Grandmom’s mayonnaise for chicken salad

My grandmother's chicken salad is one of my favorite foods. I usually eat it on toast.

My grandmother’s chicken salad is one of my favorite foods. I usually eat it on toast.

My grandmother’s chicken salad was one of my favorite foods when I was growing up and one of the first things I learned to make when I moved out on my own.

About a year after I graduated from college, my parents were coming to visit me in Indiana. I proudly made the chicken salad and twice-baked potatoes. They were my two specialties at the time. On Friday night, I talked to them briefly by phone and made plans for the next day. I had spent the afternoon cooking because they were arriving the next morning. Later that night, I got a call that there had been an accident, and my father was in the hospital. I left immediately for Michigan. He died before I got there.

I was in Michigan for a week. Before I got back to Indiana, my boyfriend went to my apartment and emptied the refrigerator so that I wouldn’t come back to a mess. I don’t think I’ve ever made twice-baked potatoes again, and it was a long time before I made chicken salad.

I don’t want to give it up though because I love it, and it reminds me of my grandmom. I made it a few weeks ago, and it was delicious as ever. And yet, whenever I eat it, I think of my dad and that night, as well as my grandmom. I still miss him.

Chicken Salad

1 recipe Grandmom’s Mayonnaise (see below)
3-4 cups of chopped chicken (I cut up a rotisserie chicken, but you can boil 2 chicken breasts and cut that up.)
2 medium stalks celery, chopped

Combine chicken, celery and mayonnaise in a bowl. It’s that easy.

Grandmom’s Mayonnaise

1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
9 tablespoons fat-free evaporated milk
4 tablespoons commercial mayonnaise (such as Hellman’s or Kraft)

Mix all the ingredients except the commercial mayonnaise and cook until thick. Stir in the commercial mayonnaise. Beat well. Let cool.


One response to “Grandmom’s mayonnaise for chicken salad

  1. *SIGH.* There are so many things in life that remind us of those that have gone on ahead…but we honor them even in the memory of something so relatively every-day as the recipe for homemade mayonnaise in a special chicken salad. This sounds delicious, and I
    know your dad and grandmom are wishing they could be right with you, diggin’ in.

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