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In the South, I’m pretty sure everything is a salad or a casserole. Whether it has vegetables or not, if we can mix it up and spread it on something, it’s a salad! Ham salad is one of those things that you either love or hate. I don’t think there is much of an in between. Personally, it’s one of my favorites, but I think that’s because I associate it with summer vacation. There is something about having a memory connected to your food that makes it taste better!
When I was growing up, we spent a lot of time with my Momma’s younger sisters. Seriously, I thought my aunts were my sisters for the longest time. In my defense, her youngest sister is only about eight years older than me and did I mention that we spent a lot of time together?!?
Any who, we used to all vacation together and my philosophy for vacation meals today is pretty much based on what my family did. We always ate breakfast and lunch at our rental and most of the time ate dinners at a restaurant. My Aunt Robin always made ham salad and there was something about that yumminess between two slices of white bread that just brought me great joy. Especially when I was eating it on the beach!
Sadly, I don’t live on the beach, nor am I able to go at this particular moment so I have to enjoy my food without sand or surf. I did, however, happen to have a big chunk of ham that was begging to made into something spectacular and a huge craving for ham salad!
At first, I thought I wasn’t going to get to have any and I was super bummed. Our blender died and that’s what I’ve always used for mincing the meat. My son bought a Ninja Fit Blender to make smoothies, but I was convinced it wouldn’t work on the ham. I’d used it to make sauces and salad dressing, but nothing else. Since my heart was breaking and it was either that or chop it by hand (ain’t nobody got time for that), I tried the Ninja out.
Oh Em Goodness!! I had to do it in batches, but it still minced it all in less than half the time that my big blender would have. Plus, because of the way it is designed, I didn’t have to scrap the bottom or soak it to get the leftover bits out. It was fabulous. So get you one of those babies if you don’t have one! Seriously!
As for the ham salad, here is how it goes:
Quick and Easy Ham Salad Spread
Ham, chipped, diced, or minced (I had approximately four cups after it was all cut up. )
1 Cup Mayo
1/4 Cup Sweet Pickle Relish
Mix all together in a bowl. Chill and serve.
This is great spread on crackers (especially the club variety), but I especially like it on fresh white bread with a side of BBQ chips!!
Ham salad is a great way to use up leftovers. My In-Laws had a ham and they sent us home with a big chunk of it. I didn’t weigh it, but I’m guessing it was maybe a pound and half. (Hint: If you buy your ham in the deli, they will do the chopping/mincing for you!) The great thing about this recipe is that you can tailor to what you have or what you like. If you have more ham, use more of the other ingredients. If you like it creamier, add more mayo. If you don’t like pickle relish, leave it out. Cooking is all about using what you have and what you like and turning it into something that makes your taste buds happy!