Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Vinegary Potato Salad

152

Big Belle’s Potato Salad, sort of

My daughter was named after a woman I never met—my husband’s beloved grandmother. I would have loved to have known her. From pictures, I know that she had high-cheekbones, thick hair and bright eyes. I hear she never said anything that she didn’t mean. No unwarranted compliments from this woman. But, she was also a warm woman, a wonderful cook, and a caring grandmother. She made what I would call All-American food: corn bread, pies, fried chicken. Her bread is something that I almost feel that I have tasted thanks to my husband’s vivid descriptions.

Recently, I asked my husband if there are any of his mothers recipes that he would want to keep. My mother-in-law would be the first to say that she is not a whiz in the kitchen. It’s the kind of thing that might skip a generation. If your mother is an amazing cook, sometimes the shoes are a little too big to fill. One of Belle’s recipes that my mother-in-law did make was her potato salad. It was a recipe crafted in a time before cholesterol, before carbs and before weight watchers. Hearing the recipe, I always picture my husband as a little boy watching his grandmother mix a big bowl of the creamy, vinegary concoction in a large yellow bowl.

When the recipe was told over the phone, there were phrases like bacon grease, egg-y mayonnaise and sweet gherkin pickle juice mentioned. I am all for going all out once in a while. But, since I will be abstaining from the salad due to a recent and serious aversion to vinegar, I think my husband decided not to go whole hog. Instead he went with a vinegary, bacony salad that looked lovely. But, if you think that means he was totally healthy, don’t be fooled. He did use some bacon grease.

Recipe:
Big Belle’s Vinegary Potato Salad

Combine in a bowl:
6 medium red potatoes, boiled and cut into large squares, still slightly warm
¼ medium red onion, sliced into rings
½ cup sliced radishes
2 TB grapeseed veganaise (sorry vegans)
2 T olive oil
Salt
Pepper
4 strips bacon crumbled
1 handful green olives with pimentos
2-3 handfuls of dill, chopped
2 T bacon grease (optional)
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
This is also my entry for the blog event--Picnic Online game

I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing...
A-Apple Pie with Dutch Crumb Topping
B-Buttermilk Spice Cake
C-Chocolate Cherry Pie
D-Dilly Potato Salad
E-Election Day Cake
F-Fruit Cocktail Meringue Pie
G-Gluten Free Upside Down Cake
H-Hangar Steak
I-Ice Cream in a Bag
J-Jell-O a la Haute
K-Kue Pukis
L-Lotek Salad
M-Margarita
N-Nectarines Grilled & Glazed (image soon)
O-Still shopping...
P-Potato Balls (Cynthia can't "play" but she's here in soul:)
Q-Quesadilla (Elise is "swamped" right now. She sends picnic greetings)
R-Redneck Gazpacho (coming soon)
S-Shook-Bag Chicken (coming soon)
T-Tzimmes
U-Ultimate Cheater Pulled Pork
V-Vinegared Potato Salad
W-Warm Sweet Potato Biscuits
X-XXX Pizza

17 comments:

Dhanggit said...

This is one thing I havent eaten for a long time, potato salad!! Love the idea of vinegar on it..yum!!

ps, my mom-in-law is not a good cook LOL so she always asks me for cooking ideas :-)

racheld said...

I'm enjoying all of these SO much!!

I'm sorry I was late getting my three dishes to Louise---they can be found here:


Oysters:
http://lawntea.blogspot.com/2009/01/passing-torch.htmlhttp://lawntea.blogspot.com/2009/02/oysters.html



Redneck Gazpacho
http://lawntea.blogspot.com/2009/05/family-recipes.html



Shook-Bag Chicken
http://lawntea.blogspot.com/2009/01/passing-torch.html

The potato salad sounds wonderful; it's almost the recipe for Wilted Lettuce Salad, but with potatoes. And your Big Belle sounds like a person I could "neighbor" with, as my Mammaw used to say.

angela@spinachtiger said...

My one grandmother is not Italian and also was a great all American cook. I remember her pies. Others remember her southern fried chicken. Isn't great when women like that leave a food legacy.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love that name Maybelle.

5 Star Foodie said...

What a unique potato salad recipe - I love the additions of olives and radishes!

Pam said...

That sounds good! I love potato salad in the summer.

Jenny @ Nourished Kitchen said...

What a delicious potato salad recipe! I love the stuff and am always looking for new versions. I'll sometimes add sundried tomatoes to mine.

Helene said...

That's nice to name your daughter after your husband grandmother.

What a great salad you made.

Cynthia said...

Oh I want some of that!

Foodycat said...

Belle sounds like a wonderful woman! I wonder what it was like when you could use bacon grease in something and not have to apologise or feel guilty?

I like my potato salad on the tangy side, so this sounds like just my sort of thing!

Dharm said...

What a lovely post! Family recipes are always best kept and passed on down the generations. Hubby's grandma sounds like such a lovely person and that salad looks just great!

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

I like this vinegar-y version of the potato salad, and hooray for the bacon grease (that hanger-on)!

~~louise~~ said...

Oh MM, thank you so much for "bringing" your vinegary potato salad to the picnic. A sweet puckering time was had by all...

Gloria Chadwick said...

I've never put vinegar in a potato salad. I'll have to try it cause it sounds good. Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A delicious sounding and looking salad! I love vinegar in potato salads!

Cheers,

Rosa

Y said...

Potato, bacon, vinegar.. yum.

chou said...

This sounds like a lovely addition to a beautiful virtual picnic. I wish you'd had the chance to meet Belle, she must have been quite the woman.

maybelle's mom said...

Dhanggit: I think sometimes husbands with mom's who didn't cook like women who can.

racheld: thanks for passing on your links. This wilted lettuce salad sounds interesting.

angela@spinachtiger: my husband also talks about his grandmother's fried chicken. And, thanks about the name.

5 Star Foodie: thanks.

Pam: me too.

Jenny @ Nourished Kitchen: ooh the tomatoes sound so nice.
Helene: thanks.

Cynthia: thanks.

Foodycat: must be freeing to be able to use fat with impunity.

Dharm: I agree, family recipes are the best.

[eatingclub] vancouver || js: indeed, I agree.

~~louise~~: thanks for doing the event.

Gloria Chadwick: thanks in return.

Rosa's Yummy Yums: me too.

Y: indeed.

chou: I know I really do wish I could have.