Recipe: Potato salad raises home-building memories

Posted by James Sechrengost on 05/13, 2014 at 09:45 AM

Photo via Creatives Commons Flickr user MarzBars

When I was a young man I helped a friend build him and his wife a log cabin. It wasn’t one of the sprawling cabins you see on some of these new reality shows but it had three bedrooms, indoor plumbing, and electricity. I did most of the electrical work and a lot of heavy lifting moving the peeled timbers into place. Thank goodness we had chainsaws as I don’t see how those pilgrims ever got the work done using axes and hand adzes.

His wife brought us lunch every day and then stayed around and helped where she could. I look back fondly on that house, which is still standing in the San Bernardino Mountains, and the meals she prepared. One of the dishes she made was potato salad. I never was a huge fan of it, could take it or leave it, but when I tried hers I was hooked. She said to let them steam in the pot, which stopped the potato salad from being soggy and mushy. She gave me the recipe when I left and every time I make it I think of that log cabin and my friends.


2 ½ lbs. red potatoes peeled and cubed

3 tbsp. finely chopped gherkin pickles

½ cup thin sliced celery

½ cup finely diced red onion

1-2 hard cooked eggs chopped (optional as some like them, some don’t)

½ tbsp. grated garlic

3 tbsp. cider vinegar

¾ - 1 cup mayonnaise

1 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 tbsp. fresh minced dill


- Cook potatoes until fork tender.

- Drain potatoes in a colander then return to pot to allow them to steam dry.

- After potatoes have dried and are cool please in large plastic back and add the vinegar. Shake to coat potatoes as evenly as possible, and then refrigerate overnight.

- Next day mix all other ingredients, except egg, in a large bowl till well blended.

- Add potatoes and mix until well coated, add a little more mayonnaise at a time, till the mixture is creamy.

- Spread chopped egg over top, if using, and refrigerate for at least an hour.


Tags: recipe | potatosalad |

{name} Author: James Sechrengost

Bio: Computer Guru | World Traveler and Foodie Extraordinaire | Member of the Been there Done that Club


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