The day arrived…for better or for worse….my landing on US soil. Leaving all the exotic of the S. Pacific and my treasured Fijian fish and fruits. My mom had sent me an email asking what foods she should buy for my return and what I would like to have for my first meal….the list as you can imagine was long – and kept growing. But the meal….whats the opposite of Fiji? All I wanted was waldorf salad. A nostalgic family classic for me and an All – American summer staple.
Before I would indulge in my mayonnaise saturated salad I would have a layover in Los Angeles. I had been envisioning this moment for weeks….my first meal on US soil. What would it be? I could eat anything in the Land of Milk and Honey right? Two words: Fish Tacos. Why? I have no explanation. My friend Reid & I went at nearly 10pm to Haciendas Restaurant & it was hopping. In fact there was an excellent live mariachi band playing!! Welcome to America, dinner and live music at 10pm on a Sunday!!
Once I reached my family there were plenty of snacks. The heaping bowl of cherries was a delightful surprise as I don’t believe I have eaten one of these ruby gems in over 2 years.
Popcorn balls have always been a picnic classic and even though I gave it my all to recreate them in Fiji, Humphrey Popcorn does it way better. And look at the label….Go Tribe! hahaha (Haven’t seen that for a while.)
With day one down & my belly full of cherries, popcorn balls, neon orange jello and waldorf salad we move on to day two. I became reacquainted with my old boyfriend….the grill. We had some really good times together. And we haven’t seen each other for a very, VERY long time. On the menu: burgers, hot dogs, zucchini, onions, portobello mushrooms and sweet Ohio corn (envision a single glistening tear streaming down my Fiji-sunburned cheek while eating this tender, sweet corn).
I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss my fresh coconuts and pineapples. But that grill sure put a smile on my face. And that waldorf salad, prepared with some big welcome home love, went down real easy.
5-apples, granny smith, fuji or any crunchy firm variety, cored and chopped into small chunks
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup raisins
1/3 cup mayonnaise (add more or less to your liking)
Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Serve immediately or refrigerate for 1 hour then serve.
Note: Some people like to go New Age healthy on this and use yogurt instead of mayo. I haven’t eaten “real” mayonnaise in a LONG time so I’m going old school 1950’s full- fat with real Hellmann’s Mayo.