I was talking online to an old friend of mine and we were reminiscing about growing up in our sleepy little town. We talked about her favorite dish when she was a kid – salmon pea wiggle and I hated it. If her mother invited me over for dinner on that night, I always had too much homework. She told me they knew every time because that was the only time I didn’t want to stay.
Then she asked me if I remembered the bean suppers at the congo church. It’s really the Congregationalist Church but I never knew anyone who called it anything but the congo. I’ve told you before that everyone in our town had Boston baked beans with franks, brown bread and potato salad every Saturday night. If you didn’t feel like cooking, you could go to the congo church and they would have an affordable bean supper, a piano player and lots of people to talk to. What they also had that most people didn’t was pea salad and I loved it.
When I was going through my stash of recipes that my father sent me (he died in 1987), tucked in between two newspaper recipes was a little card that said, “Congo Pea” and it was carefully written in my father’s handwriting. He would never have eaten pea salad because he didn’t like mayonnaise very much. He was a meat and potatoes man and a huge dessert eater. He got that recipe for me and I smile every time I think about it.
- 500 grams frozen peas (I used baby peas)
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 small or ½ large red onion, finely chopped
- 2 hardboiled eggs, chopped
- ¾ cup cheddar cheese cut into small cubes
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish (try not to get too much liquid)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix through the dressing.
- Mix all ingredients together, taste for seasoning and adjust for your taste.