Potato Salad - Southern Story
My Dewey's oldest sister, Charlene, has always made potato salad for all of the family events. In my husband's family, everyone has that one dish that they're always asked to bring--my stepdaughter Emme, deviled eggs; sister-in-law Elise, red velvet cake and macaroni pie; niece Kelli, creamed corn; Dewey, mashed potatoes and turkey; stepdaughter Tara, sweet potato casserole. For Charlene, it's always been that great potato salad. She and her sister, Sue, vied for the best cornbread dressing for a period of time, but it's never been a contest for the potato salad. It's been Charlene's trademark dish at every Thanksgiving, Easter, family reunion and at all of the family picnics.
I've never enjoyed potato salad because most people don't use onion. Charlene uses onion! And she uses dill pickle relish, not the sweet stuff. Charlene is not able to cook now, and she cannot remember recipes that once lived in her mind. I never pinned her down long enough to get her recipe, but Dewey and I remember the ingredients. Recently, I recreated Charlene's potato salad with a couple of minor changes: I use baby yellow potatoes with the skin on. Charlene used Russet potatoes, boiled, peeled and diced. I swapped out the yellow mustard she used with white vinegar and Dijon-style mustard. I've made it twice and it suits our palates and honors my sweet sister-in-law Charlene Pacheko.
For a printable recipe, click here. For more information, scroll down.
Why did I change the potatoes?
I find that the yellow potatoes are waxy enough to retain their shape after tossing, and they have a sweet and buttery flavor that Dewey and I prefer. Using the baby potatoes and keeping the skin on saves a lot of prep time, which is always a plus for me.
Why change the mustard?
The yellow mustard is a bit too tangy. Too obnoxiously loud. I use the white vinegar to add a bit of sharpness, and the Dijon-style mustard for a flavor punch without overwhelming the other ingredients.
You may want to add finely diced celery, but no more than half a cup or the celery will overpower the dill pickle flavor.