Monday, July 27, 2009

Potato salad -- a lost art?

When I read Garrison Keilor's It's time to stand up for homemade potato salad, I thought that people were just lazy sometimes. However, after a friend posted the article on her Facebook page, one of her friends commented that she had never made potato salad in her life. Okay, maybe I'm naive. But as Keilor says, "It is not that hard to make potato salad, people." Never made a souffle or a pate? Okay, I can handle that. But seriously, making potato salad involves boiling water (with potatoes in it) and mixing up a few things. So, Garrison Keilor, wherever you are, this is my contribution to saving the American way of life. Here's my simple potato salad recipe.

The beauty of making your own potato salad is that you can add or omit anything you don't like. I'm not a big fan of raw celery, so I leave it out. But if you like it, go ahead, chop a couple of stalks and toss it in there. This is one of those things that I make flying by the seat of my pants, so you don't even have to dirty your measuring spoons and cups.

I figure about 1/2 pound of potatoes per person or a medium-size potato per person. Peel the potatoes, chop into one-inch cubes, and boil in water until a fork can easily pierce a piece. You don't want to boil them too long though, or you'll have mashed potatoes. Drain the potatoes. (I pour the water into a quart canning jar and save it in the frig for making bread. Potato water does amazing things for bread!)

Put the potatoes in a large mixing bowl and add a large blop of mayonnaise, a little squirt of mustard, a couple cloves of fresh, crushed garlic, a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Depending on what's in the garden, I'll chop some red onions or snip some fresh parsley or green onions to add some color. Depending upon my mood, I might boil an egg, mash it, and add it to the mix. If you work away from home, you can make this up the night before, cover it, and put it in the frig.

So, there you go -- potato salad. That wasn't so hard now, was it?

As for the burgers on tomorrow's menu, we'll be using some of our ground pork and homemade buns. We have also used ground turkey in the past. Since we only eat the meat that we raise ourselves, we haven't had a beef burger in a couple years, and it'll be several more years (~2013) before we have it again -- and that's only if Bridget or Molly has a little bull calf in 2011.

Raw veggies make a nice side dish since so many of us have been conditioned to want something crunchy with our burgers.


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

What about the dill pickles? I NEED dill pickles in my potato salad!!! Back in college I worked in the deli of a health food store, and making the potato salad was one of my jobs. Hard to believe some have never made it. But I also run into people who have never cooked a dry legume; talk about "Fast Food Nation"!

Deborah said...

Dill pickles, of course! That's what happens when you don't write down your recipes. Thanks, Michelle!

dancingdenise said...

Hey, Deb! I have been making my own potato salad all summer! My recipe is similar to yours but I don't add garlic, fresh parsley, red onion, green onion. Yummy, yummy! Love the sound of raw vegs with burgers, too!

Happy summer1

Alyss said...

Yes! Dill pickles! And my friend's secret ingredient - dill pickle brine instead of vinegar. Though I do like a little apple cider vinegar instead of sugar. And since I can't stand hard boiled egg yolks I mash them with the mustard and mayo but leave the whites in bigger chunks. I do love me some home made potato salad!


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