I bet you have all been waiting with ‘baited breath’ for me to reveal our “TOP SECRET” Family Recipe, ever since I referred to it in my last post about making peach vinegar.

First, before I reveal our family recipe (and risk the wrath of my family for revealing this secret recipe 😉, I thought that I should give you a little background first….

At this point, you are probably asking what the picture of this lady has to do with the recipe.
Well, this was her homemade salad dressing recipe.  To be honest, I don’t know where she got the recipe or if she created it herself.
So, who is this woman?
Her name was Ruth A. Smith and she was my grandmother. My dad was her only child.  At one point, their family lived in Phoenix in the 1940’s during the war and she worked in a factory that made airplane parts.  I call this photo ‘Rosie the Riveter’.
 
She was a wonderful grandmother and loved spending time with us…
 
 
Yes, that is me on the far right with my ‘boy’ haircut.  My sister, Jennifer is sitting next to me and my grandmother is holding my brother, Scott (my youngest sister, Grace, hadn’t been born yet).
 
When we were young, we spent a couple of summers in Germany with them, where my grandfather worked. Later, they moved back to the States and settled in California where we lived. Now, my grandmother wasn’t a great cook – however, she wasn’t bad either. When we would visit them – we would have the same menu each time, which included:
– Roast Beef (it was always a bit dry) with potatoes and salad
– Ground Beef Patties with a vegetable that we hated (squash) and salad
After dinner, we always had a VanDeKamps’ Angel Food cake with whipped chocolate frosting and vanilla ice milk.
 
The fact that my grandmother wasn’t a great cook makes it all the more interesting that she made fabulous homemade salad dressing. Years later, my siblings and I would reminisce about her yummy salad dressing. The only problem was that we never asked her how to make it. 
 
A few years ago, I asked my mother if she could remember what my grand mother put in her salad dressing. Thankfully, my mother was able to remember all the ingredients – just not the proportions.  So, I set to work to figure out the recipe and I was thrilled to finally get it! Since then, it is all we use on our salads with a few different ingredients from time to time to change it up. 
So, I am breaking all the family rules by sharing this with you (just kidding) – but seriously it is too good a recipe to keep to ourselves.
 
So here it is:
 
Ruth Smith’s Vinaigrette
Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons Canola Oil (or other non-flavored vegetable oil – don’t use olive oil)
2 1/2 Tablespoons Sugar
 1 pinch Salt
3 – 4 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar or other fruit-flavored vinegar (My Homemade Peach Vinegar is pictured above) 
 I’ve also used Pomegranate White Balsamic vinegar too.
Directions:
In a small jar add the salt, sugar and apple cider vinegar.  Then add the oil and place the lid on the jar and shake until all ingredients are combined.
 
 
Pour over your salad and enjoy!
 
 
You can copy and paste the recipe below if you like:
Grandma Smith’s Vinaigrette
Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons Canola Oil (or other non-flavored vegetable oil – don’t use olive oil)
2 1/2 Tablespoons Sugar*
 1 pinch Salt
3 – 4 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar or other fruit-flavored vinegar
 
Directions:
 
In a small jar add the salt, sugar and apple cider vinegar.  Then add the oil and place the lid on the jar and shake until all ingredients are combined.

Serve over your favorite salad!
*You can use Splenda instead of sugar if desired.

I hope you enjoy our ‘Top Secret’ salad dressing!  Grandma Smith would be thrilled to know that I’m sharing it with all of you 🙂
Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

2 replies
  1. Lynn W
    Lynn W says:

    Wow!! Thank you for sharing your story about your Grandmother and her beautiful pictures!!
    Can’t wait to make your vinegar and the salad dressing

    Reply

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