Here is the best Amish ham salad I’ve ever had, as made by the fragrant and oh-so-delicious kitchens at Rise ‘n Roll Bakery headquartered in Amish country near my hometown of Middlebury, Indiana. I went to elementary and junior high school in that lovely, comfortable little hamlet. Rise ‘n roll is just miles from the well-known Shipshewana Flea Markets and other bonafide Amish shopping areas (where tourists also now flock).
So my dilemma: I live about 600 miles from the nearest Rise-n-Roll and only get to that area twice a year. I’m itching to find a recipe for ham salad that equals this, and have toyed with trying to figure out proportions and ingredients for an attempt. But the ingredient list is just plain daunting, even with the preservatives removed that most of us don’t use for our everyday home cooking. The ingredient list includes ham, pork, chicken breast, beef, turkey breast, cucumbers, red peppers, honey, cider vinegar, white sugar, brown sugar, and much more. Too complex to figure out, I fear.
I adore this ham salad. It is tasty and full bodied and just a bit sweet and savory, whether served on snack sized crackers or a full bodied bread. My Mennonite mother used to make “ham” salad by grinding up typical store bought bologna (like Oscar Mayer) and adding sweet pickle relish, salad dressing (such as Miracle Whip, her favorite), chopped egg, and ground bologna. She may have made it a time or two using real ham. We loved her ham salad, but it is not as scrumptious as this great stuff.
So, rather than sharing a recipe, I’m looking for one. What is the best ham salad recipe you’ve found and love to use, Amish or otherwise? Paula Deen has an interesting one. Most of the ones I’m seeing online included chopped (or pulsed in a food processor) ham, eggs, celery, onion, mustard, mayonnaise, and sweet pickle relish. What ingredients do you suggest?
Don’t forget this old-fashioned favorite as you are planning hor d’oeuvres and finger foods for get-togethers for Christmas Eve or Day or New Years!
Do you have a recipe for ham salad? Share in the comments below, and one helpful reader will win a copy of Whatever Happened to Dinner?
Melodie M. Davis is the author of nine books, most recently, Whatever Happened to Dinner: Recipes and Reflections for Family Mealtime (Herald Press, 2010). She writes the syndicated column, Another Way, serves as a managing editor for Herald Press, and is also editor of a local family publication, Valley Living. She keeps a blog where she features frequent recipes from her home, family and church life. She is married and the mother of three adult daughters and two grandsons.