Italian Picnic Pasta Salad; meanderings

This is the ‘classic’ or original (close to it, anyway) Pasta Salad…. The one that started the whole pasta salad craze back in the beginning of time.

The original called for bottled “Italian Dressing” but I prefer to make my own (plus I can’t get it here).

This was the salad that I took to all the picnics and family reunions when we lived in the U.S.

Now I just make it to have on hand for my lunches (mon mari having sworn off pasta… more or less).

This serves 4 – 6.

Maybe I should put it in a Mason jar….. 

The recipe, Italian Picnic Pasta Salad, has been updated, nutrition information added, and re-posted here: Italian Picnic Pasta Salad.

Back to our little project.

We had a bathroom and we needed desperately to move out of our horrid rental property (that had no heat).It was February and we were tired of freezing.

Next up was the floors.

Walking through the house was like walking on a sailboat in high seas. It varied by as much as 4 inches, undulating up and down across the rooms. The photo below shows one small section of floor in the hall. He’s putting down boards to lay the sub-floor on. Coming from the back it’s 6 boards, 2 boards, 4 boards, 3 boards to get to level.


We also needed electricity.

Well, I should say we needed more electricity, trying to turn this into a modern (sort of) house and all, with washer, dryer, fridge, freezer, computers, oven, cook-top, etc.

We hired an actual electrician for installing the new box. It’s in the kitchen. The wallpaper had already been stripped, the floor leveled and tiled. We had hoped to have the kitchen further along before moving in…..

We failed.


While mon mari was doing all the actual construction I cleaned what would be our pantry.

It had been their kitchen with a wood-burning cook stove.

It was dirty.


I scrubbed it down and painted it.

We moved in the appliances and some shelving.


It was like that until about a year ago when mon mari decided it needed his touch.

This is what it currently looks like – with my exercise bike in the middle.


Back to getting ready to move in….

We had the stove in the kitchen for heat, as well as the kerosene stove you can see on the left.

We needed beds.


We moved all the saw horses, tools and boxes into another room (we moved stuff around a lot) and set up the twin beds in the hall.


And that’s where we lived for the next three months.

That’s Emma peaking around the beds…. Sedi was probably in front of the stove.

Next up: the kitchen.

Last update on August 11, 2023

8 thoughts on “Italian Picnic Pasta Salad; meanderings”

  1. I still love this pasta salad (I pick out the peppers and dirt) so I’m happy to see it in print again.

    I am absolutely amazed when I look at all your before and after pictures. Mon mari does a wonderful job of things and that floor and leveling it must have been a bear!

  2. We are still a bit like that here! Seeing what you have done is a real inspiration. For the 3rd year in a row we have arrived to a train strike plus sundry things that go wrong in our absence. However, we are almost over that now and the tools and paint brushes are about to come out.

  3. nightsmusic – we used a ‘Portuguese level’ – a long hose with water in it…. yes, it was a challenge getting it level. I still love the salad, too – regardless of how many 100’s of times I’ve made it,

    Kate, we were so glad to be warm!

    Gill, You’ll have to send pictures…. love to see other people’s stuggles LOL

    Zoomie, it’s fun remembering – more fun than doing….

    Thanks, Ina…. It’s been a trip!

  4. Pingback: Caprese Burgers

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