Thursday, January 22, 2009

Some Fine Southern Cooking

This recipe is from my friend Grace. There is a special place in Heaven for this woman. She survived being my grade partner for two years. Always the Southern lady, she constantly put me to shame with my impatience and gruff manner. Grace could always find the good in people. She wrote:

Please find Mom's Potato salad recipe as best as I can get it. She is a typical southern cook (who has not cooked for many years, the recipe was probably her mother's recipe, and she died in 1987).
Mom was positive on the ingredients, not on the amounts, so I have done my best there. Many things were a handful (how big is the hand? "Oh about like yours") so I am estimating and using my ability to "taste" a recipe as it is written.
Hope people enjoy it.
I love this recipe. It reminds me of peaceful days on the Suwannee River at Suwan-oaks with our children. Grandma and later Uncle Dave cooking up a storm for extended family, friends, & neighbors.
The dinner table, built by the wood-shop at Uncle Dave's high school, was a groaning board, full of the best the family had to offer family or guests.
This recipe would typically accompany ham, chicken, or fried fish, field peas or greens, and always lots of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, and, of course, fresh cornbread. Talk about tasting the love! I am drooling as I write!
Love, Grace
Mom's Potato Salad

4 large Idaho baking potatoes
½ cup celery, chopped fine (include leaves)
½ cup onion, preferably Vidalia, chopped fine
½ cup sweet pickles chopped fine
4 hard cooked eggs chopped
1 cup mayonnaise (real mayonnaise, not salad dressing)
2 TBSP mustard
Salt & pepper to taste

Peel and dice potatoes (1/2 in. dice)
Cook until quite soft, drain, return to pan and shake to remove excess moisture
Mash 1/2 –3/4 of potatoes
Add remaining ingredients and mix well
If too chunky, mash some more

Mom says 4 servings: I usually get 6+ depending on the number of men at the table!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bon Appetit!

Add some spice to your life with this recipe from Donna, an amazing friend and gifted teacher in France. She wrote:

This is the Potato Salad recipe passed on to me by my mother, a former businesswoman, for whom cooking was not so much a fine art as an exact science, so everything had to be measured precisely! Fortunately, she often doubled the recipe, which left some hope for anyone who happened to pop in unexpectedly -or for somebody like me who finds it tastes even better the second time around a day or two later!

Any resemblance with love and romance is not in the least fortuitous! So, my fellow potato salad lovers, it's time to hop out of bed and get cooking!

(a) Combine in a large bowl 5 cups cooked diced potatoes, 1 small onion chopped fine, 1 cup diced celery (stalk + leaves)

(b) Sprinkle with 1 teaspoonful iodized salt

(c) Make dressing with 1 teaspoonful salt, 1 tablespoonful vinegar, 3 tablespoonfuls oil, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 teaspoonful Tabasco (or other hot pepper sauce)

(d) Add dressing to ingredients in bowl, toss lightly and chill.

This recipe makes enough for 4 people with a healthy appetite for the good things in life!

Bon app├ętit!


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

With love from Marsha

Marsha, my good friend and amazing Israeli teacher, sent the following recipe for potato salad:

This is how we make it here.
8 or 9 boiled cooking potatoes in skins
Peel the potatoes when cool.
Add 4 hard boiled eggs
5 pickles
Some like peas or corn (We prefer corn)
Then, add mayonaise
A teaspoon of mustard, if you like
We also add a bit of crushed fill for flavor

And, then she added my favorite line,
"You have funny ideas and make me laugh."

I am blessed to have such a great friend. Marsha has established a website for children to share their writings and artwork. This site is open to all children throughout the world. The goal is a future with greater tolerance and respect for all people.
So, give Marsha's recipe a try. And, if you are curious about her website, you can find it at

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Potato Salad Fans Unite

Throughout my life, I have had the priviledge of sharing potato salad with friends and family. My earliest memory of this dish center on 4th of July celebrations in our backyard. All of my eight sisters and brothers would be seated along our long picnic table. My father would be grilling burgers and my mother prepared the much anticipated potato salad. She used different ingredients, depending on her mood, the season, and the event. However, my dad's choice included his favorite things: crumbled fried bacon, lots of chopped onions, and mayonaise. It was his Irish heart's dream of a perfect dish.
Nothing was measured. It was a large bag of potatoes boiled in their skins, that were later removed when cooled. The potatoes were then cut up into pieces. A full pack of bacon was chopped up, fried, and placed on paper towels to absorb the grease. At least two yellow onions were then chopped and added to the potatoes and bacon. Mayonaise was added until there was the desired consistency. Of course, salt and pepper to taste.
This was the center of our meal.