Salad Season & Nana's Salad Dressing Recipe

Thanks to many days of rain and cooler then average temperatures, my spring garden has doubled or tripled in size in a matter of a week or two. I've been trying to enjoy every minute of cool, Spring weather knowing it won't be long before the hot weather returned. It's salad season at our house right now. I have salad up to my eyeballs! I took these pictures this morning just before I harvested about 2-3 bushels of salad greens and spinach! I'm so glad I planted so many cool weather crops. I had no idea that our spring would last this long when I planted those seeds. I got very lucky. I told Jon the other day that this Spring garden more then makes up for the loss of our garden last year (due to extreme heat).

The kohlrabi is getting so big. I suppose I should have spaced them out a bit more but they seem to be doing okay. I have the bed edged with spinach. I'm hoping to be harvesting our first kohlrabi in a week or two.

The carrots are growing well, I hope. I've been seeing a lot of mole/vole trails nearby so I hope I won't be disappointed when it comes time to harvest carrots this year.

The sugar snap peas are only about a week away from our first harvest. Charlotte is the most excited about this because she says, "I like garden sugar snap peas better then the stores".

On the left side of the garden I have two beds of hodge-podge planting because I tried to fill in any bare spots with transplants and second seedings. I have 2 purple cauliflower plants mixed in with my carrots and mustard greens.

In the front is my lettuce bed that is producing like gangbusters. I have Ermosa Butterhead lettuce in front of the tall Romaine lettuce. These two varieties are becoming my favorites. I love the crunch from the romaine and the upright nature of it keeps it out of the dirt. Ermosa Butterhead is beautiful and so delicate.

Charlotte saw this Ermosa Butterhead lettuce the other day and said it reminded her of a flower.

My green beans are starting to grow and my swiss chard leftover from last year is starting to bolt.

The snow peas are starting to climb their support and the spinach row in front of them is doing really well.

I'm hopeful that we may get to harvest purple cauliflower this year. Last year it didn't form heads at all due to our 90* temps that started in April.

In the front of the bed I have a mix of spinach and Musclen greens. The arugula in that greens mix is really strong and I don't care for the taste of it. I'm giving most of the Musclen greens to Jon's coworkers in hopes that they like strong tasting greens.

My broccoli is really growing now after the past few rains we've gotten. I have a few varieties of lettuce planted in with them. I love the contrast of colors between the plants.

In the back garden, a few left-behind potatoes from last year have sprouted on their own. I hope they'll produce decent potatoes.

I've planted a few jalapeno pepper plants in with them so Jon can make his own salsa this year. I don't like salsa or spicy foods so those pepper plants are all for Jon.

My back garden bean bed was really spotty with the germination but I think that was due to my using 2 year old seeds. I hate to waste things so I used the seeds I already had but I think I would have gotten better results buying new seed.

Here is just the spinach I harvested this morning.

So, since we've been eating salad almost morning, noon, and night lately.... with no signs of slowing down.... we needed a great dressing. Hands down, our favorite dressing is one that my mom taught me to make as a kid. It's the only dressing that my stomach seems to like (no burping...sorry) and the kids love it. So, now that I've given up the secret family's spaghetti sauce, I guess it's only fitting that I give out the secret to Nana's Salad Dressing.

Nana's Salad Dressing

1 part mayonnaise (I use my homemade... it's really easy!)

1 part ketchup (I use Hunt's since it doesn't have HFCS)

chili powder (I use about 1/2 tsp per cup of total dressing)

water (just enough to make the dressing pourable or skip the water if you're topping potatoes, hamburgers, etc.)

Mix all of the ingredients together and enjoy!

This dressing is also wonderful on baked potatoes, hamburgers, french fries, as a veggie dip... the sky is the limit.

I've linked up with Simple Lives Thursday.

By the way, if any of you are local readers and have a craving for salad... let me know. I'd be HAPPY to give you some greens!