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May 10, 2012 / staceyj

Ms. M’s Famous Potato Salad

Moms. I have a dear one. I am one. I have friends who are ones too. I want to be a great one. I have a husband who has a lovely one. I am always trying to be a better one. Some days I feel like ‘Super Mom’. Most days I feel more like ‘Not So Super, Mostly Frazzled, Let’s Just Hug It Out Mom’. Except of course when I make this potato salad. Then I land squarely back in the super column.

This is the only potato salad I would eat when I was a kid. When I was younger I figured it was due to the fact that it was basically the only potato salad I had been exposed to. I grew up. I spread my wings and tried others. And as a woman squarely in her third decade of life, this is still the only potato salad I will eat. I do not practice diversity when it comes to the potato salad and I don’t plan to anytime soon.

This is a family recipe from my mom’s side of the family tree. My great grandmother created it, my grandmother perfected it, my mom taught me how to make it and I’m here to share it. Enjoy!

6 good size russett potatoes
6 eggs
8 sweet pickles, chopped medium
1/3 of an onion, chopped medium
3 tablespoons white vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
2/3 of a mayonnaise jar (30 fluid oz.)

Peel potatoes, quite possibly my least favorite food prep task in the whole culinary world.

I then chop my potatoes so they cook faster. Patience is not my virtue when I’m waiting to get that first bite of p. salad.

Add salt…

…and potatoes to the cold water.

Cook for 25 to 30 minutes until they pass the ol’ fork test. (Don’t start sweating. The fork test is not an actual test. Here are the Cliff Notes: The potatoes are done when a fork is easily inserted and removed from the cooked potato. And if you’re an A+ student and haven’t overcooked the taters, they also won’t break apart when you insert the fork.)

Meanwhile, we need to hard boil some eggs. Once again, fill a pot with cold water and sprinkle in a bit of salt.

Add the eggs.

Once they start boiling, cook the eggs for fifteen minutes. Put together a short tap routine set to the rhythm of the clink, clink, clink of the boiling eggs.

After your timer beeps, run the now-transformed, hard boiled eggs under cold water. Let them cool.

Chop the sweet pickles. When my husband first came on the scene he wasn’t a fan of pickles. So my mom, God bless her!, would make the p. salad without them. And I was like “Umm. How does this newbie rate changing a family legacy?” As soon as we said ‘I do’ the pickles were back in! For a few years he would graciously pick them out. Now? He eats them up just like the rest of us. My side dish assimilation plan is working. (Insert maniacal laugh here.)

Chop the onion too. Set aside.

Drain the cooked potatoes.

Mash potatoes with a hand masher. Go on! Put some muscle into it.

Add the onion,

the pickles,

the vinegar,

the mustard,


and pepper to taste.

Combine and then place in the fridge for 3o minutes.

Go outside to peel your hard boiled eggs. You know, just to be close to your family. And instead of enjoying family time while also peeling, periodically have to duck from random water gun assaults. In hindsight, just stay inside and peel in peace and quiet.

Chop all but one of the eggs.

Slice one egg to put on the top for ohh! and ahh! effect.

Pull the mixture out of the fridge and add mayo until you reach desired creaminess.

Fold in chopped egg.

And stir, baby, stir!

Place your sliced eggs on top. And if you have time, I like to put the completed salad back in the fridge to continue to cool. Cold potato salad tastes best.

Plan a barbecue (stat!) so you have an excuse to make this. And then make the salad, have ‘something’ come up and cancel the barbecue so you can eat the whole bowl yourself. Is that wrong? I feel like that may be wrong.


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