I had always wanted to make potato salad and when I started this project, I was pretty excited to discover my Mom's recipe. She made this for our spring and summer pic-nics and barbecues.
While preparing the ingredients, I have such a new found respect for my mother and sister Sheryl. It's not that it's hard or difficult, it is just a bit time consuming. And you gotta love a recipe with only four basic commands: boil, chop, mix, chill!
In retrospect, it did seem like Mom was making it for hours in our 70's kitchen in my childhood home. Always chopping and mixing and then ordering us kids to get out of the kitchen. Like the previous recipe I posted for Shrimp Macaroni Salad, my sister has taken this one and perfected it.
For my variation, I changed things up a bit. I love my Mom's recipe but I wanted to leave my own imprint on it. Instead of white onion, I used red onion. I like their milder flavor. They are not as pungent as the other varieties (minus the sweet vidalia or walla walla of course). I also substituted Hellman's Olive Oil Mayo for regular mayonnaise. My Mom was a big fan of Miracle Whip. I love the mayo's out there today made with olive oil. Very flavorful.
I also opted for smaller potatoes because that's what I had on hand. In retrospect, I wouldn't use small potatoes again. I had to leave the skins on because they were so small and the skins just got in the way while cubing them. I'm surprised there wasn't a chopped off finger floating around the finished recipe.
For mustard, I remember my Mom using French's Yellow Mustard in this recipe. Ummm, I really only use that mustard for my hot dogs. LOL. I wanted something different so I chose French's Dijon Mustard. It definitely has a more tart vinegary flavor than regular yellow mustard. Much more complex flavor which added nicely to giving the potato salad. It definitely gave it more depth.
Lastly, the pickles. I searched the fridge for a jar. I always have them on hand and I had none! I really wanted to get the recipe completed that night so I went from the fridge to the pantry in search of a jar. Lo and behold, I found a just purchased jar of Vlasic Bold and Spicy Sweet Chipotle Pickles, I thought to myself, why not? After all, I switched up the mustard. Why not give a little bit more kick in flavor with some sweet pickles with heat? I noticed a flavor kick but it wasn't overwhelming at all. The mayo tempered any heat.
Mom's original recipe appears below. Searches can be made online for other variations that you, as the home chef, can try. I'll let my sister Sheryl make the original one perfectly while I will continue to mix it up a bit!
|Mom's Potato Salad served in John's Mom's Serving Dish from the 50's|
By Abby Deeds
1 cup mayo
1 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
4 cup cubed cooked potatoes
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped pickles
1. Combine mayo, mustard, celery seed, salt and pepper. Mix well.
2. Add potatoes, eggs, onion, celery, and pickles. Mix and chill.