I think, it’s safe to assume we can all agree that Potato Salad is definitely an American summertime tradition. We all take it for granted that at every picnic and barbecue, potluck and church social, all throughout the warm, lazy days of summer, there WILL be potato salad. And we can all agree that it will have potatoes in it. But…..take it any further than that…..well, THEN, you’re just meddlin’! lol
Recipes for that most traditional of traditional dishes, the potato salad, are as varied and unique as the wonderful people who create them. Questioning another man’s (or woman’s) potato salad is risky business. And, SERVING potato salad….outside your own family…..well, that can bring up all kinds of uncomfortable questions. Wise men and women resolve this issue in the course of pre-marital counseling. Those who have not been as mindful may sit down to lunch, some afternoon, completely oblivious to the tragedy that is about to ensue. There’ll be all that awkward, but polite, pushing of food around the plate to make it seem like some of the salad has been eaten…or even worse, the picking through, and piling on the side of the plate, all the “objectionable” ingredients…..then there’s “he said”, “she said”….huffing and puffing…..a little more awkwardness, and finally……..”That’s not the way my mom makes it.” Now, you and I both know…THAT’s going to be a problem. 🙂
Nobody wants that.
It turns out, potato salad is personal!
Given what I’ve already shared about my knowledge of potato salad, you can imagine, I approached this post with a bit of trepidation. My hesitation is not without some basis in fact, mind you. I have actually experienced “Potato Salad Rejection”. The scars are deep, Sister. And I know you’ll understand when I spill the sordid details.
I learned to make potato salad at a very young age. We used potatoes, celery, onions, mayonnaise, mustard AND diced sweet pickles; but the really closely guarded secret was to add some of the pickle juice to the mayo and mustard dressing. That salad is to-die-for! At least I think it is. It’s what I grew up eating. It’s the only potato salad my kids will eat and it’s the one my husband l.o.v.e.s!
My tragic story began with the words, “Are there PICKLES in this potato salad?” And then everything after that is kind of a blur…..a dear friend…..”but, I’ve never heard of!”….”What nationality ARE you?”….weeping…wailing…but, no gnashing of teeth. She wouldn’t let it anywhere NEAR her teeth.
Scarred, I tell you…the BOTH of us…scarred for life!
But, for you, Sweet Friends, I am pushing through my potato salad apprehensions, and with the encouragement of my friends at #CollectiveBias and their #KefirCreations campaign, I have created a brand new potato salad recipe to share with you. I had in mind, when I was making it, a healthier more nutritious version of our old potato salad. I have found that in my attempts to coax my husband’s palate to enjoy more healthful menu options, I need to camouflage some of my ingredient choices, by making the dishes “appear” to be our regular fare. This was no small feat, where this recipe is concerned, since the mayonnaise and the high sugar content from the pickles, were the things I wanted to try and switch for other ingredients. It turns out that the plain Lifeway Kefir Low Fat Cultured Milk Smoothie was a fabulously healthy substitute for the mayo I was used to using. (Lifeway Kefir Coupons) I was still able to achieve the creamy texture I knew David would be craving, just by using the kefir. And, by substituting some fresh dill weed and 1 Tablespoon of sugar for the whole jar of sweet pickles (and juice) that I would normally have added, the sugar content in this salad dropped dramatically. Score!
The first time I presented David a serving of this new recipe, I had also omitted the yellow mustard that I typically stir into the dressing. He noticed. I’m not sure if it was flavor or color, but he DID notice. After a brief moment of feeling faint, as the horrors of potato salad rejection caused me to hyperventilate, ever so slightly; I took a few carefully measured Lamaze breaths, and stirred 2 Tablespoons of mustard into the salad. After all, camouflage is my friend, right? (P.S. no one was harmed in the serving of this potato salad….. aaaand breathe…..Hee-hee-hoooooo….. Hee-hee-hoooooo.) 😉
Presentation #2. “Now, THAT’s my potato salad!”…..*sigh*…..It’s ok. It’s enough for ME to know that it isn’t his potato salad. He’s happy, so I am, too. And now, he’s eating a little healthier. Which is fantastic! So, use the mustard — leave it out. It’s all up to you. It turns out, I love it both ways ! And I hope you will, too! Enjoy!
- 5 extra large, russet baking potatoes (or 8 or 10 medium red potatoes)
- 1 cup diced celery
- ½ cup minced red onion
- 4 radishes, sliced into thin rounds
- 1½ cups Lifeway Kefir Plain Lowfat Cultured Milk Smoothie
- 2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 Tablespoon seasoning salt (I used my Homemade Herb Seasoning Salt)
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 2 Tablespoons fresh dill weed, minced OR 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
- optional, fresh dill and radishes for garnish
- Peel and boil the potatoes until fork-tender. Drain them and set aside to cool. (I had extra large, russet baking potatoes on hand, so that's what I used, but red potatoes or Yukon Golds should work, too. You will just need more of them, since they are so much smaller than baking potatoes.)
- Once the potatoes have cooled, dice them into bite-sized pieces.
- Chop the celery and onions. Add them to the diced potatoes.
- Wash, and thinly slice, the radishes. Add them to the other vegetables.
- To make the dressing, whisk together the kefir, mustard, seasoning salt, sugar, and dill.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetables and stir to combine.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. Tastes best cold and the flavor gets even better as it sits.
Do YOU have a favorite potato salad recipe?
Do you share it in public?
Have you ever experienced “Potato Salad Rejection”?
I’m here to help, Friend! I’ve got your back!