The Newbie Chronicles: I’ve Got a Recipe for That

It’s a good feeling when I pick up my CSA half share and go, “aha, I know the recipe I’m using for that veggie.”  So it is with cabbage.  And we’re not talking green salad, slaw, or stir-fry.  True, those are valid uses of cabbage, and I’ve employed them all.

But I have a recipe that a friend gave me in Dallas.  I list it below.  A little back story, though.  (Yes, I expect you to jump right to the recipe now.  Maybe you’ll come back for the story.)  Before moving to Grand Rapids, I owned a computer support business.  One of my clients, Suzette Reed, always made sure I had enough snacks, water, tea, or cookies, to eat while I was working on her computer issues.  I often would have to beg off because my fingers would get sticky and I’d lose focus on the problem.

Suzette knew I cooked and she would offer me a variety of recipes.  I’ve made “Mary Foley’s Shrimp Salad” a number of times.  It’s great to have ready for those nights I know my wife will be working late.  My wife telecommutes for a California-based company, so we dine on Pacific Time.  Dinner starts at 8PM on the early nights.  The Mary Foley in “Mary Foley’s Shrimp Salad,” is Suzette’s 94-year old neighbor.  A tip of the hat and a “thank you” to Mary and Suzette.

The salad lends itself to the weekly CSA harvest.  Besides calling for cabbage, you can also use the scallions.  As an interesting substitution, I used the ribs (stems) from Swiss Chard in place of celery.  The texture and consistency were the same and my wife asserts the Chard ribs taste sweeter than celery.

Now, clearly, “Mary Foley’s Shrimp Salad” does not fully keep with the locavore philosophy of a CSA.  Shrimp and Miracle Whip are the “crop” of your grocery store.  But here’s a challenge for you.  Why not substitute a locally smoked fish for the shrimp or a homemade mayonnaise for Miracle Whip?  In fact, this will be one of my experiments in the coming weeks.  Not sure about how to localize the pickles, though.  Although maybe I should learn to pickle the pickling cucumbers from a CSA harvest.


Mary Foley’s

  • 1  lb.             Boiled shrimp
  •  3                   Hard Boiled Eggs
  •                        Chopped Cabbage – ½ small head
  • 1  C.             Sweet Gherkin Pickles- chopped
  • ½ C.             Diced Celery
  • 3                   Green Onions-diced (some green included)
  • ½- 3/4 C.  Miracle Whip

All quantities are approximate with the exception of shrimp and eggs.

Chop the shrimp and eggs.  Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mixing well.  I use a stock pot to hold all the ingredients and minimize the mess.

(Many thanks to my friend, Suzette Reed and her neighbor, Mary Foley.)

About the author:  Dave Gillen didn’t want to eat hotdogs for the rest of his life, so he learned to cook. His mother taught him to boil water, fry an egg, and make oatmeal cookies. Dave forgot how to make the cookies, barely remembered how to fry eggs, but is spot on at boiling water. Currently, he divides his days between being wife Lois’ in-house techno geek and personal chef…and walking his greyhounds.