A lot of things may be happening now. One project that I was going to start may need to be postponed. There was a lot of energy being channeled toward it. Now, without direction, that energy is simply being absorbed by the surrounding tissues, the way it is with saline solution after a surgery. Before it all disappears I am looking for another enterprise, and I still have my house to simplify, toilet training, and another undertaking that will require research and planning.
Right now, though, I want to focus on something simple, something that implies family and sun and good times. I am talking about potato salad. This is the season for it; starting around Easter and running through Labor Day. It makes an appearance at almost every picnic, barbeque, and holiday party. Unfortunately, many times it does not appear in its best form. Rubbery potato salad bought in a plastic tub from the grocery store shows up all too often, and dampens the mood around the table. Homemade potato salads have their downsides too. While its simple, wholesome (obviously I do not mean healthy) goodness should bring people together, it also has a tendency to cause divisiveness. Even in a single family, there are preferences for potato salads with mustard, lots of mayonnaise, or dill, to name a few examples. There are also rivalries between family members. Squabbles break out because Aunt Linda wants to bring her potato salad to the reunion, but Aunt Theresa thinks her own recipe is much better. Families divide into camps along those lines. I will not necessarily call these arguments petty, because if I am going to that reunion, I want to make sure that the best salad is present.
Which, of course, I tend to think of as my potato salad. It is adapted from a recipe from a 2007 issue of Gourmet. I am fairly traditional when it comes to potato salad. I want the potatoes smothered in mayonnaise, with hard boiled eggs and celery, and a touch of vinegar. This recipe has everything I could wish. It’s creamy with a hint of sweetness. The potatoes are still chunky so you don’t feel like you are spooning mayonnaise whipped potatoes into your mouth. Also, it is one of the few potato salads my husband actually gets excited about, and that is saying a lot.
My Favorite Potato Salad adapted from Gourmet, June 2007
I will list ingredients as they originally published it, but I tend to add a little more of everything that the recipe calls for; more mayo, more cider vinegar, more onion.
3 lbs potatoes, cut into ½” cubes
¾ cup mayonnaise (I use Hellman’s, and typically use closer to a cup)
3 T apple cider vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard (I like to use a country-style, grainy variety)
1 ½ tsp sugar
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
¾ cup finely chopped sweet onion
¾ cup finely chopped celery
Cook your potatoes and allow to cool to room temperature. I like to use red potatoes, but any will do. Be sure to let them cool completely.
In a large bowl, whisk your mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper. Taste the dressing to make sure the seasoning is where you want it. I typically add a little more vinegar and mustard, because I like it to be tangy. Then, stir in the potatoes, eggs, onion, and celery. Sprinkle with paprika if desired, and serve.