Thursday, June 20, 2013

Potato Salad

Everything I Own by Bread
It's time.  I've mentioned my father several times in my posts but I want to pay him a tribute today.  And there just isn't a more fitting song out there than this one.  People often mistake this for a romantic love ballad.  But David Gates wrote it for his father who had passed away.  Now - with that in mind, give it a listen.  And if you had/have a relationship with your father like I did/do with mine, then I suggest grabbing a handful of tissues before you press "play."  

I missed Father's Day this year.  
Well, I missed writing a post about Father's Day this year.  I honored the fathers in my life, though, on their special day - don't worry!

I had wanted to share this Potato Salad recipe with you in time for Father's Day.  Last year I gave you some delicious ribs to try.  And they'd be wonderful paired with a creamy potato salad like this one.  But, the first week I missed a post it was because I needed to go back to Pennsylvania - kind of last minute - to help with some family issues.  The second week I missed, I was too emotionally drained to write anything at all.

But now I'm doing better.  
And I want to honor my father - a wonderful man who was my anchor throughout my life
- and continues to be although he now resides in heaven - where he waits.  
For me.
And, when we see each other again, we will have all sorts of wonderful conversations as adults about topics like politics, human nature, cooking, music, writing, the environment, science.  You see, my dad could talk to anyone about anything because he had a voracious appetite for knowledge.  The man was always educating himself, always reading, always listening.  He knew the importance in asking the questions "How?" and "Why?"  And he taught me to do the same.  He traveled quite a bit with his job and I loved hearing about his adventures when he returned home again.

I love this man beyond comprehension.  
He was the calm amid the storm.  I never feared him.  I wanted to make him proud.  Even today, that is my motivation in everything I do - to make Dad proud.  So when I see him again some day, I can keep my head up high and see that look of approval on his face.  When I mess up, I can hear him say "Well, that was a clunky kind of thing to do/say."  And when I do something well, I can sense him next to me, nudging me softly with his elbow to get my attention, and then saying, "You're pretty terrific, you know that?"

David Gates wrote for his father:
"You taught me how to love,
What it's of, what it's of.
You never said too much
but still you showed the way,
And I knew - from watching you."

My father was a show-er, a doer.
He led by example, which has been proven time and time again as the ultimate teaching method.  Through him I developed my love of music, my interest in history, my thirst for knowledge and the need to question and ask "why?" I inherited the desire to write and study language and the value of having  a large vocabulary.  I appreciate clever puns and can still remember some of his.  Some of what he taught me would not be appreciated until later in life - such as learning how to work the earth to bring forth food and sharing your talents even though it scared you to death!

My father passed away in 1995, just before the Internet became the all-encompassing entity that it is today - before iTunes and the iPod and it's influence on the music industry.  My husband and I often contemplate what Dad's reaction would be to the world today.  I'm fairly certain that he would be a blogger.  He used to write for local publications and enjoyed it immensely.  Knowing that he could self-publish on the internet, I think, would have been an outlet he couldn't pass up.

Thanks for listening to my thoughts about a "pretty terrific" guy.
And, as David Gates further wrote in his song:
"Is there someone you know
You're loving them so
But taking them all for granted?

You may lose them one day
Someone takes them away
And they don't hear the words you long to say ~"

You don't need a special occasion.
Have a BBQ right away and invite those you love.  Cook up some ribs and make this delicious Potato Salad and let them hear the words you need to say.

Potato Salad
serves 6
5 medium russet(more firm) or yukon(more waxy) potatoes
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1/4 red onion, diced
2 green onions, sliced thin
1 red pepper, cored and diced
2 handfuls of arugula, chopped
1 c. mayonnaise
3/4 c. buttermilk
2 T. prepared dijon mustard
2 T. dill relish
salt and pepper to taste

Place the potatoes, whole, in a large pot and cover with cold water by an inch.  Add a small handful of kosher salt to the water and cover and bring to a boil.  Cook until a fork pierces the potato to the center easily - but be mindful to not over cook until they are mushy - but undercooking will give you gray or black centers when they cool.  A gray colored potato salad isn't very appetizing!

Once the potatoes are cooked through, drain and let cool.  When cool, peel the potatoes and cut into bite-sized chunks and place in a large bowl.

To the potatoes, add the hard-boiled eggs, the red onion, green onions, red pepper, and the chopped arugula.  You'll be surprised at how the addition of the arugula amps up the flavor!

In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, mustard, and dill relish.  It will be loose.  Add this mixture to the bowl with the potatoes and other ingredients and fold to mix well and thoroughly coat the ingredients.  Season to taste with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.

This is a basic recipe and leaves plenty of room for embellishments!  Enjoy!


  1. Glad to see your back to yourself and what a wonderful tribute. I always enjoyed conversing with your dad.
    Aunt Linda

  2. A great tribute! and on a side note~ I miss you terribly Aunt Linda!!!

  3. I thought I was reading about MY dad here!!! I have also been missing him lately, asking myself, "what would he say to all of this "mess" that is going on in Washington D.C.??" I have so many things to ask him. So many things I NEED to know about how he thinks about the issues. He always knew what was coming and what it meant....sigh.

    This looks like the perfect potato salad with all of the needed elements...the red for color, the pickles for zing, the arugula...that is a surprise element I want to try!!!

    (Your Dad and my Dad would probably get along)