Updated July 2010.
Strangers are about to learn a dirty little secret my family has known for years.
I eat Miracle Whip (gasp!).
In fact, I like it better than real mayonnaise (gasp!).
My favorite thing is to smoosh up Season sardines, mix in some Miracle Whip, and scoop it up on wheat crackers (gasp, gasp!). I learned this from my dad. My cousin Martin used to ship the sardines to me from Maryland (no other brand will do, just like no other mayo will do), because until recently I couldn't find them here. Finding the Miracle Whip was never a problem.
Invented at Max Crosset's Cafe in Salem, Illinois, Miracle Whip was originally called Max Crossett's X-tra Fine Salad Dressing. Crosset sold his formula to Kraft Foods in 1931 for $300.
A patented "emulsifying machine" helped produce a uniform blend of existing mayonnaise products and less expensive salad dressing. The machine, informally called "Miracle Whip" by inventor Charles Chapman, ensured that pre-measured ingredients could continuously enter the appliance and become thoroughly whipped and blended.
Kraft introduced its new product at the Chicago World's Fair in 1933, with the tagline "Salad Miracles with Miracle Whip Salad Dressing." It was an instant success.
While Miracle Whip is not an all-natural product, the list of ingredients contains nothing I can't identify: water, soybean oil, vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, modified food starch, egg yolks, salt, mustard flour, artificial color, potassium sorbate as a preservative, spice, paprika, natural flavor, dried garlic. Doesn't sound too bad, does it? And from a nutrition standpoint, it's actually a lower-fat alternative to mayonnaise, with no trans fat and only 1 gram of carbs per tablespoon.
In junior high school, my friends and I used Miracle Whip as a hair conditioner, and for facials (gaspgaspgasp!).
I grew up with Miracle Whip, and I guess I'll never outgrow it.
Wild rice salad
This isn't really a salad, and it's not made with real wild rice. It was a favorite with our kids when they were young, and now our grandsons love it, too. A great way to get children to eat some vegetables. Use instant rice and a rotisserie chicken, and this meal comes together in less than 10 minutes. Serves 4.
1 box Uncle Ben's Instant Long Grain & Wild Rice, prepared according to package directions
2 Kirby cucumbers, or 1/2 of a long seedless cuke, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
1/2 lb roasted chicken breast, skin removed, diced (a rotisserie chicken from the market works well, or use leftovers)
1/4 cup Miracle Whip (or mayonnaise)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Black pepper, to taste
Combine first six ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix Miracle Whip and mustard. Add to the rice mixture, and season with black pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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