Monday, June 24, 2013

Confessions of A Picky Eater-- A call for recipes

photo credit: jeffreyw via photopin cc
We were visiting my parents a few weeks ago, and we had a delicious picnic dinner.  Chinese BBQ, Chips, Jello Salad, Potato Salad, Veggies, Lemonade, Watermelon.... The Works... (I may be exaggerating the menu)  But I do remember the potato salad.  My kids looked at it and asked, "Potato Salad?  What is that?"

Hi, my name is Erica.  Growing up I feared, disliked and generally abhorred mayonnaise and miracle whip like substances.  As an adult, I have learned that I don't have to fear it, but I still don't like it. I still avoid using it in recipes.  As a result my kids don't know potato salad, pasta salad, and deviled eggs and the like.  My preferences have warped my kids perception of what an American picnic ought to include.

Besides the mayo issue, Potato Salad seems like a ton of work-- cooking the potatoes, the eggs.  Chopping stuff, chilling stuff...  All for a measly side dish.  It has never been worth the effort to me.

This summer I am repenting.  I want to find a potato salad recipe worthy of my time, taste-buds, and effort.  Will you help me?  PLEASE!?!  I can't have my kids growing up and going away to college without knowing what potato salad is! (Thankfully I have a couple years left to make amends.)

Thus, I hereby announce the TriHarderLiveBetter Potato Salad Recipe Collection Week--  Reply with your favorite potato salad recipe (German, Pink, Purple, what have you).  Everyone can try some new recipes and I will FINALLY learn to like potato salad.

1 comment:

  1. There's no getting around it---it is a labor of love and more time consuming than I care for. That being said, it is one of my most favorite foods, not being relegated to a side dish, but often the main course (and only thing) consumed at the meal.

    The trick is to have other things planned to do while you make it--dovetailing is always a good idea and a necessity when preparing time consuming dishes.

    Start by placing small, red potatoes in a large pot and covering them with cold water (in desperate circumstances I have used russets, but their starchiness is not suited to potato salad; Yukon gold in another good choice). Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until barely tender. While the potatoes cook, place the eggs in a pot covering them with cold water, put the lid on and bring to boil. Remove from heat and let stand for 12 minutes. At the end of the time, plunge them into an ice-water bath or run under very cold water to stop cooking process. Do the same with the potatoes which may be done now.

    Slip the skins from the potatoes, dice into bite sized pieces and place in a bowl large enough for the whole salad to be mixed with ease. While they are still warm, pour sweet pickle relish along with its juices over the potatoes to infuse them with the flavor. (in Pat Sleater's famous bacon potato salad she pours the bacon grease over the potatoes at this point--oh yummers!)

    While the potatoes absorb the flavors, peel the eggs and roughly chop. Finely chop several stalks of celery and as much green onion as you prefer. Add these and the eggs to the bowl. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top to taste. Finally, in a small separate bowl mix mayonnaise and mustard to form a dressing. I like to add a little more vinegar and sugar to mimic the flavor of the pickle juice. Gently mix the salad with the dressing adding dressing as needed to coat but not drench the salad. The potatoes will continue to absorb a bit more;it is easy to get it too runny by skipping this step, which a harried and hurried housewife is apt to do---can you tell I have experience in that area?

    Lastly, cover and chill as long as possible. I like to make it first thing in the morning along with breakfast so the flavors have a chance to meld during the day, but have often been found literally throwing it together at the last minute. No matter; it still tastes good and even better the next day.

    I did overdress the potato salad you had here a few weeks ago by not following my own advice. Oh well! Glad you enjoyed it anyway.
    Love, Mom