I’ve been having a hankerin’ for potato salad. I cannot, however, simply go purchase some from a deli counter. You see, I am a Mennonite, and all civilian potato salads are swill. Too mushy, too sweet, or, God forbid, containing mustard. Honestly.
And so, there was only one thing to be done. I had to make it.
However, I cannot simply whip up a batch of potato salad without a second thought. Potato salad (in the German style) is a family tradition. There is a recipe that is not a recipe that is how Grandma made it, and that is why I can go to any family gathering from spring to fall, and there will likely be half a dozen potato salads there, and they will taste identical. Anything less than matching that would be abject failure and a blot on the family name. (And really, I raise enough eyebrows amongst those people.)
I wrote down this sort of recipe years ago (sort of because there are no quantities and it has instructions that only get as specific as “equal parts” and “to thin”). However, I haven’t made it often. I don’t have to. Mom makes it often (I’m sure she could make it in her sleep), and I get my fix that way. (Though my parents like onions a lot more than I do…)
Aaaaaanyway, so it is time. I picked up potatoes and an onion, and, as luck would have it, my parents foisted eggs on me last weekend. Of course, Mom just uses plain, old cooking onions, and I, being a prima donna of delicate palate, bought a Vidalia onion, but whatever.
I boiled, I cooled, I peeled, I grated. I mixed and tasted and tweaked and tasted some more. And then I added it all to a big bowl and mixed. Then I scooped some out into a smaller bowl for supper, got a spoon, and tasted…
And my Mom could have made it. Rawk. I can eat it without shame. I can feed it to other people. I can hold my head up high and bring potato salad to the next reunion. (I so won’t, though, cuz it’s funny watching my relatives freak out when they taste caponata for the first time.)
Just don’t tell Mom I cheated and added a few crumbled strips of Super Bacon (uber-thick, double-smoked, makes your kitchen reek like a woodstove for days), cuz you’re only supposed to use that for hot potato salad or endive salad. 🙂