Friday, July 18, 2008


First: Today those us of a certain age mourn the passing of singer extraordinaire Jo Stafford, at the age of 90. Among her musical peers, she was noted for her extremely true pitch and clear voice; for those of us on the leading edge of the baby boom her song "Shrimpboats" is a dominant part of the soundtrack of our earliest childhoods. In the 1960s, she and her husband, noted orchestra leader Paul Weston, together discovered a parallel comedy career as Jonathan and Darlene Edwards, two of the most un-musical musicians imaginable. They played on their reputations as exacting pros to create their mirror opposites: Jonathan was the quintessential cocktail piano tinkler who never knew when to stop, while Darlene couldn't carry a tune in a bucket and never encountered a tempo she couldn't mangle. What started out as a party joke turned into several albums, now on CD. If there really are choirs of angels, Jo Stafford's voice is a welcome addition.


Here is a simple summertime dish that works for picnic sandwiches or as a quick, toss-together weeknight dinner. It's a great use for a leftover ham, and is inexpensive enough to make on its own using a 1-pound ham slice, which is what I do. It's inspired by the sandwiches my Aunt Mary used to bring to family get-togethers at my parents' place on the water. Once I started eating them, I could barely stop. This version isn't quite as sweet as Aunt Mary's, just to make it more universally palatable.

P.S. As must be abundantly clear by now, a food stylist I am not. The salad would have shown a lot better in a dark-colored bowl, I know. But this is the picture I have.

a pre-sliced ham steak approximately 1 lb.
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
4 spring onions (scallions) thinly sliced
1/2 sweet white onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup coarsely torn romaine (cos)
2 tablespoons fresh parsely, chopped
2 hard-cooked eggs, coarsely chopped

1 generous tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 scant teaspoon yellow mustard
*salt (see note below)
Black pepper to taste

Cut ham into chunks and place in bowl of food processor. Chop meat fine and move to a medium-size mixing bowl. Add chopped vegetables, herbs, and eggs.

Mix all dressing ingredients together in a separate small bowl and pour over ham mixture. Stir to mix well, *taste for salt, and add as needed. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, serve.

1 comment:

Zoey & Me said...

Good one! I need to check my fav for this as we do a ham at least four times a year and the fun part is the ham salad. Love it when you can dub it up there for a few snacks. Z&Me