I have an announcement of sorts, and I’m burying it in a post about chicken salad. Lucy’s Chicken Salad. I’ve been keeping this bit of information to myself for awhile, which is rare for an over-sharer like me. I’ve been starring at the blinking curser, picking at and playing with my hair like I do when I’m thinking but can’t verbally formulate my thoughts. This announcement–it’s really not that hard to say or even that crazy. I’m just not comfortable with it yet. Just like I wasn’t comfortable calling Kevin my fiancé for months after getting engaged. And the same reason I still have a hard time calling myself a mom. Those are grown-up words. And most days, I swear I’m still in high school.
Let’s start with Lucy. She makes a mean chicken salad. So mean it turned me back on to mayo after years apart (more on that below). She has 4 young kids. She’s married to Dan the man. She has the prettiest chicken coop. And her wit is quicker than the summers up here. We have some uncanny similarities. She and Dan went to the same undergraduate that Kev went to grad school. She’s a child psychologist (like Kev). She grew up in Birmingham, AL, where I spent 4 years of my young life. And she’s also our soon-to-be neighbor.
Remember that one time I said we’re never doing another major move again? Well, we’re not. But we are moving across town. We did something far too grown-up for my resume. We bought a plot of land in Minneapolis next to Lucy’s house. It’s hairy and overgrown right now. (I’m hoping whatever is in that soil will make for a lush edible garden next summer.) But it’s about to house our home. The home we’re never moving from because I’m never doing another major, make that minor too, move again.
I always thought building a home was for grown-ups with lots of money and age on their hands. We have neither. I also always thought our first house would be old, full of charm, and in need of lots of love. We would tear down walls, rebuild them, paint, add crown molding to match the existing trim, build bookcases, update the kitchen (the most loaded 3 words ever spoken), and re-stain the old hardwood floors underneath the carpet just like all the DIY home blogs I read. And then I realized, just because the world wide web knows how to do that stuff, doesn’t mean Melissa and Kevin know how to do that stuff. That and we have a crawling baby, I work from home, and lets not even talk about the hard cash and perseverance needed to do all those projects. The only tools in my box are a paint brush, a cutting board, and a knife.
So we’re building a home. Mike Smith, who was our realtor recommended to us by Sarah, is now our builder. That’s a long story for another day. Mike is a jack of all trades. He co-owns Brownsmith Restoration, a period restoration company. He’s also the brains behind the beautiful store Forage Modern Workshop. Oh, I forgot to mention he plays in the Grey Coats. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Brittany Pool, the very talented designer on our project. The coolest part—we are their first official new construction. I’m not a natural pioneer, so an opportunity like this excites me like no other. These guys are brilliant. They’ve taken our unrealistic Pinterest board and our disjointed idea of an eclectic, modern, farmhouse, and turned it into house plans. We’re close to breaking ground and being that much more poor. We should be Lucy’s neighbor by spring.
I’ve stopped picking and playing with my hair since the start of writing this post. Maybe I’m growing up? Just don’t call me a grown-up. I’m not quite there yet.
Lucy’s Chicken Salad is oh so simple yet packed with flavor. She’s turned me into a mayo lover again. After eating it, I recalled watching Martha Stewart make homemade mayo with an egg and some oil. I eat eggs and oil on a daily basis, so I finally dropped my unfounded beef with mayo. (Jump to the notes for more mayo talk.) This is a great make-ahead meal for lunches, quick dinners, or picnics. Lucy serves her chicken salad with iced tea and sometimes half tea, half lemonade. I’ve included my recipe for that too.
2 c. prepared chicken
1 c. seedless red grapes, halved
1/4 c. high quality or homemade mayo**
2 boiled eggs, diced
2 tbsp. fresh dill
1 tsp. garlic, finely minced
salt and pepper, to taste
Add prepared ingredients to a large bowl. Stir and serve. Store covered and refrigerated for up to a week.
Looking to serve with the pictured iced tea + lemonade? Make 1 batch of this lemonade recipe and 1 bag of Lipton Iced Tea (1 iced tea bag + 2 cups boiling water. Steep for 5 minutes. Add 3 cups cold water.) Stir together and serve chilled for up to a week.
**Let’s talk a bit more about mayo. I used this recipe to make mine. Yes, I’m a bit leery of using raw eggs, but it comes together in less than a minute. How can you pass that up? (I don’t let the baby eat this yet.) Next time, I plan on using farm fresh eggs to ease my mind a bit. If this wigs you out, buy high quality mayo (it should only have a couple ingredients listed).
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Lucy graciously let me post this rendition of her chicken salad. She picked us up straight off the plane from Connecticut and welcomed us to Minneapolis. This chicken salad was ready in her fridge when we arrived. I think I ate the majority of it. Lucy also writes the blog Four Little Peppers documenting life with her little ones. Her writing is killer good. She has me laughing out loud every post. I’m hoping she writes a book of short stories one day. I’m also hoping I’m not in the book listed as her crazy neighbor across the street.
Oh my goodness I can’t believe I missed this bit of news!! Congrats!! This sounds ridiculously exciting and dream-worthy. With your graphic designer’s eye and sense of style, I can only imagine how pretty your home will be. And the whole thing about not feeling like a grown up? Me too. I feel sooo weird calling Robert my “husband.” I’m waiting to mention my “husband” to a stranger and have them respond with, “YOU have a HUSBAND?! You’re like 14 years old!!” Hahhaha oh geez will this ever go away?
LOVE this! That is HUGE. I’m so happy you guys are settling into Minnesota, it really is the best (if you like the winter). I want to hear all about it! The location, the vision.. Sounds like the best kind of scary. What a story to tell about how you built the house your daughter grew up in! Congratulations!
congrats! i don’t think anyone ever feels absolutely grown up. baby steps right?
i cannot wait to see your house. what an awesome adventure! please tell me you will be doing progress updates!!
Could I be more excited for you?! ABSOLUTELY NOT. So thrilled! Can’t wait to hear about all of the progress.
Congrats!! So exciting and I could not be happier for you guys!! 🙂
Wow-starting from scratch! Congratulations on your decision to build. I can’t even imagine all the decisions, as I sit here right now, waiting for the plumber to come quote a bathroom remodel. Can’t wait to see it all unfold on your blog! Welcome to MN!
this is one exciting news….and i will eat mayo occasionally but i dont want to think that theres raw eggs involved.
ahhhh! congratulations! so exciting and so smart! I love it and can’t wait to hear more.
How wonderful, Melissa! Congratulations. Very grown up and very inspiring.
I dream of a day when I can design a my own kitchen with two ovens. Think about it. : )
Fantastic news! Congrats on your new adventure!
I love chicken salad with grapes.
Congratulations on your new adventure. So very exciting to get to design your own home. Best wishes!
Wow! What a dream! Can’t wait to follow along with this exciting process! Oh and this chicken salad looks delightful!
Congrats!! So exciting and so very grown-up. Oh and I definitely think it’s good to have a foodie as a neighbor 😉
Congrats! We’ve done a lot of home improvement projects (mostly paint, wood molding, new knobs and switches, new wooden porch) to our midcentury ranch over the last 7 years, but with our bathroom remodel next month, we’ve hired a contractor. It’s important to recognize when you’re out of your depth, I think. I’m the designer, so I’m still having stressful moments but it’s nice to put a project in the hands of someone you trust. It sounds like your realtor is a renaissance man! I can’t wait to see photos! The chicken salad sounds fantastic! You’ve inspired me to give homemade mayo another chance with my favorite olive oil 🙂
Wow oh wow oh wow !! How exciting!! All of us are certainly looking forward to going along with you on this journey – both the good and the bad…and we know there will be some ‘bad’. We worked our butts off when we bought our old farmhouse not far from Quebec City & I just adored it! Now I live in another old farmhouse – in Massachusetts – that we also ‘worked our asses off on’ & I love, love, love this farmhouse as well. A quick note about the chicken salad – I’m pinning this recipe FER SURE! And I want to try that mayo recipe – I haven’t made mayo in years & this recipe has spurred me on to ‘give it a go’ once again!
Heart’s bursting for you, pal! What an exciting time. I can’t wait to see all that inspiration come together. I’ve done every reno in the book at this point and still refuse to call myself a grown up. xoxo!
Thanks Laura! I’ve been oogling (I don’t think that’s a real word) over your beautiful reno projects. I wish I had more of you in me. Let’s be young forever. Even when we’re old. xo
How awesome an experience you are about to venture on in your adulthood….we are in the process of building our 2nd home and me like you…I am not old and wise and rich HA but it is doable!
Yes! I’m glad there’s more people like us out there. Oh my goodness, just saw a pic of your lots. Those trees are heavenly!