Airmen and Macaroni Salad

What do the two have in common? Well, nothing. But if you’ve been by Google today, the doodle is in honor of Amelia Earhart. Today would be her 115th birthday.

As most of you know, Amelia Earhart was the first woman to receive the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross for her trip from Newfoundland to Northern Ireland. She was also the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. Even today researchers are looking for her plane, which vanished somewhere over the Pacific in 1937. Though her disappearance is still a mystery, the road she paved for women in aviation has transcended generations to modern times.

To continue with firsts and achievements, this is where another set of individuals comes in. It just so happens that today, Amelia Earhart’s 115th birthday, I had the privilege of seeing two of the original Tuskeegee Airmen at work. If you are not aware of who these men are, they were the first African American pilots to fly in the U.S. Armed Forces, and fought in WWII. Out of the hundreds of bombing escort missions they flew, they lost only 25 planes to enemy fire. In a time when racism was still rampant in America and the armed forces, as well as the government (and pretty much everywhere else) were segregated, these men stood up for their beliefs and for their people to show that the black man could do anything the white man could do. They paved the way for people of color to enter the armed forces, and should be respected and admired for their achievements. It was amazing to meet a couple of the men who changed history. To read more about them, click here.

This morning, I had the honor of meeting Airman William Fauntroy Jr.,  Class 45-I,

And Airman James Pryde, of the 477 Bombardment Group.

Today was the start of our Diversity Fair, which will go until Thursday of this week. It celebrates diversity and differences in all cultures and walks of life. It is an honor of culture and achievement for everyone. As an intern, I was pegged (along with many others of us..interns form a small army at my job) to volunteer and take part in the events. Works for me, it gets me away from my desk! These gentlemen, along with Major General Darren McDew of the U.S. Air Force, gave the opening today at the ceremony for the fair. I got everyone’s signature on the program, and the Ryan (being the fan of anything air/space related that he is) is going to freak when he comes home and finds it on his desk. All in all, it was a very humbling and awesome morning.

Which brings me around to something that, while not quite as awesome, is still awesome – macaroni salad. I know, I know, anyone can make that, right? Yes! Anyone can. And it’s delicious! With the recent heat wave leaving oppressive temperatures across the country, I was feeling the need to have a snack food that didn’t need to be eaten hot, and that would be delicious and refreshing. Macaroni salad fit the bill. Not only that, but it’s the perfect dish to bring to a summer pot luck, so there is no reason not to have a macaroni salad recipe in your arsenal. Normally, I find most macaroni salads too sweet, but this¬† recipe I found on Allrecipes.com is not too sweet, and is my favorite by far! After reading billions of comments, I modified it a little to get it exactly the way I like it. So let’s get started!

Check it out! One of the recipes I made while at the old apartment. Fear not, photos of the new place will come! Anyway, you will need (the recipe I use is scaled from the original): 3 and 1/4 cups uncooked elbow macaroni, 3/4 cup and 2 tsp mayonnaise, 3 tbls and 1 tsp distilled white vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tbls prepared yellow mustard, 1 and 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 3/4 onion, chopped, 2 stalks of celery, chopped, 3/4 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped, and 2 grated carrots (optional). I also add a dash of paprika, and I read in one of the comments to add a tbls or two of olive oil to help the noodles/sauce not dry out, so I do that as well. Instead of grating carrots (because who really wants to stand there grating carrots?) I just throw them in my food chopper.

Though it’s not in the recipe, I loooove to hard boil a couple of eggs, chop them up, and add them to the salad as well.

In a large bowl, combine mayo, mustard, sugar, salt, pepper, paprika and vinegar. Stir well to combine.

In a separate pot, cook the macaroni noodles and then strain them. Rinse them under cold water to cool.

While your noodles are cooking, chop your onion, bell pepper, celery and carrot. Add to the sauce and mix well.

When your eggs are done cooking, peel the shell off, chop them, and add them to the sauce as well. Mix to combine.

Finally, add your noodles and mix everything very well, making sure to coat the noodles thoroughly with the sauce. This is a good time to add the olive oil. Stir to coat and then refrigerate.

And voila! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy! A delicious snack that will last a good week in your fridge and will fill you up. Or take it to a party and watch it get eaten in a flash (which is what usually happens when I take this somewhere). Enjoy!

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