Saturday, April 5, 2008

Mom's Potato Salad

Some people have a certain dish that they're known for, a dish that they're always asked to bring to family gatherings, church dinners, potlucks and other functions involving food. For my mom, that dish was her potato salad. People raved about it everywhere she took it, and no one could ever get enough. Unfortunately, she never wrote down the recipe before she died, and I only had the opportunity to watch her make it one time. For her, making that potato salad must have just been second nature; for me, though, duplicating it was a much more daunting task.

We're having a gathering at our house tomorrow afternoon for Joe's and his grandpa's birthdays, both of which are this week. I thought this would be a good time to try my hand at Mom's "signature dish," especially considering that Joe's family never had my mom's version and wouldn't be comparing the two in their heads. Some of the pressure relieved, I set out to try to duplicate my mom's potato salad. I sneaked a small helping for myself before storing it in the fridge, and I have to admit: I came pretty close to Mom's recipe. Of course, nothing ever tastes as good as it does when your mom makes it, right? It must just be some magic "mom" thing. I'm guessing this is as close as I'll ever come to her recipe. Hopefully Joe's family will enjoy it!

Mom's Potato Salad
Source: my mom
For the dressing:

2 to 3 cups Miracle Whip (depending on how "saucy" you like it)
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon celery seed
Salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:

3 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
5 medium-sized dill pickles, finely diced
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 of a medium-sized onion, finely diced or grated

1. Cover potatoes with cold water in large pot and bring to a boil. Cook just until fork-tender.

2. While potatoes are cooking, mix dressing ingredients (except paprika). Taste for seasoning. Add the diced pickles, eggs and onion to the dressing.

3. Drain potatoes and let cool. Add dressing to the potatoes and mix. Sprinkle paprika over the top. Refrigerate before serving.

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