Monday, August 25, 2014

Potato Salad and the Other "F" Word

I've heard it mentioned more than once now, the four letter word starting with F that gets bandied about this time of year. You know the one: fall, aka autumn, the precursor to winter.

I mean, we're still looking at temperatures in the 90s this week, for Pete's sake. Yes, I know, school's starting soon, August is giving way to September, blah, blah, blah. But we live in the Northwest, where the rains can hold off until October or November in a good year. And with Indian summer there's the possibility of camping, picnics and outdoor gatherings for another several weeks.

So I'm putting my hands over my ears, living in denial and ignoring pooh-poohers who want to harsh my summer mellow. I'll be wearing my Keens and capris, eating as many tomatoes as I can stuff into my face, enjoying whatever Dave pours out of his cocktail shaker or pulls out of the smoker (like the 11-hour brisket, above), plus making my mom's classic potato salad that makes any time of year feel like the height of summer. So there!

Mom's Potato Salad

2 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. ketchup
2 tsp. worchestershire
2 tsp. basil
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/3 c. pickle juice
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

8 med. russet potatoes
1 yellow onion
10 eggs
6 med. dill pickles

Put unpeeled potatoes in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and cover with water. Place on stove and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are tender but not mushy. Drain and cool (can be made ahead).

While potatoes cook, make dressing. Put all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.

Peel potatoes (optional), then slice cooled potatoes into 1" square and 1/8" wide pieces (or bite-sized). Chop onion and pickles fine. Chop eggs. Put them all in a large bowl, pour dressing over top and fold it in until thoroughly combined (don't stir or the potatoes will break up too much). Place bowl in refrigerator and let sit for a couple of hours so flavors have a chance to mingle.

Serves 10-12. This recipe makes a huge batch, so feel free to halve it, though it tastes even better the next day and will last for a week in the fridge.

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