From the Kitchen: Spicing up traditional chicken salad

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There was an omission in last week’s kabobs recipe. The mysterious 1½ tablespoons near the end of the ingredients list is 1½ tablespoons of dry mustard. Thanks to reader Richard Byrd for his early catch.

I’d love to pin the mustardgate on my unsuspecting innocent newsroom editor, keeping my hands clean. But it was totally my oversight.

If you would rather take a cooler approach to cooking without so much heat and smoke to celebrate the Fourth of July, today’s recipes may soothe your appetite.

They can be enjoyed at a table in the shade of a tree or under a wide umbrella while a lazy breeze creates very tiny whirlwinds over the yard. Not enough wind to be annoying, blowing away all the napkins — just nice and gentle.

The chicken salad can be made way ahead and be waiting. Pair it with a croissant or fresh hot roll, with your choice of summer fruits and berries made into a chilled compote.

It’s only a touch spicy if you use a mild picante sauce or salsa, but it can take on as much heat as you put to it by your selection of hotter levels of sauces and any pepper cheese.

If you happen to go overboard, the fruity tea will serve as an antidote for the fiery tongue.

The tea only has four ingredients and is as simple as boiling water, which is the first direction. You may make a second batch of the tea, filling ice cube trays with the beverage and freezing the cubes. The strawberry ice cubes can be used to cool your drink without diluting, the way plain ice would do.

You can also make a simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water brought to a boil then cooled) for easier sweetening after the tea is made.

Leaf lettuce is suggested as a good blanket upon which to rest the salad. I say that because the better half’s deck garden lettuce is up to my kneecaps.

If you have made a “city” farm (containers) or larger, as some have done while looking to keep busy during the pandemic, I hope yours is as successful. Happy Fourth of July!

Reach Judy Grigoraci at

judy.g@suddenlink.net.