I must confess. I don't like salads. Let me clarify. I like mixed lettuce in a bowl with cheese, croutons, bacon, nuts, chicken and some dressing. I do not like potato salad, fruit salad, pasta salad. To me, it is how I normally eat a type of food that it should be presented in. Potatoes should be warm, pasta should be warm, fruit shouldn't be covered in a creamy sauce. Have you noticed how odd I am? At our niece's graduation party 6 or 7 years ago, my Mother-in-law brought a salad that she learned during the winter when they go to Florida. They lived in an RV park and there was a community center on premise and they would have monthly dinners. Another woman had brought this salad and Joannie enjoyed it very much and asked for the recipe. She brought this to the grad party and asked me to try it. Hmmm. She asked nicely, so I did. Oh.My.Gosh. I could make this once a week and never get sick of it. This makes about 20 servings, but one day I brought it to work and 8 of us ate the whole bowl!
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vinegar
2 cups mayonnaise
2 cups finely chopped celery
2 small cans water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 jar Baco Bits
1 to 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
12 cups popped popcorn
Mix sugar, vinegar and mayonnaise in a large bowl. Add the celery, chestnuts, onions, bacon bits and 3/4 cup cheese. Refrigerate until time to serve. Right before serving, stir in the popcorn and top with rest of cheese.
Notes: I use Old Dutch Gourmet popcorn as I don't have to fish out old maids and it is very tender. Also, you could use real bacon; however, it won't have crunch like the Bacos and the crunch is key. The acids in the vinegar and the mayo will break down the popcorn, that is why you should stir it in right before serving. It still tastes good later, but the popcorn won't be in whole puffy pieces anymore. But then, I eat it all the first day, so there are rarely leftovers!