I love summer. I love the hot weather, the sunshine, and I even love the muggy, humid days that make my curly hair frizz.
And with summer comes summer picnics, and I love summer picnics. One of my favorite things about summer picnics is potato salad.
Now, let me begin with this disclaimer: I know that there are tons of potato salad recipes out there, and the debate about the best kind of potato salad can get as heated as a discussion between Browns and Steelers fans about which is the better team. (It's the Steelers, by the way.) I'm not saying that my potato salad recipe, which has been passed down from my mother and grandmother, is the best, but it is my favorite.
Tribune Chronicle photos / Mary Beth Wyko
Potato salad is a perfect summer food.
This is one of those recipes where I had to think about exactly how much of each ingredient I use - I generally peel potatoes and boil eggs until I think I have "enough," add handfuls of carrot and pepper, and stir in Miracle Whip until it tastes "right."
You can make this recipe with regular mayonnaise, but Mom and Grandma made it with Miracle Whip, and I think the Miracle Whip adds a tang that mayonnaise just doesn't have.
One note about the potatoes - when you cook them, you want them to be not too soft (we're making potato salad, not mashed potatoes)?but not too firm. You may also want to learn from my example when it comes to peeling potatoes - don't put all the peels down the garbage disposal at once. The night I?made this batch of potato salad, my husband had to fix our disposal when he got home from work.
5 lbs. potatoes, peeled
10 hard-boiled eggs, diced
1/2 package matchstick carrots or about 1 cup shredded carrot
1 green pepper, diced
32 oz. jar Miracle Whip
Boil the peeled potatoes until they are cooked through but still firm. Allow potatoes to cool, then dice.
In a large bowl, mix the potatoes, eggs, carrots and pepper. Add Miracle Whip. Use enough Miracle Whip to coat all the ingredients but taste it to make sure the Miracle Whip doesn't overpower the potato salad. When the Miracle Whip is thoroughly blended in, sprinkle paprika on top.
Refrigerate overnight or until cool.
Also, you're going to need a really big bowl to mix the potato salad up in. My mom always uses her biggest mixing bowl, and I use a huge salad bowl that I got as a wedding present.
The recipe at right makes a lot of potato salad. I brought some to a picnic at my in-laws', shared some with my aunts at another picnic to celebrate my grandpa's 80th birthday and still had enough left over to feed me for a week.