Sunday, February 20, 2011

Country Potato Salad and My First Cookbook

First, a little backstory behind this recipe...
My husband and I were married in 1997. The following year we moved to England. My husband was in the Navy and that was to be our new duty station. I was only 22 years old at the time and I was ecstatic about living in another country but I was also a little scared about moving so far away from all of our friends and family. We were to be there for 3 years and that meant I was also going to have to find a job there and learn to drive on the wrong side left side of the road.
Betty Crocker and I are old friends.
We found a little bungalow in the London suburbs in a town called Northwood.  It had a very tiny kitchen but it had enough room for a small table. I really wanted to be able to make some good meals in this new home of ours. Unfortunately, I didn't know how to make a whole lot. I made a pretty good lasagna and that was about it. We didn't have a home computer then so there wasn't a website or blog I could go to for help. Instead, I had my Mom. Well, as close to my Mom as I could get.   She sent me my first cookbook that first year we were there.  Moms always know just the right thing to get you, don't they?
This cookbook really saved me. I got so many great recipes from it and I still go to it first when I am looking for something to make.  Before I got this book, I had taken the most horrible fruit salad (which looked more like fruit soup) to a potluck that my husband's boss was having at his house.  What a first impression that was. I was so embarrassed!   I was determined to redeem myself the next time around.
This is a well-loved book!
And that's just what I did. I had this book for about 2 weeks before another potluck rolled around. And this time, Chief Wilson, the hubby's boss, offered to give me his cheesecake recipe if I would give him this potato salad recipe. No problem! And to this day, I still make his cheesecake and this potato salad.  They are classics to me now.  I've only slightly modified this recipe over the years.
   Ingredients:
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 6 medium)
1 ½ cups of mayonnaise (no Miracle Whip please)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
3-4 tablespoons of chicken stock or broth
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped

Directions:

Peel and dice potatoes into cubes. Place potatoes into a large pot of water. 
Boil for about 20 minutes (or until fork tender). 
Take care not to overcook your potatoes – you don’t want them overly mushy.
Mix mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, chicken stock and salt and pepper in a large bowl. 
Add potatoes, celery, onion and stir gently.
 Stir in eggs.
Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours to blend flavors and chill. 

Cook’s Note: Potatoes love to soak up all the mayonnaise, so if you noticed your salad is just a little dry when you are ready to serve, add a little more mayonnaise and chicken stock and it will restore the creaminess of your potato salad.
How do you make the perfect hard boiled egg?  Put eggs in a medium pot. Cover with cool water. Place on burner over high heat. Bring to a boil then take pot off of heat and cover with lid. Set timer for 15 minutes. Dump water out of pot and rinse with cool water.  
You will have perfectly hard boiled eggs and no green rings!



85 comments:

Patti said...

Brandie, this sounds and looks great! I would have never thought of adding chicken broth. Mom's always DO know what to get!

Sydney said...

What a sweet memory! Moms are such a blessing. How long did it take you to get used to driving on the "wrong" side? :)

Brandie@thecountrycook said...

Sydney - it took me a good 2 months to get completely comfortable. I cannot even tell you how many times I would go to work early in the morning (half awake) and accidentally start off on the right side of the road and then quickly have to get back over to the left side. It is so second nature! Thank the Lord I never got in an accident!

Sydney said...

Hehe, well that is shorter than I would have guessed for myself to get used to it! What job did you find there? I imagine it might have been difficult finding one without England residency? I don't know...

Haley @ The Girly Girl Cooks said...

I love your memories of the cookbook and moving to England! I would have been totally freaked out moving that far away!

Brandie@thecountrycook said...

I worked in banking. I had a really great job with some pretty fantastic people. They helped me learn so much. And I'm fortunate that we are all still friends after all these years! I highly recommend traveling overseas (if you haven't done so already). It is so much fun to be young and travel. Opens you up to some wonderful experiences!

Veronica Gantley said...

That potato salad would go well with a barbecue sandwich. If I close my eyes, its summertime.

Sydney said...

Wow, that's great! We recently moved back from living in Peru for a long time [so I also recommend the same thing - love it!] and it was extremely difficult for a non-resident without various other approvals to get any sort of job! What a blessing you had special friends help take care of you in your hugely new experience!

Brandie@thecountrycook said...

Sydney - I definitely think Peru would be far more of a culture shock! What an experience that must have been for you! I just think it is amazing that you took the initiative to do something like that. I would love to hear more about your travels!

Sandra said...

What a sweet memory..love your writing! And potato salad looks so tasty...one of my favorites! Yummy photo too!

Lizzy said...

You have such a sweet mom(not that it's any surprise!). This looks like the classic potato salad that I love...now I'm getting antsy for summer so I can make some to go with some grilled burgers. YUM!

Rhondi said...

Awwww, that brought a tear to my eye when reading about your Mom and her gift to you. And what an amazing experience to live overseas, newly married. Your potato salad sure looks good!

Jill Colonna said...

Brandie,
That first cookbook of yours is just so precious. It's extra special with your Mum's gorgeous comment in it, too! I bet you know them all from memory by now ;-) That was so young to cope with such a huge change. You're amazing!

Becky said...

This potato salad sounds like the kind that my Mom used to make except for the chicken broth. Very sweet of your Mom to give you the cookbook. Whenever there was a get together I would always have her bring her potato salad, because I didn't like to peel potatoes. I was young then.

Kate said...

Awww, what a neat story. And, I know from reading your blog regularly that you've turned into an excellent cook!! We'll be trying this potato salad soon.

Rosemary said...

Great story! I, too, have many dishes I treasure from my first Betty Crocker -- only mine was not a big book like yours. It was a "Dinner for Two." (Just as well-used, though!)

Elisabeth said...

Brandie-I loved reading your story, it was so heartwarming to hear about your life. Aren't moms the greatest?
This is my very favorite potato salad, that I also make. Can't go wrong with Betty Crocker.

Your potato salad looks so yummy, and fluffy. Such a classic recipe!
Thanks for sharing your sweet story and recipe!

Siggy Spice said...

...and now I am totally craving THIS potato salad! Looks fabulous :) I am definately bookmarking this!!

Mateja ^_^ said...

Moms are the best and we truly begin to appreciate them when we ourselfs become one! What a wonderful post and potato salad looks yummy and sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing :)

A little bit of everything said...

What a great post Brandie, Moms and Grandmas are always the best. They'll always make us see the light an the the shoulder to cry on.
The potato salad looks delicious. Looking forward to the cheesecake recipe too :)
Hope you'll have a wonderful Monday

Lindsay said...

What wonderful memories you have of learning to cook! Thank you for sharing the story, especially about the start with the fruit soup. We all have to start somewhere and it's so lovely that your colleagues were so helpful. Thanks for sharing a great and classic recipe with me, too!

Rosy said...

What a unique recipe using chicken broth. I love seeing new ways to create classics.

Pretend Chef said...

Your potato salad reminds me of my first days of blogging. I made a potato salad that sounds identical to yours. Delicious! I had to laugh with your fruit soup story. I had cooking anxiety when we got invited to my guy's supervisor's house for Thanksgiving and I was asked to bring dessert. I set out to testing recipes the instant I got my assignment. Even after making the recipe a handful of times my nerves were still racked that day. My dessert ended up in the pantry somehow at their house never to even be set out. Needless to say I was too embarassed to even ask for my tupperware container back. Maybe I'll get my reprieve like you got.

Katie @ This Chick Cooks said...

This potato salad looks great. How sweet of your momm to send you the cookbook :) My mom gave me a binder of family recipes that she made especially for my one year at christmas and it is so special :) Also, thanks for the tip on not twisting the biscuit cutter. Have a nice day!
Katie

She's Cookin' said...

Hi, Brandie! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such a sweet comment :) Thank goodness for mom's, right? What a great story behind this dish - a huge transition for someone so young. We've visited London a few years ago, but I don't think I'd be brave enough to drive there! We did drive in Ireland, but at least they were mostly small towns and country roads! Your Country potato salad is as good as it gets - and its great you added the boiled egg tips and no substituting Miracle Whip!!!

Wilde in the Kitchen said...

Such a great memory attached to that book! It looks very well-loved over the years. The potato salad looks delish, perfect for upcoming spring!

Lisa Anderson said...

I love potato salad! This recipe looks delicious!!

Monet said...

I so enjoyed hearing about your newlywed days (in a new country on top of that!) and the sweet gift that your mom shared with you. Moms do know best! Thank you for sharing your words and this recipe! And thank you for your sweet thoughts on my blog. I appreciate you!

Cheryl and Adam said...

What would we do without our mothers? Sweet story! You're killing me with all this delicious summer food, though, first the baked beans, now this delicious potato salad. I may have to break down and have a picnic in front of the fire place!

Cakewhiz said...

Mothers are truly the sweetest :)
One of my first cookbook was a betty crocker one too amd i still use it...hehe.

Your salad looks delicious with all that potato goodness...drool!

Kristen said...

Moms are often so inspired. That is a great looking potato salad. I can see why it is still your favorite.

southernlady64 said...

Thanks for coming by. I loved this story and the potato salad looks wonderful. All your pictures look great, too. Some wonderful recipes here!

ceecee said...

Great story. First cookbooks always have such great memories baked into them!

Holly said...

Cute story! Most of my cookbooks pages look like that too : )

thecanningwife said...

I love potato salad and this just makes me crave summer!!! Can't wait to make it and bty that cook book looks very similar to my mama's!!

Kathleen said...

What a great story! Betty never lets you down!

The Mom Chef said...

How very cool is this story! I still have the first cookbook my mom gave me, though mine's Better Homes and Gardens. The one with the 3-ring binder.

I LOVE this potato salad. It looks so very creamy and delicious.

Carolyn said...

Aw, so sweet. My first cookbook was Better Homes and Gardens, back in university. That thing was so beat up and dog-eared by the time I was done with it! Great potato salad.
FYI, erythritol can be purchased online or at Whole Foods (Zsweet brand). Is your mum a diabetic? If she's just gluten free, use real sugar (about 1/2 cup). It's cheaper!

Sabrina said...

what a precious gift! and a great recipe! I just wanted to let you know that I am loving your blog so I left you a Stylish Blogger award on my blog.

http://sabrina-eatdrinkandbemerry.blogspot.com/2011/02/roasted-sweet-potato-chorizo-soup-and.html

:)

ravienomnoms said...

Hello there deary! You have been tagged! http://ravienomnoms.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/pretty-pepper-pasta/

Ang said...

I'm a little behind on my reads lately, but I just had to comment on this before I hit the cheesecake post. This story sure brings back memories of my first years in marriage. My mom bought me a similar cookbook that I still like to cook out of. Only now, I'm more free to add and take away ingredients and feel completely confidant. Thanks for sharing this story Brandie:)

Christina said...

I loved your story. I'm so glad I found your blog today. I came over from What's Cooking Wednesday! This potato salad looks delicious and makes me think of summer barbecues. :)

Megan said...

I just LOVE potato salad. Your recipe looks delicious!

Miz Helen said...

I just love hearing about your early years and your family...really good stuff. The Potato dish looks so delicious, we just love dishes like this. Thank you so much for sharing these precious moments with us at Full Plate Thursday and please come back!

cheartstrings said...

Love the recipe and the sentimental connection :)

Stacia said...

This looks wonderful! I have been having a blast looking through all of your tasty recipes! My mom got me a cookbook the first Christmas I was married and boy has it been a lifesaver sometimes! :)
I'm off to the kitchen to make some potato salad now. :)

heather {WhipperBerry} said...

yum!

kisses
heather

thepsychobabble said...

Heh, I know what I'm bringing to easter dinner

Vicki said...

I love potato salad!

I'm hosting my first blog hop over at Peas & Carrots if you're interested in linking up. It's at www.navefamilyfood.blogspot.com

Lark (SparkyLarky) said...

YUM, I love me some good Potato Salad!

Would love for you to share your recipes on "Made it on Monday"

http://larkscountryheart.blogspot.com

*link ups are every WED.-SAT.*

sliceofsouthern said...

Hi there! Don't you just love classic cookbooks! My mom has a Betty Crocker book from the 1950s and it is just a treasure trove of classic recipes that we still use today! Great post!

Erin said...

Your potato salad looks heavenly! I bet the chicken stock adds a ton of flavor!

Annie's Dish said...

I've been looking for a potato salad recipe and this one looks yummy! I must admit though that I am a Miracle Whip girl ;)

Anonymous said...

I like this site^-^

Tinalou said...

I love trying new recipes and need a good potato salad recipe for the summer - this one looks like a winner. Hubby isn't fond of mustard - how do you think it'll taste without the mustard??

The Country Cook said...

Tina - thanks for the comment! The mustard is not a strong flavor in it at all. It really is more in the background. Also, you could try dijon instead of yellow which has a milder mustard flavor.

Mrs B said...

Potato salad is one of our all time family favorites! I've made some with only vinegar and some with only mustard, but never the two combined. Sounds like a yummy idea!

Newly following from the Wednesday hop. I'd love to have you stop by and say hello!

Mrs B

Our Italian Kitchen said...

Great potato salad recipe!! Yum!! Looks yummy!

The Better Baker said...

Looks wonderful! Oh those memories of our young married days can bring some good laughs huh? I have those too. Thanks for sharing yours...and your treasured cookbook. Great post Gal! Enjoy a wonderful weekend...I've already linked some favorites to Weekend Potluck. Thanks for all you do to make my life brighter! XO

Teresa Anderson Swope said...

My Mom gave me my Grandma's Betty Crocker cookbook when I left home back in 1980. It was dated 1956. I treasure that book and seldom bring it out these days. It hangs on my dining room wall in A special rack that also holds a rolling pin. I will hand it down whwn my sons marry.
Love the potato salad recipe. It is pure southern style, although I do love Miracle Whip in it too.
I also boil my eggs the way you do. They turn out perfect every single time. Creamy and no green!
Love your blog. Keep up the good work!

The Country Cook said...

Teresa - I love hearing that! Such special memories!

Tina said...

OH my another great hit..girl you got it goin on, everything we've tried from you has been great!! I have been looking & looking for my moms old potato salad recipe that was given to her mother & so on & so forth, but unfortunately with a passing of family members things go "missing" :( Sooo for the most part from what I could remember from helping her so much when I was younger I knew some but couldn't remember exact measurements & so on. One thing I have never heard of was using chicken broth/stock in potato salad but O-M-G this is that "secret" ingredient that you wonder what it is that makes it taste soo great. Of course as we all do I put my own twist on this--i'm not a big celery person so instead of celery I used relish & for this "sauce" it was a little too much but thankfully I had made a WHOLE bunch of potatoes so it worked out well adding a little bit more potatoes, onions, relish, & eggs. Though it's not my moms it's a nice "my" modern twist of hers....thank you Brandie sooooo much

Adriana Magana said...

I made this patatoe salad yesterday for my bday party and let me just tell you my guest loved it to the point were my bowl was left licked clean lol very creamy I added crushed bacon gave it a more zing to it ty so much for this recipe

Anonymous said...

Just found your website...absolutely LOVE it

TinaC said...

This recipe is awesome!I could've eaten all myself! ;)
This one is definitely going in my "keep" file.
Thanks!

The Country Cook said...

Yay!! I am so happy you had success this one! Thank you so much for letting me know how it turned out for you! I am so happy you loved it as much as we do. I hope you find lots more recipes on here that you love!

bitsybet said...

I have that same Betty Crocker cookbook. It is the best cookbook I own--everything you need know about how to cook, from boiling an egg to making homemade gravy. Great gift for a bridal shower or a bachelor. I really enjoy your blog. Your recipes are fantastic. Thank you for sharing them.

crabigail adams said...

This potato salad recipe is the same as my mom's/grandma's, and it's perfect. Not too mustard-y, not too bland, just ... perfect! Now about that cheesecake recipe ... ? ;)

Brandie S. said...

Exactly! I know some folks see the eggs and mustard and wonder if it is good but I tell them that I promise it all blends well. Not too strong mustard or eggs. Thank you for taking the time to comment! :)

Brandie S. said...

I will keep it forever even though it is falling apart! :) ANd I love to give it as a gift to younger folks who are just moving out on their own.

Donna V said...

thanks for the egg boiling tip

Trisha said...

I'm a mayo person,husband a Miracle Whip guy,so I use a combination of both A better flavour,I think.

Diane V said...

Brandie,
I just made the potato salad, it was really good and so easy, my family loved it. I need to make it again to get more for myself this time. As for the eggs... I bought them already hard boiled and peeled... I know its kinda lazy but its faster.

Samantha C said...

Made the potato salad Sunday. Love, love, love it! My husband is a picky eater and his mom always brings potato salad to our summer get-togethers. He said his mom's feelings are going to be hurt because he won't eat any other potato salad but this one!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am a Miracle Whip person too, and the potato salad recipe is different, with the chicken stock, but I also add a couple packets of sweetener to off set the tanginess of the mustard.

Tina said...

I love this potato salad! It is my most favorite EVER! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

Melissa @ My Recent Favorite Books said...

I love your story!
Potato Salad is one of my all-time favorites!

Kim Honeycutt said...

Brandie, I pinned this the last time I saw it. It sounds so much like my Mom's. She didn't use the broth and she added sweet pickle cubes and some of the juice.

I know that cookbook and the message she hand wrote to you is something you will always cherish!!

I enjoy your stories and your recipes!!

Anonymous said...

I love your story! What kind of onion do you recommend? I made this using less onions than recommended in the recipe, and by the next day it tasted completely like onions :-(

Brandie Skibinski said...

Anonymous - oh no! You could use a sweet onion next time (like Vidalia) or you could use shallots which are a milder onion flavor. Hope that helps! :)

daily diy said...

Thank you for sharing your recipe and making the steps easy for all to understand. I have added a link to your page from my blog. I do hope that is ok. If not please let me know and I will remove it. http://dailydiylife.blogspot.com
Thank you!
Heather
dailydiylife@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Hi! I have made so many of your recipes and some of them are my favorites! I actually just made one this AM. Anyway, I HAD to comment because I actually HAVE that cookbook! My grandmother gave it to me when I was 19. I wanted to tell you that if you have not made the Pancake recipe, you have to try it. It is the best recipe I have come across.

Anonymous said...

This sounds so yummy! I am wanting to make this this weekend, but I have a quick question. About how many people would you say this will serve?

MsPinkerBell said...

Cheesecake recipe, please

Teri said...

Hi Brandie, I was just on pintrest looking at potato salads. My all time favorite is mayo, mustard, eggs, celery and onion. Never thot about chx broth. You know what i do use is dill pickle juice. Perfect replacement for vinegar, No? Try it next time. What do people do with all that juice anyway? lol Teri.