Stressful. Don’t you get it? That it’s stressful? Because it is. Because I don’t make potato salad. I make a lot of things. I make a fucking lot of things but potato salad is one of those things that I do not make. The reasons are many and varied but it’s primarily that the two times I have attempted to make potato salad in the past I 1) burned my hands on the hot potatoes and 2) overcooked the potatoes. The Former is painful. The latter makes for something more akin to mashed potato salad.
But potato salad was on the menu for tonight for many reasons. Not the least of which being that I may have overestimated the amount of potatoes that were needed for dinner last night and there were a bunch left over. Since we could all stand to tighten our financial belts I am loathe to let food go to waste. Thus, we’re having potato salad. That isn’t where the pressure comes in.
The pressure comes from the fact that my mom makes pretty darn near the perfect potato salad. Though I have been recently informed that her potato salad is less than traditional by someone who claims to have superior potato salad knowledge. She puts sliced black olives in it.
That’s normal right?
Eh, it matters not, I have always loved it. I usually just wait for her to come visit or to take a trip out to see her to get my fill of it but as I mentioned above, I had the potatoes cooked and ready to go. So I went for it.
There was my first problem. She usually mixes all the ingredients together just after the potatoes cook. It makes the dressing get all warm and sink into the potatoes and it gets all gooey and delicious without being mushy. Also? My leftover potatoes were red but I didn’t want to be a potato racist so I went ahead.
Second? I don’t like raw red onions. So I don’t have any in the house. I decided not to buy anything to make my leftover potato salad. Especially red onions since I don’t like them in the first place.
Third? Would be my lack of celery. And since my kid doesn’t really like the celery in the potato salad I figured it would be fine. While stirring the salad all together without the onions or celery I realized I had removed the crispy raw items. Oops.
Fourth? Olives and pickles and eggs were all added per instruction. No problem there right? Wrongish. I don’t think I cut the egg up enough. Or maybe I cut it too much. Who knows with these things. It’s a delicate balance.
Fifth and finally? I fucked up the dressing. There. I said it. I fucked it up to hell and back. Remember how I didn’t want to buy anything to make the dressing? Yeah. I totally assumed I had enough mayo. I did not. But I was already cutting down the recipe so I figured I would just cut the dressing in halfish… Sigh. No. This isn’t how it works. I wound up with too much vinegar. Maybe too much mustard. Who knows about the salt and pepper. I DON’T KNOW.
I screwed up my mom’s potato salad recipe. Completely and totally. So if it’s good? I’m just going to call it something else and smile smugly. But if it’s bad? I’ll stop making potato salad. Again. For a while.