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Easter salad classics

I think we all have a few fond memories of Easter, like the new outfits we wore for the showing-off our Easter baskets photos, the beautiful church services, and feasting with beloved relatives who are no longer with us.

My mother, grandmothers and aunts were all good cooks and when it came to Easter dinner you never knew what you were going to get but knew it would be delicious.

Aside from the meat, potatoes, gravy and hot sides there was also an array of tasty cold salads that we had only for Easter. Usually the covered-dish contributions of guests, the salads were easy to tote and didn’t need to be heated, taking up valuable oven space.

Treat your family to any of these old-fashioned classics, a lightly sweetened fruity coleslaw, sweet and sour three-bean salad or creamy cucumbers, and start a tradition of your own.

Fruity

Coleslaw

Salad:

1 medium head cabbage, shredded

2 oranges separated into sections and chopped (or canned mandarin oranges, drained)

2 apples, peeled and chopped

1 cup seedless red grapes

1 (16-ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Dressing:

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup mayonnaise

3/4 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 T. sugar

1 T. fresh lemon juice

Directions: Place all salad ingredients in large bowl and toss to combine. In small bowl mix dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and mix well to coat. Serves 8 to 10.

Three-Bean Salad

Salad:

1 (14.5-ounce) can green beans, drained

1 (14.5-ounce) can wax beans, drained

1 (15.5-ounce) can kidney beans, drained

1 medium green bell pepper, sliced

1 medium onion, sliced

Dressing:

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 tsps. salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Directions: In serving bowl, gently stir together salad ingredients. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients, making sure all sugar is dissolved. Pour over the vegetables, stirring gently till well combined. Cover bowl and chill 8 to 24 hours. Serves 6 to 8.

Creamy

Cucumber Salad

4 large cucumbers, peeled and sliced

1 medium onion, sliced

1 cup mayonnaise

4 T. vinegar

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

Directions: Place sliced cucumbers and onion in serving dish. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together mayo, vinegar, sugar and salt. Pour dressing over cucumbers and onions. Stir to mix.

Chill at least 2 to 3 hours before serving. Serves 6 to 8.

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