Archive | 11:52 am

Mom’s Salad Dressing

13 Jun

By Tony Evans

Back in the 1940’s there was no “government health fairy” telling you the necessity of eating six or eight helpings of fruits and vegetables each day. A lot of us kids who lived in a small town like Wenatchee, Washington ate our share just by accident with only one or two decent salad dressings from which to choose. Salads were hard enough to eat alone, without topping it off with some sweet tasting dressing.

In 2006, let me share some of what’s being offered the public, then compare with my mom’s home-made dressing.

Open the refrigerator and check the labels. Yikes!! You can’t even pronounce most of the words on the bottle. Monosodium Glutamate, Disodium Phosphate and, how about this beauty: Xanthan Gum. Is that some kind of foreign gum a worker accidentally dropped in the mix during the processing?

If you try my mom’s special from the 1940’s you will trash your bottles full of stuff you wouldn’t feed your worst enemy (maybe) and try this out on your family. It’s healthy and will save you a lot of money.


Step #1: Get a 12 ounce salad dressing bottle.

Step #2: In a large mixing bowl, combine the following ingredients. These are minimums. My mother made batches so if you want to get a larger bottle and double or triple it, fine with me. I suggest, however, you make a 9 or 12 ounce “test batch” to see if you like it first. It doesn’t matter how much you make, it stores in the refrigerator for months if the lid/cap is on tight.


2/3 cup of vegetable oil. (I love olive and canola oil, but not in this recipe)

½ teaspoon – dry mustard (mom used Colman’s in the yellow can and it’s still available)

½ teaspoon of salt and ground pepper

1 teaspoon of fresh, minced parsley

The juice of two or three lemons (mom did something clever with lemons). She sliced them in half – then into a hot oven for 30 seconds to double the amount of juice. Today, you have a microwave, so do the same thing for 30 seconds.

Next, add 3 cloves of diced or minced garlic.

Mix in the bowl and pour everything into the glass bottle using a small funnel to avoid spilling, then put the cap on tight and shake for about 5 seconds. Let the ingredients settle then take the cap off and dip a clean finger inside to get a taste. If you like it, leave it. If you want more lemon or garlic, add more. Just try to avoid the vegetable oil overpowering everything else. I prefer mine to be more lemon and garlic tangy.

Once you pour this over a nice green salad of tomato, celery, cucumber, avocado and red onion the salad mix will stand up and applaud now that you have poured something over them that’s good and healthy (and cheap to fix)

Mom used to make many batches of this mix and give to friends. The demand became so great that she started selling it at the restaurant for .50 cents a bottle. Back in the forties, that was pretty good money, but it was about the size of a Mason jar.

Tony Evans is a published author of two books and many magazine and newspaper articles. Currently, I am working on a family cookbook using recipes from the 1940/50’s that my parents used in their popular restaurant.