Blogiversary Potato Salad

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It is only right that this story comes full circle, one year later, with me thinking about my Dad. August is his birth month and somehow all month long he is so near in my thoughts and dreams I can see and hear him. After nearly 100 posts that have taken me near and far I am back again, in the kitchen making Hugh’s Potato Salad. This family classic comes from a man who hated;  a) mayonnaise, b) mustard, and c) cold starchy anything and yet he produced the most delicious rendition of potato salad which he categorically refused to eat.

When he was a young teen, growing up in Capitola, California during the depression, he had many part time jobs. One was a short order cook at Coleman’s Restaurant on the Espalande, just feet away from Soquel Creek and the beach fronting Monterey Bay.  Here he learned the basics from “Mom and Pop” Coleman — not to discount what he learned from his own darling mother Delores, but an intense culinary education none the less.

It astounds me that he never, ever, not even once wanted to taste this fabulous blend of flavors and yet prepared it wonderfully each time we requested it, year after year. The recipe might not be earth shaking, modern or that different from your Mom or Dad’s, but as with all family classics — it is what I grew up with. Easter, family picnics, and barbecues would not be complete without this side. Lucky me, I watched him closely enough and tasted it often enough that the flavors are engraved on my brain and taste buds. I can whip up this baby without thinking and now my husband and children’s eyes flutter when they see it on the table.

As I come full circle on my first anniversary blog, it is so fitting that again I pay tribute to him, whom I miss with all my heart and owe so much. A little piece of Dad, passed on with love.

Hugh's
Hugh’s Potato Salad with added chopped olives

Hugh’s Potato Salad
Serves 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes


Ingredients
8 large russet potatoes (similar in size)
3 celery stocks, diced
¾ cup red onion, diced (about 1 medium)
½ cup diced sweet pickles
2 tablespoons sweet pickle juice
1 large jar dice pimentos
6 hard boiled eggs
1 ¼ cup Best Foods Mayonnaise
¼ cup French’s Yellow Mustard
Salt
Ground black pepper
Paprika 


Prep

  • Select 8 large potatoes that are similar in size, scrub skins clean and place in large pot of cold water. 
  • Bring to a boil, add about 2 teaspoons salt and cook until potatoes are fork tender (tines slide easily into flesh, but does not break potato apart) about 15 minutes. Cook too long and potatoes will be mushy.) 
  • Remove and cool in cold water until your are able to handle. Peel off skin and cut potatoes into cubes.
  • Dice celery, onion and pickles.
  • Fine chop two hard boiled eggs, slice remaining four to use a topping.

Directions
Place potato cubes on large bowl. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper and pickle juice while potatoes are still warm (and able to absorb flavors quickly.) Fold in diced celery, onion, egg and diced pimentos, stir with spatula to evenly distribute ingredients. Combine mayonnaise, mustard, 1 teaspoons of salt and pinch of ground black pepper in small bowl. Mix thoroughly and color should be a sunny medium yellow – not pale butter yellow. Add to potato mixture and stir to coat evenly, check color again, still should be a happy light sunny color. Add a bit more mustard if necessary. Give it a taste and add more salt to suit yourself.  Top with sliced eggs in a pretty pattern, add a stem or two of fresh parsley and sprinkle lightly with paprika.  Best made the night before or like Dad, early in the morning so flavors can do their magic before dinner time.

Cook’s Tips
Sometimes I add chopped olives or use dill pickles and juice. Dad would never have done that.

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4 Responses to Blogiversary Potato Salad

  1. Anonymous says:

    Misty eyed after reading your culinary tribute. Here’s to you and your Dad.

  2. Robin says:

    Thank you kind visitor for you sweet and thoughful comment.

  3. Bentobird says:

    Savoring all of the love and memory in this beautiful post, Robin. It really illuminates the connections between family and cooking from the heart, a theme that sets your lovely blog apart! Thanks for sharing, truly.

  4. Robin says:

    These are the stories, and memories that are sometimes told around the table. Somehow, we don’t always take the time to tell them, then the memory can become lost. I am so grateful that they resonate with you dear friend.

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