Sunday, June 17, 2012

Nanny's Potato Salad

All work and no play makes The Lunchbox Tree a dull blog.  All work and no play makes The Lunchbox Tree a dull blog.  All work and no play -- sorry, where was I?  Among so many other things, in the 4 months that have passed since my last post, I've spent copious hours in front of a computer screen at work, leaving me with little desire to post the recipes I've been making.  "Another 45 minutes in front of the computer screen?" I'd think.  "Oh, it can wait another week."  And another week, before I knew it, turned into 4 months.

I also said goodbye this spring to my paternal grandfather, PaPa, who passed away in early May.  I reflect on this Father's Day with a renewed sense of how lucky I am to have gotten to spend so many wonderful years knowing PaPa and hearing his stories of growing up in California, meeting and marrying our grandmother ("Nanny"), and raising their three children.  It's difficult to put into words how much he will be missed by all of us.

I'm so fortunate that one of those children Nanny and PaPa raised was my dad, who brought up my siblings and I to work hard, enjoy the little things in life, and laugh as much as possible.  Dad instills in us that if we put our minds to it, we can achieve anything; and if the little, insignificant things in life are getting you down, we should remember the wise words of Bill Murray (via the movie Meatballs): "It just doesn't matter!!  It just doesn't matter!!"

And now we ease into summer and enjoy life for all it has to offer - berry picking at a farm a few towns over (the berries in the first photo were from yesterday's visit), visiting the state parks and kayaking around a lake for hours, and enjoying a taste of home when we feel a little homesick.  Nanny's potato salad springs to mind; genius in its simplicity and a true taste of home.  I've written it out as Nanny instructs in the cookbook she gave to the women of the family, and added in a few notes as I saw fit.

Nanny's Potato Salad
(As Kelci makes it, serves 8-12 as a side)
Click here for printable recipe

Boil potatoes whole until done (KH: I use 4-6 medium-large Russet or Maine potatoes)
Boiled eggs, chopped (KH: I used to use only 1 egg, but now I prefer  2-3 - but it's totally up to your taste)
Onion (KH:  1/2 large Vidalia or Texas 1015 onion, cut to a medium dice)
Dill Pickles (KH: About 1/3 c, chopped)
Salt (KH:  & White Pepper, to taste)
Miracle Whip (KH:  I've broken party lines and converted to mayonnaise, but both are delicious)
Mustard (KH:  Don't get fancy.  French's yellow, please.  I like a lot of mustard.)

Boil potatoes "in their jackets" whole until a knife meets bare resistance, 18-20 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes. Let potatoes cool, and then peel and chop into small pieces, about 1/2 inch.  Mix in a large bowl with chopped onion, pickles, salt (KH: and pepper, if desired), eggs, mustard and Miracle Whip (or mayonnaise).  Toss until well mixed.  (KH:  I like to add a dash of cayenne.)  Serve well chilled. 

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