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.