This Spud’s for Independence Day

It is Independence Day weekend here in the USofA. Yes, some states have chosen to strip doctors of the freedom to adequately treat their patients, and to require healthcare professionals to disclose HIPPA-protected information, but this is not a political blog. My dad invited us over for a good ol’ ‘Murican cookout! He provided corn-on-the-cob as well as the burgers and buns. We offered to bring hearts of romaine for grilling, and potato salad. Our potato salad was based on Alton Brown’s Cold-Fashioned Potato Salad.

Why is this a blog-worthy event? I will spare you the details, but while discussing what we were going to bring to said cookout, Mr. Food It Yourself and I discovered that neither of us has much experience making potato salad. I, personally, have none. Crazy, right? This is what DIYeters live for, though- the opportunity to make something they have never made before, no mater how mundane.

I was the prep chef. I weighed out 2.5 lb of red potatoes, boiled them, and set them in an ice bath. While they cooled off, I assembled the rest of the ingredients, with some variations. The “cornichons” called for in the recipe are just little pickles. We still had some zucchini relish in our pantry, which is just chopped pickles. I drained the extra liquid from three tablespoons of that. Why buy what we have already? I find garlic powder (NOT garlic salt) disperses better in salad dressings, so we used that instead of slicing garlic cloves. Red bell pepper is yummy and pretty, so we added a red bell pepper. We did not have any dry mustard, so we used a squirt of prepared mustard. Again, why buy something we do not need to buy? We left out the parsley and tarragon completely.

Mr. Food It Yourself then took over as Chef. He was able to rub the skins off the potatoes with a clean dish towel.

This is harder than it looks. You need to remove the skin without squishing the potato.

After setting the peeled potatoes aside, Mr. Food It Yourself used our mandolin slicer to chop all the vegetables into small bits. Look at those colors! The vinegar, mustard, mayonnaise, salt and pepper were added. The potatoes were diced and Mr. Food It Yourself gave it a thorough, yet gentle, stir. Then, it was in to the refrigerator for an overnight chill.

It was good! There was a general consensus that the potatoes should have been diced a little smaller. Also, next time, we will add more mustard and pepper. The best part is that Mr. Food It Yourself and I have increased our potato salad production experience.

What is the “totally normal” (in your culture) food that you have very little experience cooking? Share in the comments.