Rep Note:
Indian Melon Salad
9 July 2018

The decision to take last week off was made on Wednesday, Independence Day, right in the middle of taking it off. Hope nobody worried. 

For years, the default chicken salad served in this household was made following a venerable recipe that, to my mind, epitomized Midwestern sophistication. It was given to Kathleen was given by the Irish lady who took care of a very large family in Winnetka; Kathleen’s roommate all through Smith was the second of nine children. The lady’s name, too, was Kathleen, but that’s not what her charges called her, nor what we call the chicken salad in her honor. The children’s nickname for “Kathleen” was utterly innocent and even charming, but out of context it is off-putting. 

A few years ago, I stopped making this salad, and searched out alternatives, especially ones involving avocados. Some were very good, but none displaced the default, which I made for the first time in an age over this past weekend. The following quantities will feed four moderately hungry people. 

Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste — but go easy on the salt, given the soy sauce. 

Salad:
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
3 ounces sliced water chestnuts
1/2 pound green grapes, halved
1/2 cup minced celery

Garnish:
Butter lettuce leaves
Melon balls
Paprika

Prepare the dressing about an hour ahead of serving, and toss the chicken, the water chestnuts, and the celery in it. Cover and keep cool. Finish the salad at serving time. 

I am not sure that I would miss the water chestnuts, but Kathleen claims to be fond of them, and they do provide a nice crunch. 

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