Today’s prompt: Share a favorite recipe from your mother or grandmother’s kitchen. Why is this dish your favorite? If you don’t have one that’s been passed down, describe a favorite holiday or other meal you shared with your family.
Earlier this week I mentioned Momma’s potato salad and its minor role in winning my father’s devotion. Prophetically, Debi Austen of Who Knew? suggested I post the recipe. And as luck would have it, today’s Fearless Female prompt is all about the recipe.
My sister and I laugh when we say we’re potato salad snobs. But we’re serious. You won’t see us picking up a tub of potato salad from Sam’s Club to take to a covered-dish dinner. Homemade is the only way to go. The recipe is my grandmother’s, but where she got it, I don’t know. Maybe her mother made it this way too.
Like many good recipes passed down from mother to daughter to granddaughter, the directions are fraught with ambiguities like “salt to taste,” “3 big serving spoons full,” “bunch of pickles.” When my sister and I created a family cookbook for our kids, we tried to present those eyeballed measurements in a standard form. So here you go:
8 potatoes (or more if they’re small – I usually fill the dutch oven)
1 onion chopped
chopped sweet pickles (gherkins or sandwich chips) – as much as you like but please, NO RELISH
2 tsp celery seed
1-2 tsp salt
homemade potato salad dressing
- Boil potatoes in their skins about 30 minutes. Fork them to test for doneness.
- Pour off the water and let potatoes cool awhile so that you can handle them.
- Peel potatoes while they are still warm.
- Chop into bite-size chunks. Sprinkle with salt.
- Add chopped pickles and onions.
- Stir dressing into the potatoes.
Dressing: (basic recipe but sometimes I make 1.5 or 2 times this amount depending on the number of potatoes)
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp prepared mustard
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup cider vinegar
- Pour ingredients into a bowl ALPHABETICALLY. Vinegar is always last to prevent curdling.
- Whip quickly with a spoon or whisk. Taste the dressing. If it is not sour, add more vinegar. The potatoes will neutralize the sour taste.
- Mix dressing with the potatoes, onions, and pickles. Stir gently to distribute all ingredients.
- Last add the celery seed.
**The secret of the great flavor is adding the dressing while the potatoes are still hot enough to absorb the dressing.
And of course, our potato salad always tastes best when served in one of Grandma’s bowls.
|Designated potato salad bowls|