Hot dogs and burgers will be flying off the grill in campsites and picnic spots across the land with the first holiday weekend of summer at hand.
It’s still spring during Memorial Day weekend, but who cares? It feels like summer. The lake is calling and we must go. First though, let’s remember the real reason we observe this special day: to honor those in the military who’ve lost their lives in service to our country.
The gang at your patio or camp on this holiday weekend doesn’t live by burgers and ‘dogs alone. There’s brats, too, plus all those delicious sides that make fine outdoor dining.
It’s hard to figure what people like most. A three-day weekend or potato salad. Trouble is, a tub of store-bought potato salad big enough to feed the family will set you back a pretty penny.
Store-bought is tasty and convenient all right, but it’s easy and cheap to make your own potato salad. You’ve probably got all the ingredients in your kitchen right now. Then sit back and bask in the compliments while your friends heap seconds on their paper plates.
Here at the shack-ri-la, we started making our own potato salad many moons ago and haven’t looked back. We’re here today to share our easy recipe that’s ripe for the tweaking. Add ingredients that strike your fancy or leave some out. Letting the youngsters create potato salad while you supervise is a great lesson that gets kids in the kitchen.
This makes a modest amount of potato salad, so, if you’re feeding a crowd, you may want to double it.
Grab three average size potatoes, maybe a tad smaller than a baseball. We like Yukon gold potatoes because you don’t need to peel them. Cut the potatoes into bite size chunks and add them to a large pot of boiling water.
You want them done, but still firm and not mushy. Otherwise you’ll end up with mashed potato salad, which isn’t half bad.
Drain the potato chunks and return them to the empty pot. Add a tablespoon of vinegar and stir. Use whatever kind of vinegar you like. Chop a stalk of celery, a handful of onion and slice two hard-boiled eggs. One will do, but two is better.
Add those ingredients to the potatoes, along with one-half cup mayo, a teaspoon of brown mustard, one-half teaspoon celery salt and a teaspoon or two of Old Bay seasoning. Stir everything together with a fork and watch as your potato salad takes shape like magic before your very eyes. Don’t stir too much or too fast, unless you really want mashed potato salad.
Here at the shack, we love to tinker in the kitchen, so instead of one-half cup of mayo we might mix mayo, Miracle Whip and tarter sauce to make one-half cup. If your potato salad is a tad dry, add more mayo or maybe some ranch dressing.
Don’t like onions? Leave them out, or add some chopped bell pepper or diced jalapeño peppers. We really like Old Bay so we always go heavy with some extra.
It’s delicious to serve this home-made potato salad warm, if possible, as soon as it’s ready. Refrigerating for an hour or overnight may be more practical for that holiday picnic or potluck cookout.
Happy summer everyone, even if it’s still spring.
Flip Putthoff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org