macaroni salad, very al fresco

northwest camping

This week we did our annual car camping trip to Washington Park on Fidalgo Island. It rained. Welcome to a Pacific Northwest summer.

Washington Park


Fortunately the firewood we brought burned well, and we were able to successfully cook our dinner. Hebrew National hot dogs, blistered over the fire and dressed with sweet relish and very hot Dijon mustard, macaroni salad, Bonny Doon grenache, and toasted marshmallows. I tend to think that, if you don’t cook it on a stick over the fire, it’s not real camping food. Except the macaroni salad, which can be scooped directly out of its tupperware in case you don’t feel like washing extra dishes. 

hot dog!

mac salad

about to toast



You probably don’t need a recipe for toasted marshmallows (although it was fun taking these pictures), but I’m happy to share my macaroni salad with you. This was actually the first time I’ve made it myself – it worked very well, considering I was making it up as I went along. And being rained on didn’t seem to hurt it any.

Macaroni Salad for Two (a very loosely estimated recipe)

  • 1/4 pound elbow macaroni
  • Half of a large carrot, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup Best Foods mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup or so cider vinegar
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 3 radishes, finely diced
  • a handful of fresh chives, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper

Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water until just done, adding the minced carrot to the pot a few minutes before the end. Drain and rinse well with cold water. Make sure it has completely cooled before continuing.

Mix all the other ingredients into the cooled pasta. Taste for seasoning, and refrigerate. If you make it a day ahead, like I did, be aware the noodles will absorb most of the dressing. Be prepared to add more mayonnaise. Do not, I repeat, do not use Miracle Whip. Or if you do, don’t tell me about it – I don’t want to know.

Washington Park

In the morning, by the way, the sun came out. Were we surprised? No.

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