My family and I moved to Arizona several years ago. Before living in Arizona, we were born and raised California residents. While we miss our family and friends in California, it’s been fun exploring a new city and all the amenities it has to offer (like lots of restaurants!).
We really enjoy the Phoenix area. The weather is beautiful 9 months out of the year-it’s sunny, warm, spring-like weather. But, the other three months…that’s a different story. It’s hot. Really hot. I mean, really, really hot. It’s hot all day, and hot at night. People in Arizona basically don’t go outside in the summer. I equate Summer in AZ to winter in many areas of the country, when it’s so cold people just stay inside. We’ve adjusted to the heat over the years, but no matter how adjusted we are, 118 degrees is stifling.
There is a payoff for heat endurance. In December, when it’s supposed to be cold, rainy and grey(at least that’s what it was like in my home town), I’m wearing flip-flops and short sleeved shirts as I enjoy 75 degree weather. But although I know the blistering heat is reaching it’s yearly end and beautiful weather awaits, a late summer meltdown occurs. It’s happened every year since we’ve been here. I reach a point at which my brain can no longer bear the sizzling heat, and I enter into a heat-induced rage. It happened last year at the end of July.
Several of my friends that have moved here to Arizona also experience such a meltdown. But this year we decided to celebrate our meltdown, rather than lamenting it. There’s nothing we can do about the heat, so why not embrace it? And to celebrate our love/hate relationship with the desert sun, we had a Summer Meltdown Party.
This meltdown party consisted mainly of tasty BBQ and summer sides, along with delicious cocktails and swimming to cool off (at night, of course, because it’s too hot to swim during the day). One of those summer sides was the Meltdown Macaroni Salad. This salad got its name because of the day it was made, and it’s a great way to chill out after a meltdown. Enjoy!
- 1 Package of Small Salad Macaroni or Elbow Macaroni-I prefer salad macaroni
- 2–3 Hardboiled Eggs, chopped, (depending on how much egg you like in your salad)
- 2 Stalks Celery, Chopped
- 1 Carrot, Shredded
- 1 Medium Sized Onion, Finely Chopped
- 3/4 Cup Frozen Peas, Thawed
- 1 Small Can Sliced Olives, Drained
- 1 Cup Mayonnaise
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 1/4 Cup White Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Yellow Mustard
- 1 Tablespoon Dill Pickle Relish
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Seasoned Salt
- 1 Teaspoons Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- About 1 Teaspoon Paprika
- Additional Salt and Pepper, to Taste
- Fresh or Dried Dill for Garnish
- Cook macaroni al dente, according to package directions.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, pickle relish, garlic powder, seasoned salt, and salt and pepper.
- In a separate large bowl, combine macaroni, egg, celery, carrots, onion, peas and olives (if you’re using them). Mix the dressing in a little at a time to combine. If you pour it in all at once, it will be hard to mix completely. Once the salad has been mixed together, sprinkle with paprika, about 1 teaspoon, and mix the pasta with the paprika.
- Chill the macaroni salad for at least three hours, or, if you can, chill overnight. Sprinkle with a little fresh or dried dill, for garnish.