Sunday, June 14, 2015

Colored People Salad: Friendship and how real people talk about race

You know it's summer in our house when that 1st Saturday comes and the macaroni salad is in the fridge waiting for the boys to come and get it. It's a summer Saturday staple. From Memorial Day to Labor can count on it.

As I stood at the island making it this week I found myself thinking back to an incident where my traditional tuna macaroni summer salad told us everything you need to know about how to talk about race. With love and laughter.

We were heading out on our family vacation, a 12 hour road trip from NJ to Disney. Cell phones weren't a big deal then but we were fancy with walkie talkies in each car.

After about 3 hours we decided to hit the rest stop and have some lunch. My best friend, who is white, had packed a beautiful basket of cold cuts and breads. My kids ran to her basket and made sandwiches.

I had a cooler filled with my tuna and macaroni and while we eat healthy most of the time....I had fried up some chicken for the road.

Of course, her family jumped on it and all was well. Full, we got back on the road.

5 minutes down 95 we get the call on the walkie. "Pull over up ahead".
"OK. Sure thing. What's wrong?" we replied.

My bestie's husband says, "Nothing's wrong! I need some more of that CPS!"

Confused, we pull over. After having a bite he had dubbed his fav food now forever "colored people salad. CPS for short.

He explained his family had never put tuna in macaroni salad and that he couldn't believe he had been deprived of this culinary delight his whole life. He was convinced this was a delight only to be had in the black kitchen. I assured him it was widely available.

His humor was often colorful and eyebrow raising but it was from love. No one was offended and oh how we laughed and laughed that day.

He passed away suddenly 2 years ago. We miss him terribly. We ponder on what off color comment he would have in some of life's crazier moments. We remember him often....especially in the summer when we have our CPS. Want some for yourself? Try my recipe below! Love while you never know how long you get. Real talk.

CPS- Better known as:Macaroni and Tuna Summer Salad
1 box elbow pasta
1 small jar sweet relish
1 small onion chopped small
1 green pepper chopped small
4 cans tuna
3 squirts mustard
1 cup mayo
2 spoons celery seed
1 sprinkle sugar

Boil pasta, drain, and rinse with cold water
Mix ingredients with well washed hands.....go 'head and get in there......
Eat. Share. Laugh. Worry about the carbs later. ENJOY!

1 comment:

  1. Living large in Missouri!June 24, 2015 at 5:24 AM

    You shared this story with me a few years ago and I remember thinking how lucky you all are in the friendships you've built that stand the test of time. I'm making some CPS for the 4th of July festivities and will be thinking of you and your family! Keep sharing your great stories!