Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Potato Salad on my Plate

There's nothing like a good old fashioned picnic. One of my favorite picnic foods is Potato Salad. Not your ordinary Potato Salad with Egg and mayonnaise. While I enjoy eating Potato Salad made that way, my favorite Potato Salad heralds from my Paternal Grandmother that immigrated to the United States when my father was 11 years old.

My father was 2 years of age when his parents fled their homeland of Latvia after the Soviet Union took control of their country. They left behind 2 much older sisters that had married Soviet officials and had families of their own. For the next 9 years they lived in the sub-standard conditions of DP (Displaced Persons) Camps in Germany. A third sister, 16 years older than my father and closest in age, immigrated to the US about the same time.

My Grandmother passed away when I was a mere 7 years old. I have no recollection of ever cooking with her, but I do have fond recollections of sitting in large Daisy patches watching her pick the daisies, then twist the stems to make Daisy Crowns. When the crowns were finished, she would place one on my head and tell me I was a Princess.

I am fortunate in that I had a wonderful Aunt who preserved my Grandmother's recipes and passed them down to the rest of us. I don't know as though this is traditional Latvian style Potato Salad, but we've called it that since I was old enough to know what potatoes were. I find this Potato Salad to be very refreshing on a hot summer day. Not heavy like the ones made with mayonnaise.

Latvian Potato Salad
5 Pounds of Red Potatoes
1 Large Onion
1 jar Polish Dill Pickle Spears
1 Container Sour Cream
Fresh Dill

~ Boil Potatoes until tender, drain and chill overnight. Peeling off skins is optional. Cube Potatoes and put in Mixing Bowl.
~Diced Onion Fine and Add to Mixing Bowl.
~Reserve Juice from Pickles...Chop Pickles (entire jar) Add Pickles to Mixing Bowl.
~Finely Chop Fresh Dill (about 1-2 Tbsp.) and add to Mixing Bowl.
~Add Sour Cream to Mixing Bowl and begin mixing ingredients. Add some of the reserved Pickle Juice to loosen up the sour cream to make it easier to incorporate. I find that most of the time I end up using all of the juice, depending on the thickness of the sour cream.

Cover and chill several hours, toss before serving.
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