Barbara McClellan

Emily Dickinson said, “Luck is not chance, it’s toil.” Someone else (unknown) said, “Hard work puts you where good luck can find you.”

Now I certainly agree with both of these statements and many more that I found similar to these. However, I believe there’s a kind of luck that just happens by where and who you are. This good fortune of which I speak is the kind that comes if you have a friend, neighbor or family member who likes to garden and has an abundance which they enjoy sharing.

Good luck comes to me when I receive a recipe using some of this wonderful produce which you get to enjoy without having to do any of the labor that comes with gardening. This week we have been on the receiving end of both the produce and the recipes. Two friends from many years ago shared produce and a wonderful recipe. And my nephew, who married into the wonderful Overton peach family where we have been buying peaches for several years, brought us peaches that are beautiful and taste better than any other year. I almost grieve for people outside East Texas who do not know the glory of our locally grown peaches.

All right, the first recipe comes from the son of a family from First Baptist Church with whom we were friends. It’s a delightful coincidence that I have reacquainted in some form or fashion in the past few years with the three Jacks children. I am pretty sure they were in one of the children’s choirs at church I directed a few decades ago. I wish I could take credit for the successes for which they have all become. Credit must be given to their wonderful parents. Anyway, David sent this great six-ingredient recipe. He and his family are one of the lucky receivers of East Texas produce from a neighbor. I am using tomatoes given to me by a former neighbor and fellow teacher with whom I had a great visit this week when he brought delicious tomatoes from his garden. Jon McBride was one of the finest teachers I was privileged to teach with at the “old” Forest Park Middle School. The students all said that he made math fun.

The Jacks Family Herbed Tomato Cucumber Salad


1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped

1/3 cup chopped red onion

1/3 cup finely chopped basil

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tomatoes, sliced


Mix all ingredients except tomatoes until well blended. Refrigerate, and serve over sliced tomatoes.

The next recipe is from a dear friend who knew I had been looking for a salad like this for a long time.

Fresh Corn Salad


6-8 ears of corn

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 medium red onion

2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1 avocado

1 cup raw spinach


4 tablespoons olive oil

6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste


In a small mixing bowl, combine all dressing ingredients with a whisk and set aside.

Add about 2 inches of water to a large pan and bring to boil. Add corn and cook for only 3-4 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat grill on medium heat and brush corn with olive oil. Grill until nicely golden on each side. When corn is cool, cut off cob, and add to large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat all the ingredients. Serve. Makes about 6 servings.

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— Barbara Richardson McClellan is a longtime food columnist. Write her at or in care of the Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.