The Story Behind the Stomach
I am learning again to love apples. As a child, I would go bananas over bananas; banana pudding, banana cream pie, chocolate covered frozen bananas, banana bread, banana smoothies, and on occasion banana flavored Now & Laters. Apples were an afterthought. They were always so plain and never seemed to change in flavor. Only later did I learn of the incredible variety of apples that are available in the world today and the strange journey they have taken from a few wild ancestors to the 7,500 descendant cultivars that now presently exist. Apples and I are now learning to get along just fine.
My heart of hearts still favors a room temperature Golden Delicious. I am fast falling for the sloppy, juicy, crunchy, and snack worthy Honeycrisp. The Fuji is a favorite of the morning oatmeal and stew pot due to my recent discovery of the Curried Apple Couscous recipe. Granny Smith remains the best old biddy a pie ever seen. If I had to cast a vote for the thickest and most flavorful skin, Red Delicious would top the ballot. Ambrosia, Braeburn, Gala, McIntosh, and a vote of delight for those unnamed bitter variations that live and serve we connoisseurs of the hard cider community so well.
During childhood, one of my favorite desserts that my mother would prepare was her personal spin on the old fashioned Waldorf Salad. Crisp sliced and peeled apples, water softened raisins, crunchy walnuts, carrots, and celery swimming with love in a bath of mayonnaise. Some folks will wince at the mayonnaise, but believe me, it was a belly full of sumptuous.
When I first began my voyage back into the arena of cooking, one of the first dishes that I attempted was this wonderful Apple and Walnut Salad. It was for the graduation pot luck at Jah’kaya’s school at the time, New Concept. By the way, whatever happened to those pot lucks? There was some good community interaction there. I also made a taco salad for one of them which didn’t turn out well in my opinion, but still received warm reviews from other members of the community.
In any case, I do hope that you derive some enjoyment from my update to my mother’s old recipe. I have dropped the mayonnaise in favor of Strawberry Yogurt. Vegans can use either a soy yogurt, lime or citrus vinaigrette, or dijon mustard. All of these substances are designed to tie the flavors of the fruits and vegetables together and can be used in greater or lesser amounts as your tastes prefer.
- 4 Large Apples, chopped & cored
- 1/3 c. Strawberry Yogurt
- 4 1/2 c. Carrots, shredded
- 1/2 c. Walnuts, chopped
- 1/3 c. Raisins
- 1 1/4 c. Celery, chopped
- 1 tbsp. Lemon Juice
- 1 dash All Spice
- 1/2 c. Coconut, shredded
- Combine apples, carrots, walnuts, celery, & coconut in a salad bowl.
- Soak raisins in warm water for 10 minutes until sufficiently soft and moist.
- Drain & squeeze out any excess water.
- Combine remaining ingredients in salad bowl & toss until all items are sufficiently coated in mixture of yogurt, lemon juice, and all spice.
- Spice to taste.
For flavor variations, substitute Citrus Vinaigrette, Mayonnaise, Miracle Whip, Dijon Mustard, or Plain Yogurt for Strawberry Yogurt. Dried cherries may be used in place of raisins.