Celine’s Potato Salad

My mom is famous for her potato salad–the magic lies in the dressing.  When I was a kid, Mom made the dressing in a yellow Currier and Ives mug.  It was an old mug with crackled glaze that coffee had permeated, darkening the cracks.  Mom knew exactly how much of each ingredient to put in by how it looked in the mug, and knew she had the correct proportions when the color of the dressing matched the color of the mug. 

Then one day…..the mug broke.  Would the potato salad ever be the same?  Turns out, yes!  We had a flavor memory of it and knew when the dressing tasted right and called to mind that old mug by its color. 

This potato salad tastes like a Memorial Day or Labor Day picnic and is fairly simple to make:

  • 6 potatoes, peeled, boiled and sliced
  • 2 eggs, boiled, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4-1/2 cup red onion, diced  (adjust to how well you like onions)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise  (or Miracle Whip)
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard 
  • 2 TBSP white vinegar
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Peel and quarter potatoes.  Boil until fork tender, drain.

Hard boil eggs, cool.   (I boil them for 5 minutes and then let them stand in the hot water for another 5 minutes.)

While potatoes and eggs are cooking, make the dressing.  Add mayo, mustard, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to a 1 cup measuring cup.

Mix with a fork until blended.  Taste it.  If it tastes too “sharp,” add a bit of sugar.  If it tastes too sweet, add a bit of vinegar.  Adjust salt and pepper to your liking.  Here is the color for it to be truly “Celine’s Potato Salad.”  The color can be adjusted with mayo (to make it lighter) or mustard (to make it more yellow).

Cool potatoes just enough to handle them.  You want them to be a bit warm when you coat them in the dressing–they’ll soak up the flavors better.  Slice potatoes into a bowl.

Dice onion and add to the bowl.

Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the potatoes and onions, stir gently to coat.

Peel and slice the eggs.  Arrange them over the top of the potato salad.  Sprinkle with paprika, cover and cool completely in the refrigerator.

Serve along side your favorite picnic fare.  It’s the perfect cool and creamy accompaniment to grilled meats.  To obtain the classic flavor, don’t change anything in the recipe.  

This yummy potato salad takes me right back to my childhood and picnics at the house for summer holidays.  I can smell the charcoal and the burgers cooking.  The perfect drink pairing–lemonade.  The perfect end to the evening–catching fireflies.  Ahhhhhhh……

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1 Comment

Filed under Food memories, recipe, salad, side dish, Vegetarian

One response to “Celine’s Potato Salad

  1. Stopped by to remind myself of the essential ingredients as this recipe reminded me of my mom’s and I was afraid I had forgotten something…. the vinegar and sugar are key. I leave the skins on my potatoes these days and add celery to the onions. Thanks for the memories and a quick reference as I prepare a potluck salad!

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