Old School House Salad

Old School House Salad, Italian Dressing

Old School House Salad

Iceberg Lettuce, Tomato Wedges, Cucumber
Red Onion, Radish, Italian Dressing

When I was contemplating the ingredients for my Old School House Salad, the kind my mom served in the 60s and early 70s, there could only be one type of lettuce, Iceberg. Nice and crisp Iceberg ✅. Apparently iceberg aka crisphead, shipped on ice, was the only variety of lettuce that traveled well via train across the country back then. Especially from California to Chicago…

Cucumber ✅ Red Onion ✅ Radish ✅. And when it came to tomatoes, we always had tomato wedges in our salad. But curiously enough, nary a cherry tomato in sight back then. Turns out, cherry tomatoes did not become ubiquitous until the 1980s.  Our tomatoes were medium-sized, red, round, and tasty. Tomato Wedges ✅. And I do recall that my dad liked Peperoncini ✅.

Italian dressing came in a bottle, made by Wish-Bone. It sat in the center of the dinner table along with bottles of Thousand Island, French, and Russian so everyone could dress their own salad their way. No Ranch though, Ranch dressing didn’t become popular until the early 1990s. Hidden Valley Ranch was first marketed as an herb & spice packet to mix with mayonnaise and buttermilk at home. It wasn’t even sold as a bottled dressing until 1983.

Also absent from our house salad – carrots, celery, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, olives – and I don’t think we ever had an avocado in our Chicago home until the early 70s when we “discovered” Mexican food. We did eat a lot of black olives though, they were served on a relish tray, not in the salad.

Old School House Salad Recipe

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Spinach Cheese Brunch Loaf

Spinach Cheese Brunch Loaf

Spinach Cheese Brunch Loaf

Spinach Cheese Brunch Loaf

There are millions of recipes with the combination of spinach, cheese, and eggs – recipes from wildly different cultures including the Italian frittata, Greek spanakopita, Syrian jibn, French quiche, and so many more…

So why cook this one? Well, it’s easy and inexpensive! It’s crust-free, heavy on the vegetable and light on the eggs & cheese. It’s low-carb, gluten-free, vegetarian. And really quite tasty! A simple salad on the side is all it takes to make a fantastic brunch dish. Or slice it into cubes and serve it as part of a brunch buffet.

Spinach Cheese Brunch Loaf Recipe

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Flag Day and Gelato

Flag Day and Gelato

Flag Day and Gelato

On June 14, 1777, John Adams spoke about the flag at a meeting of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia: “Resolved, that the flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

There have since been 27 official versions of the flag, according to the Library of Congress. The last change was made on July 4, 1960, when Hawaii became the 50th state. The thirteen stripes are emblems of the thirteen British colonies that announced independence from Great Britain in 1776. The fifty stars represent the states in America.

Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the official “flag of the United States of America” with its popular nicknames such as:

– Stars and Stripes
– Old Glory
– The Star Spangled Banner
– The Red, White and Blue

Flag Day and Gelato

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Crumpets and Souvenirs

How To Make Perfect Crumpets

Queen Elizabeth Coronation Souvenir

The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

Well over a century ago, Londoners Jack Hanson and Lucy Robinson were sweethearts. Early in the 1900s, Jack left England for Chicago to follow his dreams. Shortly thereafter and still a teenager, Lucy left her family and followed her true love to America. They married and lived a happy life.

By 1952 Lucy was a widow, a mother of 7 and grandmother of 17 when Princess Elizabeth, while visiting Kenya, received the news of her father’s death and her own accession to the Throne of England.

Lucy decided to take one of her grandchildren back to London to visit the family she hadn’t seen in many many years and to celebrate The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, which was to take place in Westminster Abbey on the 2nd of June 1953.

They boarded the RMS Queen Elizabeth and sailed to England. The granddaughter that accompanied Lucy was my mother. She was 19 years old at the time.

Crumpets and Souvenirs

How to Make Crumpets from Scratch

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Socca (savory chickpea pancake)

Socca (savory chickpea pancakes)

Socca (savory chickpea pancake)

Topped with a Salad of Spring Lettuce
Egg, Feta, Radish, Chili, Olives, Dill, Lemon, Tahini Sauce

Socca, a savory chickpea pancake, is known as Nice’s original street food. Often served au naturel in Provence, cut into shards as snack, pleasantly with a glass of chilled rosé. Socca can also be served with all kinds of toppings for a delightful lunch. It is usually baked on a large round flat copper pan in a wood-burning oven.

In this recipe, nontraditional cumin and smoked paprika added to the batter mimic the smokiness of a wood-burning oven. And a non-stick skillet on the stovetop stands in for the copper pan and makes cooking the socca a breeze.

Socca As A Snack with Rosé

Socca as a snack with Rosé

Socca Recipe

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