Boot Camp Journal – Day 7 {My Turn to Be the Picky Eater}

This is the journal I am keeping about our “health(ier) eating boot camp.”  Feel free to read along!  

Saturday, July 5

Last night we had my husband’s birthday dinner (his birthday was a few days ago, but he was not home then, so we celebrated last night).  I asked him early in the day what he would like me to fix for dinner that night and he requested macaroni salad just like his mom used to make.  Now, before you think we are all very strange for having macaroni salad for a birthday dinner, let me explain that he has been asking me for this for a long time.  I do sometimes make macaroni salad, but it never tastes quite right (even to me).  He finally asked me some time ago to call his mom and ask for her recipe.  Of course as things go, she does not have an actual recipe that she follows, and she hadn’t made it in a long time, but did tell me from her memory what she has put in it.  Well, I tried it the way she told me, and my husband said that it was better, but there was still something missing.

So, last night his birthday dinner request was for me to try again.  But guess what?  I had lost the recipe I had written down from before, and so rather than calling his mom again, we did an internet search for one that was similar.  We didn’t have any luck finding one close enough to hers, but we did succeed in jogging his memory as to what to put in it.

OK, with that explanation out of the way, here is the “picky eater” part.  My husband likes his macaroni salad (and sandwiches, for that matter) to be prepared with Miracle Whip.  I, on the other hand do not like Miracle Whip — I only like mayonnaise.  Since he likes mayonnaise fine too, that’s what we usually use for everything.  But last night he especially requested that this salad be made using Miracle Whip.  So, as I stood in my kitchen, preparing to mix everything up, I had to pause a moment and make a decision.  Should I mix his and mine up in separate bowls (I actually did this the last time I attempted to make the salad), or should I be a good example to my kids and eat it the same way I’m preparing it for him?

“Yikes,” I thought to myself, “I really don’t like Miracle Whip!”  Well, then I thought to myself that I’ve really only tried it a couple of times.  Maybe if I try it again it won’t be as bad as I remember.  And maybe if I look at the ingredient list to give me an idea of what’s in it, that will help.   I determined that the stuff is simply a sweeter version of mayonnaise with some garlic powder, paprika, and an unknown spice.  {Here is a copycat recipe that I just found, if you are interested!}  Realizing that all of these additions worked perfectly with the pasta salad that I was making, I decided to be brave and make mine and my husband’s exactly alike.  And you know what?  It tasted fine!

By the way – if you are wondering how the kids handled this, I will say that they really don’t like mayonnaise or Miracle Whip.  So what I decided to do was to require them to eat 3 bites each of the pasta salad with dressing, and then at least 3 bites of each of the ingredients within the salad (no dressing added).  After that they could have plain noodles and bread and whatever else at the table that they wanted more of.  I don’t know if this was right or wrong as far as helping them eat better, but it is what I chose to do.

Oh – and just so you know, I succeeded in getting closer to his mom’s way of making it this time!  Hooray!  Here is what I put in it.  Sorry, I did not measure anything, I just put how much I thought looked good.

Macaroni Salad

The Salad:

cooked macaroni noodles
hard boiled eggs
tuna fish
chopped celery
chopped tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes)
chopped green onions

The dressing:

Miracle Whip
yellow mustard

Mix up the salad ingredients.  Mix up the dressing and pour over the salad.  Sprinkle Paprika on top.

What is your favorite way to prepare “macaroni salad?”




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