Colored People Salad: Race Talk Over Lunch

Colored People Salad: Race Talk Over Lunch

By Nicole Harding

You know it’s summer in our house when that first Saturday comes and the macaroni salad is in the fridge waiting for the boys to come and get it. It’s a summer Saturday staple; from Memorial Day to Labor Day, you can count on it.

As I stood at the island making it this week I found myself thinking back to an incident where my traditional tuna macaroni summer salad told us everything you need to know about how to talk about race–with love and laughter.

We were heading out on our family vacation, a 12-hour road trip from New Jersey to Disney. Cell phones weren’t a big deal back then but we were fancy with walkie-talkies in each car.

After about three hours we decided to hit the rest stop and have some lunch. My best friend, who is white, had packed a beautiful basket of cold cuts and breads. My kids ran to her basket and made sandwiches.

I had a cooler filled with my tuna and macaroni salad and while we eat healthy most of the time, I also brought homemade fried chicken for the road.

Of course, her family jumped on it and all was well. Full, we got back on the road.

Five minutes down I-95 we get the call on the walkie. “Pull over up ahead.”

“OK. Sure thing. What’s wrong?” I replied.

My bestie’s husband says, “Nothing’s wrong! I need some more of that CPS!”

Confused, we pull over. After having a bite he had dubbed is fav food now forever “Colored People Salad.” CPS for short.

He explained that his family had never put tuna in macaroni salad and that he couldn’t believe he had been deprived of this culinary delight his entire life. He was convinced this was a delight only to be had in the black kitchen. I assured him it was widely available.

His humor was often colorful and eyebrow raising but it was from love. No one was offended and oh, how we laughed and laughed that day.

He passed away suddenly two years ago, and we miss him terribly.

We ponder about what off-color comment he would have in some of life’s crazier moments. We remember him often….especially in the summer when we have our CPS.

Want some for yourself? Try my recipe below! Love while you can, you never know how long you get.

Real talk.

Recipe tuna salad

RECIPE: CPS (AKA, Macaroni and Tuna Summer Salad)

1 box elbow pasta

1 small jar sweet relish

1 small onion chopped small

1 green pepper chopped small

4 cans tuna

3 squirts mustard

1 cup mayo

2 spoons celery seed

1 sprinkle sugar

Boil pasta, drain, and rinse with cold water

Mix ingredients with well washed hands…..go ‘head and get in there……

Eat. Share. Laugh. Worry about the carbs later. ENJOY!

Follow Nicole on twitter @RealTalkNic

Follow Nicole on twitter @RealTalkNic

Nicole Harding is an expert in leadership development, a wife and mother, who is focused on spreading positivity, one conversation, one home project, and one dynamite deal at a time. Follow her on Twitter @RealTalkNic.

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