Food For The Soul

Easter is right around the corner and every year about this time, I start getting homesick. Of course, I'm homesick almost all of the time but it usually becomes a bit more intensified this time of year. Easter always reminds me of my maternal great-grandmother, known to us as Granny. Easter was her holiday and no matter how old you were, it was always your sworn family duty to gather in the kitchen on Good Friday and color eggs with Granny. She did it with my mother and her siblings when they were young and the tradition carried over into my generation. Since I'm the only female of my generation, my male cousins and I would congregate in the kitchen and wait for our instructions. The boys' attention span would soon waiver and they would spend most of the afternoon outside in the yard and leave us girls to the work at hand. We would boil the eggs - about 10 dozen or so - and wait patiently for them to cool. In the meantime, we'd gather all the coffee cups in the cupboard and start mixing the colors. We always bought several boxes of the PAAS tablets and we'd put more than one of the same color tablet in the cup to make the color more intense. To this day, the smell of vinegar still evokes memories of coloring eggs and of course, my Granny. We'd carefully dip the eggs in the colors and let them drain and dry on kitchen towels. Now, gather 'round little readers because I'm going to share my Granny's secret to shiny Easter eggs.....she'd get a little dab of Crisco shortening and rub over the eggs with a paper towel and those eggs would perk up and shine like the sunlight!

On Easter Sunday, the whole family would gather at my grandmother's house for dinner and an Easter egg hunt. In addition to being the Master Easter Egg Colorer, my Granny was the Queen of Potato Salad. She would make it for every family gathering and we would always make such a big deal about how delicious it was. We wouldn't do it just to make her feel good, and we wouldn't do it just because you're always supposed to brag on other people's food. No sir! We'd do it because it was truly the best potato salad. EVER. I suspect in the later years of her life, my grandmother was actually the one who made it, but we never let on like we knew.

A few weeks ago I was craving a burger on the grill. What goes better with a burger than potato salad, I ask you?? If you do a search on Google for "mustard potato salad", you'll get about 17,000 results. I can tell you now not to waste your time because there's only Granny's potato salad! This salad is better if made the day before you need it, but in my humble opinion it's really the best the second day after it's made. It makes quite a bowl full and usually after I've eaten something once or twice, I lose interest and out it goes with the week's trash. Not this. NEVER, EVER would I dream of throwing away the best potato salad. EVER. So eat it all, I did, enjoy it all, I did, and think of my Granny and those Easter eggs, I did!

Granny's Potato Salad

6 potatoes, peeled
4 eggs
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup dill pickles, chopped
pickle juice, as needed
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons prepared mustard
salt and pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, but still firm, about 15 minutes; drain and chop.

Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil; cover, remove from heat and let eggs stand in hot water for 10-12 minutes. Remove from hot water; peel and chop.

In a large bowl, combine potatoes, eggs, celery, pickles, mustard, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Gently mix together. Use pickle juice to reach the desired consistency. Chill before serving.


Jenifer said...

I miss Easter at home too! I haven't been home for Easter in about four years. My family would all gather at a relatives' house and talk. Now that a new generation of kids have come along, I'm sure they've started the egg hunt again. I love those memories.

Kristen said...

I get homesick during Easter as well. Our families just do our own thing these days at Easter, but I look forward to seeing them all soon after.
That is one tasty looking salad.


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