There’s a lot of things I miss about my mom.  She was the world’s best movie trivia source before Google was invented and was a champion at crosswords, Scrabble, and any other word game.  She spoke to us in words with more than one syllable and pointed to the dictionary when we didn’t understand.  And she was a great cook.  An adventurous cook.  I know it is from her that I gleaned my knack for pulling together dinner out of what’s in the refrigerator.  She did it for years feeding six kids.

There were certain dishes she made that I continue to make as she did, and her potato salad is definitely one of them.  To this day, it remains the benchmark for all potato salads for me – and rarely (if ever) does another come close.  It is pure simplicity and full of flavor.

Measurements are difficult, because everything depends upon how much you’re making.  I’ll try and guesstimate here, but use your best judgement.

Mom’s Potato Salad

  • 2 lbs potatoes (tonight I used baby yukon gold)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 hard cooked eggs, chopped
  • 1 dill pickle, diced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 3 green onions, chopped (yellow or red onion also works)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp catsup
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • bit of garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

Cut potatoes into serving-sized pieces.  Cook until juuuuust done.  Drain and chill in cold water.  When cold, drain, again.  Mix all ingredients, toss well, and refrigerate.  That’s it.

Mom always peeled her potatoes.  I rarely do.  It doesn’t make a huge difference in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes the potatoes would be a bit overcooked and it was more mashed potato salad than chunky.  That was okay, too.  No matter what, it was good.

We also had roast beef sandwiches tonight.  They were actually the impetus for the potato salad.  Thinly sliced beef on ciabatta rolls with mayo, alfalfa sprouts, thin slices of red onion, and Happy Hal’s Jalapeno Relish.