State Fair Potato Salad

2 Jul

Hamburgers and hotdogs, corn on the cob dripping of butter, sweet and savory baked beans that melt in your mouth, massive watermelon wedges chilling on ice – no matter what you serve at your backyard BBQ this 4th of July weekend, the meal will not be complete without a huge helping of Mom’s homemade potato salad.

Sweet, creamy, and packed with crunch, I came across this recipe at my local library back when I was newly married and desperate to acquire a repertoire of recipes my family would rave about for generations to come. I poured over shelf after shelf, selecting armloads of cookbooks at a time, searching out the very best of the best in every category. Every time I found one I thought was perfect, I scribbled it out on whatever scrap of paper was handy at the time and stuffed it into an old school folder with a cartoon picture of the M&M guys on the front. 

My intention was to sit down one day and transfer the tried-and-true recipes onto pretty cards that I would store in a special box on the kitchen counter, perfect for sharing and passing along to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the years to come. Life got away from me and I have yet to find time to do so.

Sixteen years and hundreds of recipes later, my folder is now bulging at the seams. The recipes are a little tattered and torn, spattered in mystery food remnants, and decorated in notes about long-past doctor appointments or phone numbers that mean nothing to me. But every recipe in the folder is a time-tested, family favorite that my kids ask for again and again.

At least I got the important part right.

State Fair Potato Salad
(origin of recipe unknown)

Clean and chop 3 1/2 pounds red-skinned potatoes into 3/4″ pieces. Cook in large pot of salted, boiling water until tender. Drain. Transfer to large bowl and drizzle with 1/4 cup juice of sweet pickles. Cool to room temperature, and then add 1/2 cup chopped red onion, 1/2 cup chopped celery, and 1/2 cup chopped sweet pickles. For dressing, combine 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/3 cup buttermilk, 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Pour over vegetables and mix to coat. Fold in 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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3 Responses to “State Fair Potato Salad”

  1. Gina Barlean July 2, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    Except for the eggs, that's how I make mine… and honestly, I JUST got done making it! You must have been writing as I was cooking!

  2. Donna Sturgeon July 2, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    Oh I was! Crazy how I can read your mind…

  3. Niecey Roy February 28, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    MMMmmm, this looks good! I am printing it off and adding it to my own bulging, food stained recipe binder 🙂

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