It's been over a decade since I've had this salad. My mom used to make it all the time when I was a little girl.
Sometimes these family recipes escape you ... and then one day, you have a light bulb moment, and all the flavors come rushing back.
The sweet and sour dressing, the softness of the cheddar with the crunch of the broccoli, the bacon...
I emailed mom right away to get the recipe and found out that she got it from our Aunt June, who is actually my Great, Great Aunt June.
We used to go visit Aunt June and Uncle Chet's chicken farm in Halifax, Pennsylvania every Thanksgiving when I was little. I loved it there. Good ol' country cooking. (I also remember that chicken farms smell AWFUL!)
Do you have family recipes that have been passed down generations? Don't ever forget them. Write them down. Right now. I mean it. They aren't just recipes they are memories.
Shopping List (Recipe From My Mom)
Broccoli (one large or two small bunches)
Small red onion
Sharp Cheddar Cheese 8 oz-12 oz
Bacon 1 lb. (thick sliced)
½ cup white vinegar
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
Wash broccoli with cold water and strip away leaves, then chop florets (cut or pulled ) into small size parts and stems sliced in small pieces. Dice your onion.
Cube your cheddar into pieces that are big enough to be caught by a fork. Mom says don’t skimp by going low fat and Vermont sharp is the best.
Cook your bacon then cool and crumble or rough chop.
[Mom don’t be mad, I used turkey bacon and I should have known better. It wasn’t as good as regular, I don’t recommend it.]
Toss everything in to a big bowl, nibbling along the way is correct ...
In a small bowl add your sugar, water and vinegar. Blend with mixer or whisk until smooth. You can microwave the sugar and water then blend with vinegar until you get the right taste. It should be more sweet from the sugar than sour from the vinegar.
DOUSE the salad in the dressing and toss -- too much is better than not enough -- as what isn't absorbed will drop to the bottom of the bowl.
Refrigerate at least overnight -- but best after 24 hours.
P.S. I called this a Summer broccoli salad but really this could be a Winter, Spring or Fall salad too.