I'm a professionally trained cook and pride myself on both the beautiful raw materials and technique I can ply with love when feeding my family and friends. But when I think of my Ohio home, and our grandmother, in particular, this processed amalgam of mid-century grocery store "innovations" tastes and feels like love on a plate. Our grandparents were from a small town surrounded by farms. As they grew up and raised their family "progress" meant technological innovation and no where better than the kitchen, where canned food was a marvel and kitchen appliances and shortcuts were highly sought after. This awful sounding but delicious sandwich spread tastes that that perspective - humbled, affordable ingredients of the mid-century era when grandma (Gaga) was feeding her family. Miracle Whip held pride of place in Gaga's kitchen. Whenever we came home to visit there was a bowl waiting in the fridge and a fresh loaf of sliced white white white bread. Later, when told my new husband wasn't a big fan of the stuff she asked "how could I fix anything?" Gaga's been gone for several years now, but this solitary Covid holiday period I took the edge off the isolation by assembling all the ingredients and making it myself - for the first time in many years. I could have made it with southern ham, housemate pickles and hand whipped mayo, but the taste of our youth came from the knowledge of all that planning, shopping and chopping that meant it was time to be together.
Chop all solid ingredients down finely. Gaga used a spring-loaded Foley chopper. Mix liquids into Mirable whip/mayo and blend until smooth. Mix into solid ingredients, adding slightly more dressing if too dry. Tastes best if refrigerated for several hours to let flavors blend. Must be eaten on super soft sandwich bread.