How to make the world’s best potato salad (aka, my mother’s potato salad)

It’s finally spring here, the snow has mostly melted, excepting the glaciers where the plows left large piles.  It’s been such a long winter, it feels like I should be skipping around the alps and singing “The Hills Are Alive!”   Instead, I made potato salad, because I felt spring-y.  (And because the discount store had a 50 lb bag for $15….)  Let me start out by saying that this recipe has been handed down for at least 3 generations.  My mom made it, my grandmother made it, and now I’m making it.  It changed a little with each new cook, but it’s essentially the same thing.  It’s a savory potato salad, not a sweet one.  A lot of them are so sweet, I can’t abide them!  This one is good warm or cold, though I’ve got to say, you’ve not eaten good potato salad until you’ve had it warm.

So here’s what you do.

The number of potatos you start with is dependant on the number of folks you are feeding.  I’ve done 5 lbs like this, or just me, but currently, my family has 6 in it, so I started with these:

2014-04-10 16.27.33

Rough cut your potatoes and drop them into a pot of boiling water.  Add some salt (they are potatos after all…)- I count to 3 while I’m pouring.

While the potatos are cooking, cut yourself up a small onion and 3 or 4 stalks of celery.  (Again, the amount is dependant upon the number you’re feeding.  For one person, you’d want about a tablespoon of onion, 1 stick of celery and 1-2 potatoes.)  Drop those in a big bowl and get out your apple cider vinegar.  Pour a bit of this on the onions and celery – you want it to pool just a little in the bottom of the bowl.

2014-04-10 16.43.14

Shake some salt on those out of your salt shaker – just a little, enough to get the juices coming out.  Then, give ’em some love and stir them around.   Let them sit until the potatoes are done.  We’re giving these a mild pickle before we mix them with the rest of the ingredients. (If you want to give it a real kick, get a chive blossom and add it into this – fresh chives also make a nice addition.)

Take out 4 eggs and hard boil them.  Cool.

When your potatoes are done, drain them

2014-04-10 17.14.22

and drop them into the bowl with the onions and the celery.  Add some yellow mustard.  (I added about 4-6 tablespoons).  Add some mayonnaise – we want more mustard than mayo, so I added about 3-4 tablespoons here.  Mix.  I used a potato masher.  I don’t want these to get totally mashed, but a bit of squish is OK.  (I added both before the taters and stirred, so that they’d mix easier – you can also put the eggs in at this point, if they’re done cooking.)  You want just enough of the mustard/mayo mix to make the potatoes slide easily.

2014-04-10 17.22.50

2014-04-10 17.23.44

Chop your hard boiled eggs and add them to the bowl.

2014-04-10 17.26.38


Top with paprika and serve.  Warm is yummy!!!

2014-04-10 17.28.20

About catfeet1

Mom, canner, reader, sci-fi geek, she who loves car seats
This entry was posted in By Hand, Dinner, Gardening and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to How to make the world’s best potato salad (aka, my mother’s potato salad)

  1. Katie says:

    Hi Ann! I’m a reporter at Seven Days newspaper, out of Burlington. I’m working on a story about preppers in Vermont, and stumbled across your blog through one of the online forums. I’d love to talk to you about what prepping looks like in your day-to-day life. If you’re up for chatting, shoot me an email at I’d love to hear from you!


Tell me what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s