Sammiches and Salad

If someone came up and tried to sell me the moon, I’d laugh in their face.

If they slapped a “Going out of business” sign on it, I’d ask him if he took American Express.

For somebody who’s normally pretty level-headed and even suspicious with their money, I just can not say no to a going out of business sale.  When my neighborhood Rite-Aid had their closing sale, I spent the GDP of Liechtenstein there. 

Why I bought an America Greatest Hits CD, I’ll never know.  And I’ll have enough sunscreen to last until the actual sun flickers out.

You may have heard that the gourmet/organic grocery store, Earth Fare will be closing at the end of the month.  And because I raised my child right, the other night, The Kid and I made a visit to the location near our house.

The grocery items, the stuff with a long shelf life, was only 10% off so far.  But the perishable meat, produce and dairy was 30%.

They had these adorable little sweet Italian sausage patties.  I bought six of them, and decided we’d have sliders.  Over in the bakery department, I found six slider-sized pretzel buns.

Then I had to decide how to dress them.  Because they’re made with pork that looks pretty fatty, I didn’t want to add to the richness with cheese or mayo. 

The Kid and I discussed it and came up with a plan.

This is my chow chow of choice. I picked up the last jar from Big Lots.

We’d toast the pretzel buns, then give them a light schmear of roasted garlic mustard.  Then, on top a small dollop of chow chow.  Chow chow is a sweet/sour relish with cabbage, green tomatoes, vinegar, and sugar.  It’s the perfect foil to the rich, fatty sausage, and robust enough to stand up to the mustard.

For a side, we decided on my mom’s pasta salad.  It’s made with old-fashioned ranch dressing and brightly colored broccoli and immensely delicious Cherub baby tomatoes (honest, really try to use these, Harris Teeter, Food Lion, and BJ’s all carry them).

The grocery item prices at Earth Fare will be descending.  And, I’ll go back.  I’ve got my eye on about six different jellies, and thirty-five candy bars…

Thanks for your time.

Contact debbie at dm@bullcity.mom.

Roasted Garlic Mustard

1 cup spicy brown mustard

1 head roasted garlic (recipe below)

1 teaspoon molasses

1 teaspoon malt vinegar

Salt and pepper

Directions:

Prepare garlic-Preheat oven to 350°.

Cut a head of garlic in half horizontally.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a pinch of dry thyme.

Wrap very well with foil and bake for 1 hour.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.  Scrape or squeeze meat from the peel.

Place into a small bowl and mash into a paste.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir until completely mixed through.  Cover and refrigerate for up to seven days.

Gramma’s Broccoli Pasta Salad

1 packet Original Hidden Valley Ranch (the buttermilk recipe) Dressing Mix

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup fat-free buttermilk

1 pound rotelle pasta, cooked according to directions, drained and cooled

1 head broccoli, steamed until tender-crisp and cooled

2 cups Cherub baby tomatoes, sliced in half length-wise

½ cup thinly sliced green onions or Chinese chives

Salt & pepper

Directions:

Make dressing 2-3 hours in advance and refrigerate to let flavors develop.

To prepare: put all the ingredients except dressing into large bowl and season.

Stir in dressing a little at a time until everything’s fully coated and just a little moister than you’d like the finished product (the pasta will absorb dressing, and the tomatoes will release some of their liquid).

Let sit at room temp for about 30 minutes before service.

Serves 6-8.

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