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A Passel of Potato Salads

Island Epicure

In England, not celebrated for great cuisine, we were served a simple potato salad consisting of pieces of cooked potato and mayonnaise. In Germany, the potato “salad” arrived at our table piping hot and doused with bacon drippings and vinegar. In France, nothing so plebian as a potato salad ever appeared on a restaurant menu, nor is there a potato salad in either of my French cookbooks. The potato salad my mother used to make was Scandavian. (Her stepmother was Danish; her parents spoke no English. As a child of four, I thought they were still learning our language as was I. Grandpa Jorgen Peder Jansen said “lillie” for “little” for instance, and “trat” for “tired”.)

Here is my version of a Scandinavian potato salad. Let me remind you that potatoes are members of the nightshade family. If left sitting in the sushine at your picnic, they quickly revert to their poisonous form and can cause a nasty case of food poisoning. I’d serve the cooler, in the shade, and remember to close the cover after taking dishing up everyone’s portion. Actually, potato salad is better as a potluck contribution  or for dinner at home on a warm evening.

Scandinavian Potato Salad
           Serves 6
5 Russet potatoes, boiled in salted water
3 green onions, sliced
1/3 to 1/2 cup sweet pickle relish or finely diced sweet gherkins
2 ribs celery, diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
vinegar to taste
salt to taste
1/4 cup minced parsley
3 hard boiled eggs

parsley sprigs or dark green leafy lettuce leaves
As soon as the potatoes are tender, drain them. In a mixing bowl, combine the relish, mayonnaise, onions, celery, and a splash of vinegar. Stir. Peel and dice the potatoes. Slice the eggs. Select out and reserve the most perfect slices to be part of the garnish. Chop the end parts of the eggs and chop them and the imperfect or broken slices. Add these to the bowl with the relish, etc. Stir and pour over  the potatoes. Fold in. Decant into a serving bowl. Round the top, leaving an indented perimeter. Into this grove lace the parsley sprigs or a garland of lettue leaf tops.  Arrange the perfect egg slices atop the salad. Sprinkle with paprika.