our meals as I can and salads are a good place to do this.

One way I have found to add a fruit is to add chopped apple to my raisin bran. It gives a wonderful crunchy addition and adds to the taste also. When I prepare oatmeal, I use the regular quick-cooking oatmeal and add chopped apple, raisins or craisins to it while cooking. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and serve over brown sugar and you have included fruits to your meal.

I hope you will enjoy these ideas and ya'll come back and sit on the porch with me again. Next time I will have some fresh coffee for you. I didn't even mention undergarments this time, am I forgiven?

Nuff said,

The Georgia Peach (from Alabama)

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