Friday, July 03, 2015

Egg & Cheese Casserole

This recipe appeared in a Blacknall Memorial Presbyterian Church cookbook under the name “Jean Corey’s Egg Casserole” and with the recommendation that “this casserole has become a tradition and a favorite for the Thursday morning Women’s Bible Study spring brunch.” Here at the House of Chez Casa, for a large brunch we sometimes make two: one with breakfast meat (sausage, small ham cubes, vel sim.) and one vegetarian.
  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Beat 10 eggs in a large bowl & set aside.
  • Melt 1 stick (8 Tbsp, ½ c.) butter in a saucepan.
  • Stir in
    ½ c. flour
    1 tsp baking powder, and
    ½ tsp salt.
  • Add the flour mixture to the eggs & mix well.
  • Add
    1 lb. shredded cheese (Jean’s recipe calls for Monterrey Jack; I prefer a very sharp cheddar),
    1 pt. small curd cottage cheese (I often have to make do with a 12 oz. container), and
    8 oz. large green chiles, drained, diced, seeded (Jean also rinses for a milder flavor; I often just open diced chiles, strain them & dump them in).
    • Optional breakfast meats (often a tube of breakfast sausage, scrambled up ahead of time) should also be added at this stage.
  • Pour into a 9 x 13 pan.
  • Bake for 40 minutes.
  • Let rest for 5 minutes. (Jean’s recipe calls for baking 30 minutes and no rest. I think her oven may run a bit on the hot side. We have made this in three different ovens, and all of them needed 40 minutes to set and then a rest.)
  • Serve with salsa.
That’s it. It’s always a crowd pleaser. And it’s even better with the sausage!

Michelle’s Meatloaf

This started as a simple recipe cut from a box of Quaker Oats. The Doctor has made a couple of changes, all for the better.
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Combine well in a large bowl:
    • 1 lb. ground beef (preferably ground chuck)
    • ½ lb. ground pork
    • ¾ c. uncooked oats
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • ¼ c. chopped onion
    • 1 c. salsa (look for something gluten free to make your friends happy)
    • 1 tsp salt
    • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  3. Press into a standard 8x4x2 loaf pan (ungreased)
  4. Top with the rest of the salsa (½ - 1 cup by measure (be careful; some salsas are jarred by weight instead of by volume))
    If you want a more BBQesque topping, mix the remainder of your salsa with ¼-½ c. brown sugar before spreading on top of the loaf.
  5. Bake at 350ºF for about one hour.
  6. Let stand/rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
Enjoy!

Monday, June 08, 2015

Curried Chicken

(This family-favorite recipe clipped from a magazine by Margaret Hamilton and passed on to my m-i-l Bobbie Thomas Boone Craig was Dr. SWMBO’s favorite chicken back when she could still digest muscle protein; the proportions are those Bobbie used to feed 8 rather than those from the online version. Total cooking time: 1 hour)

PARTY-PERFECT CHICKEN

6 Tbsp. flour
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground ginger (I used fresh, peeled & sliced thin, then processed into the dry)
2 fryers, quartered or 8 breasts (I used a mix of thighs & breasts)
6 Tbsp butter
Combine flour, salt and ginger in a paper bag. Melt butter and roll chicken in butter one piece at a time in paper bag and shake to coat well. Then arrange chicken, skin side up. Bake uncovered in hot oven (400 degrees) 20 minutes or until beginning to turn golden.
PREPARE CURRY GLAZE:
1 medium red onion, chopped 
6 slices cooked bacon, finely diced (I used 1/3 lb raw, chopped and spent a long while caramelizing it & the onions together before adding the rest) 
2 Tbsp. flour (I added the flour to the browning onion & bacon & let it convert before adding the broth)
1 can condensed beef broth 
2 Tbsp. curry powder 
2 Tbsp. sugar 
2 Tbsp. coconut flakes 
2 Tbsp. applesauce 
2 Tbsp. catsup 
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Then simmer uncovered, stirring often, about 15 minutes or until thickened. Spoon about half of glaze on top of chicken to make a thick coating. Bake 20 minutes. Spoon on remaining glaze and bake 20 minutes longer or until chicken is tender and has turned brown. Arrange on a bed of parsley rice to serve.

Lady & Pups' Magic 15-Second Creamy Scrambled Eggs

(Original recipe & procedure below.)

This is a great recipe, y’all, this adding starch and butter to the eggs. One brunch, we scrambled about 20 eggs, had about 3 eggs’ worth left over, put them into a container and refrigerated them. When we reheated them three days later, they were still fluffy.
  • Choose a heavy-bottomed pan/skillet whose diameter will let your beaten eggs stand 1/8-1/4” deep when they start to cook.
  • Place the pan on low heat.
  • Set aside 1 Tbsp butter per egg.
  • Put 1/2 Tbsp milk per egg into a mixing bowl.
If I’m preparing a dozen or more eggs, I use a stand mixer. Otherwise it’s a regular mixing bowl and a whisk.
  • Into the milk put a mounded 1/2 tsp of cornstarch per egg and
  • whisk/mix until smooth.
  • Beat the eggs (yes, 1 egg per egg) into the milk/starch mixture.
  • Toss the butter into the pan. It should start sizzling immediately. If it doesn’t, turn up the heat. Either way, your going be standing here stirring constantly for the next little while.
  • Pour in the egg mixture and start stirring. At first, it’s going to look like there’s way too much butter in there. Don’t worry; it’s going to get absorbed.
  • When the eggs are almost set, cut the heat (gas) or move the pan to a cooler surface (electric), quickly stir in S&P to taste, and plate. The eggs should still be slightly wet looking when they hit the plate. They will continue to cook in their own heat for a couple of minutes.

Proportion chart:

# of eggs
Butter (Tbsp)
Butter (other)
Milk (Tbsp)
Milk (other)
Cornstarch
1
1

0.5

rounded 1/2 tsp
2
2
1/4 stick
1

1 heaping tsp
3
3

1.5

scant 2 tsp
4
4
1/2 stick
2
1/8 c.
2 1/2 tsp
5
5

2.5

1 Tbsp
6
6
3/4 stick
3

3 1/2 tsp
7
7

3.5

4 rounded tsp.
8
8
1 stick
4
1/4 c.
1 1/2 rounded Tbsp
9
9

4.5

scant 2 Tbsp
10
10
1 1/4 sticks
5
scant 1/3 c.
1/8 c. / 2 Tbsp
11
11

5.5
1/3 c. +
rounded 1/8 c.
12
12
1 1/2 sticks
6
3/8 c.
1/8 c. & 1 tsp
13
13

6.5

scant 3 Tbsp
14
14
1 3/4 sticks
7

3 Tbsp -pinch
15
15

7.5

3 Tbsp
16
16
2 sticks
8
1/2 c.
3 rounded Tbsp
17
17

8.5

3 1/2 Tbsp
18
18
2 1/4 sticks
9
1/2 c. + 1 Tbsp
3 1/2 rounded Tbsp
19
19

9.5

scant 1/4 c.
20
20
2 1/2 sticks
10
5/8 c.
1/4 c.
21
21

10.5
scant 2/3 c.
rounded 1/4 c.
22
22
2 3/4 sticks
11
2/3 c. +
1/4 c. + 1 tsp
23
23

11.5

1/4 c. + 2 tsp
24
24
3 sticks
12
3/4 cup
1/4 c. + 1 Tbsp

In Lady & Pups’recipe (below) you might notice that there is a fudge factor built in for the amount of starch one uses. 1 3/4 teaspoons starch for 3 eggs is NOT three times the 1/2 + 1/8 tsp per egg. The first measure comes to 14/8 tsp for three eggs; trebling the second gets one 15/8 tsp for three eggs. It works out to a rounded 1/2 tsp per egg.

Also, the recipe assumes that there are three eggs per serving. I prefer 2 eggs per serving, while Dr. SWMBO’s preferences average out to ~1.5 eggs per serving (depending on what else she’s having). When we’re entertaining, I start with an estimate of 2 eggs per adult, 3 per teen, and 1 per toddler. Thus the chart above.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lady & Pups’ Magic 15-Second Creamy Scrambled Eggs


Author Notes: “A thickening agent is the answer to the previously-thought-impossible scrambled eggs fantasy,” Mandy @ Lady and pups writes. “Speed, and creaminess, all together.” You'll notice that this calls for a lot of butter, so just to be safe I tried the recipe both with and without the cornstarch, to see how much was really just the goodness of the butter. Without cornstarch, the eggs were good but tougher, the butter more free-floating. And I've found that even if you skimp on the butter, the cornstarch has dramatic effects. Adapted slightly from Lady and Pups. (less)Genius Recipes
Serves 1



  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole milk (1/2 tablespoon for each egg)
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons potato starch or cornstarch (1/2 + 1/8 teaspoon for each egg)
  • Salt to season
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 tablespoon for each egg)
  1. First, crack 3 eggs into a medium bowl.
  2. Then, in a separate cup or bowl, evenly whisk together the milk and cornstarch until it's lump-free (don’t mix them directly with the eggs or you’ll get lumps).
  3. Add the milk and cornstarch mixture to your eggs, and beat until smooth. Season with salt.
  4. Heat a non-stick skillet over high heat until hot, then add the butter (should sizzle right away). Wait until the butter’s melted and bubbly, but before it browns…
  5. Add the beaten eggs. Wait for 3 seconds without stirring anything, until the edges of the eggs start to bubble up…
  6. Then remove the skillet from the heat (yes, remove!), and start stirring the eggs, making 1 full circle per second… 1, 2, 3….
  7. 4, 5, 6, 7…8, 9, 10, 11…(If you use a mini skillet instead of a large one, it may need a few more seconds)...
  8. For about 11 to 12 seconds. The eggs will have absorbed all the butter, but remain partially undercooked (add about 5 seconds more to every 3 extra eggs you’re scrambling, but I wouldn’t do more than 6 at once).
  9. This is when you transfer them onto a plate. Do not wait until they look fully cooked!

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Prayer from Thomas Merton

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.

I do not see the road ahead of me.

I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself,

and the fact that I think I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
 

But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You.

And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.

I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

And I know that, if I do this, You will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore I will trust You always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.

I will not fear, for You are ever with me,
and You will never leave me to face my perils alone.

— from Thoughts in Solitude

Monday, November 24, 2014

Award winning vegetarian chili

Once upon a time I was asked to be one of six judges for a fund-raising chili competition. It was a fund raiser for an aquaponics project to be implemented in Haiti. The event was called the "Haiti Hoe Down."

Not content with cleansing my palate with water between servings, I brought a couple of mini bottles of scotch, which greatly amused my pastor, one of the other judges. I poured a mini bottle into a glass of water, and swished dutifully before and after each small tasting I was served. I then filled out my ballot, which had numerous categories (spiciness, balance of flavors, texture, &c.).

The thing is, Dr. SWMBO was not supposed to have entered anything. She had made a batch of vegetarian chili for her own self, knowing that if she didn't provide a veggie entree, no one would. But someone noticed her crock pot in a corner, unlabeled, and entered it into the competition.

It won first place.

And there were lots of great entries.

So here is her recipe, stolen from her blog post:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chili Recipe

So, I’m finishing up responding to a few friends' blogs and, in doing so, had to reveal the heretofore secret identify. Figured I’d better get around to adding some old draft posts to the blog. In doing so, I’ve also been re-reading those drafts.

Anyhow, in one recent post I mentioned my internationally famous (eaten and appreciated by folks from the US, the Netherlands & Haiti), Prize-winning (1st prize in the 2001 Haiti Hoedown Chili Cookoff, 2nd place in 2002) Vegetarian Chili recipe.

Here’s the recipe, as I sent it out after the 1st cookoff. (If I can ever make the picture upload feature work, Iʻll post a "Before" picture of the ingredients.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Subject: Haiti Hoe-Down Chili recipe, as best as I can reconstruct it
Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2001 22:12:29 -0400

I’m sending this recipe to [Izzy] to pass along to folks who might be interested. I will say that I am floored at having won a chili cook-off without using meat!-- but my strategy of bribing the judges must have been successful.

All measurements are incredibly inaccurate and approximate. I was in a bit of a hurry and mostly dumped in spices and ingredients until things looked right. Just like you cannot step into the same river twice, you can probably never make the same pot of chili twice--there will never be the same combination of left-overs and ingredients in the kitchen. [Note: this might look a bit green owing to the broccoli and the colors imparted by the curries and turmeric.]
“Vegetable”-tarian chili
Sauté together in 2 Tbsp. Extra-virgin Olive Oil until onions are tender:

  • 1/3 cup minced garlic
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • Sprinkle over these 3-4 Tbsp. Boston Kitchen brand Cajun Seasoning
Pour into crock pot:
  • 28 oz can Progresso tomato puree
  • ~1/2 cup mild salsa (Taco Bell brand, left-over from Taco Bell taco-kit.)
  • 2 15 oz. cans El Ebro Frijoles Negros (Black beans, available from Mexican stores)
Heat at medium setting.

Cook in large pan or Dutch oven in 1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil until well-heated:
  • 3/4 cup finely shredded carrots (or any amount left-over in freezer)
  • 16 oz. package frozen chopped broccoli (make sure to chop it small if all you have are just broccoli "pieces". You want the broccoli nearly unrecognizable.)
  • 6 thawed and crumbled Garden Burgers (***I’ve now tried the meatless crumbles. Tasty, but they don’t soak up the liquid as well.)
Put all vegetables into tomatoes and bean mixture in crockpot. Add spices, 2-3 vigorous shakes at a time, stirring and tasting until blend seems right. It helps if you misplace the chili powder and then compensate by adding curry and other spices to get the flavor right before you finally locate the chili, and then go ahead and add the chili powder after all. Spice measurements were extrapolated from looking at what was left in the jars. Tbsp. does mean tablespoon; it’s not a typo.
  • 3 Tbsp. Mild Indian Curry Powder
  • ~4 Tbsp. Hot Madras Curry Powder
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Ground Turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp. oregano
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Valle del Sol (Whole Foods brand) Chile Powder (***Chipotle powder wasn't readily available when I made my first batches of this. It’s an OK substitute, but far less is needed for "general audiences".)
  • 1/3 cup raw minced garlic-added at the last minute (***just before serving or driving to the chili cookoff) to minimize the time the garlic gets cooked.
Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water since the Garden Burgers soak up lots of liquid. Heat chili to hot in crockpot, and then simmer at medium setting until ready to serve.
(Note from bitter experience: If you make it ahead of time, don’t leave chili cooking in the Crockpot over 6 hours--it can get a burnt taste.
***2010 Update: It’s OK to leave in a large crockpot, especially one with a "warm" setting, versus an older, smaller pot with only High and Medium settings.)

Serves 5 judges (1 Dixie cup each) and a line-full of Haiti Hoe-Downers. I don’t know if it freezes well, since there weren’t any left-overs.

Enjoy.

Recipe (c) House of Chez Casa, Durham, NC, 2001.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Poor Scholar’s Soliloquy

by Stephen M. Corey, Teacher’s College, Columbia University, NY, Childhood Education, January 1944. Reprinted Childhood Education 38.8, 1962, pp. 382-3 and 64.3, Feb 1988, pp. 150-51. Occasionally found on the internet as Stephan M. Corey, University of Chicago.

No, I’m not very good in school. This is my second year in the seventh grade, and I’m bigger and taller than the other kids. They like me all right, though, even if I don’t say much in the classroom, because outside I can tell them how to do a lot of things. They tag me around and that sort of makes up for what goes on in school.

I don’t know why the teachers don’t like me. They never have very much. Seems like they don’t think you know anything unless you can name the books it comes out of. I’ve got a lot of books in my room at home-books like Popular Science Mechanical Encyclopedia, and the Sears & Wards catalogues--but I don’t sit down and read them like they make us do in school. I use my books when I want to find something out, like whenever mom buys anything second-hand I look it up in Sears or Wards first and tell her if she’s getting stung or not. I can use the index in a hurry.

In school, though, we’ve got to learn whatever is in the book and I just can’t memorize the stuff. Last year I stayed after school every night for two weeks trying to learn the names of the presidents. Of course, I knew some of them--like Washington and Jefferson and Lincoln, but there must have been thirty altogether, and I never did get them straight. I’m not too sorry though, because the kids who learned the presidents had to turn right around and learn all the vice-presidents. I am taking the seventh grade over, but our teacher this year isn’t so interested in the names of the presidents. She has us trying to learn the names of all the great American inventors.

I guess I just can’t remember the names in history. Anyway, this year I’ve been trying to learn about trucks because my uncle owns three, and he says I can drive one when I’m sixteen. I already know the horsepower and number of forward and backward speeds of twenty-six American trucks, some of them Diesels, and I can spot each make a long way off. It’s funny how that Diesel works. I started to tell my teacher about it last Wednesday in science class when the pump we were using to make a vacuum in a bell jar got hot, but she, didn’t see what a Diesel engine had to do with our experiment on air pressure, so I just kept still. The kids seemed interested though. I took four of them around to my uncle’s garage after school, and we saw the mechanic, Gus, tear a big truck Diesel down. Boy does he know his stuff!

I’m not very good in geography either. They call it economic geography this year. We’ve been studying the imports and exports of Chile all week, but I couldn’t tell what they are. Maybe the reason is I had to miss school yesterday because my uncle took me and his big truck down and we brought almost 10 tons of livestock to the Chicago market.

He had told me where we were going, and I had to figure out the highways to take and also the mileage. He didn’t do anything but drive and turn where I told him to, Was that fun. I sat with a map in my lap, and told him to turn south, or southeast, or some other direction. We made seven stops, and drove over 500 miles round trip. I’m figuring now what his oil cost, and also the wear and tear on the truck--he calls it depreciation--so we’ll know how much we made.

I even write out all the bills and send letters to the farmers about what their pigs and beef cattle brought at the stockyards. I only made three mistakes in 17 letters last time, my aunt said, all commas. She’s been through high school and reads them over. I wish I could write school themes that way. The last one I had to write was on, “What a Daffodil Thinks of Spring,” and I just couldn’t get going.

I don’t do very well in school in arithmetic either. Seems I just can’t keep my mind on the problems. We had one the other day like this:

If a 57 foot telephone pole falls across a cement highway so that 17 3/6 feet extended from one side and 14 9/17 feet from the other how wide is the highway?

That seemed to me like an awfully silly way to get the width of a highway. I didn’t even try to answer it because it didn’t say whether the pole had fallen straight across or not.

Even in shop I don’t get very good grades. All of us kids made a broom holder and bookend this term, and mine were sloppy. I just couldn’t get interested. Mom doesn’t use a broom anymore with her vacuum cleaner, and all our books are in a bookcase with glass doors in the living room. Anyway, I wanted to make an end gate for my uncle’s trailer, but the shop teacher said that meant using metal and wood both, and I’d have to learn how to work with wood first. I didn’t see why, but I kept still and made a tie rack at school and the tail gate after school at my uncle’s garage. He said I saved him ten dollars.

Civics is hard for me, too. I’ve been staying after school trying to learn the “Articles of Confederation” for almost a week, because the teacher said we couldn’t be a good citizen unless we did. I really tried, though, because I want to be a good citizen. I did hate to stay after school because a bunch of boys from the south end of town have been cleaning up the old lot across from Taylor’s Machine Shop to make a playground out of it for the little kids from the Methodist home. I made the jungle gym from old pipe. We raised enough money collecting scrap this month to build a wire fence clear around the lot.

Dad says I can quit school when I am fifteen, and I am sort of anxious because there are a lot of things I want to learn--and as my uncle says, I’m not getting any younger.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Why Study Latin?

This by way of Michael Gilleland:

Moses Hadas (1900-1966), Old Wine, New Bottles: A Humanist Teacher at Work (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1962), p. 43:

The sole and sufficient reason for studying Latin, I then believed and still believe, is that it is fun to do so. People so constituted that it is incapable of affording them fun should not study Latin.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

No greater love….

“Ilse, a childhood friend of mine, once found a raspberry in the camp and carried it in her pocket all day to present to me that night on a leaf. Imagine a world in which your entire possession is one raspberry and you give it to your friend.”

Gerda Weissman Klein, Holocaust Survivor

engraved on the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Civil Disagreement

There is a marvelous quotation from the inimitable William Raspberry that I had only half-remembered and could cite only imperfectly. My brother came up with a more precise quotation from which I have found, so far, one decent source. Here is what I have now:
After writing more than 5,000 opinion columns, Mr. Raspberry said in a speech at the University of Virginia in 2006, he had learned two important lessons.
The first, he said, “is that in virtually every public controversy, most thoughtful people secretly believe both sides.”
“The second, which has kept my confidence from turning into arrogance, is that it is entirely possible for you to disagree with me without being, on that account, either a scoundrel or a fool.”
I would like to have a primary source (the speech itself) rather than this secondary source.


Little help?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Brussels Sprouts

For a brief while, we had a great little restaurant called Virtù up next to Dianne’s on Divine (which is now also closed) that had the best brussels sprouts in town. Below is what I’ve come up with as a kind of pale imitation thereof. (BTW, Il Giorgione, which now inhabits Virtù’s old space, is well worth a visit.)

Steam 3 sprouts per person until tender.

While they are steaming, thinly cut one slice of red onion per person and start to sauté in a pan with plenty of room.

When the onions have started to clarify, the sprouts should be tender. Remove them from the steamer, remove any coarse outer leaves, cut the sprouts in half, and put them flat side down into the pan with the onions.

When the onions start to brown, push them to a side of the pan away from the heat. Move them from time to time to keep them from burning.

When the sprouts have started to brown on the flat side side, flip them over. When they start to brown on their tops, flip them again.

Quickly but gently stir the onions and sprouts in together and splash some balsamic vinegar over them. Let the balsamic reduce a bit an infuse the veggies with its flavor.

S&P to taste.

Plate.


When I'm doing this for just myself, I also crisp up a half strip of bacon and crumble it in while the balsamic is steaming away.


You’re welcome.

Chris’s Chimmichurri

We are soon to be godparents for the third time. (This time, it’s a boy.) The actual parents hosted a surprise birthday party for Dr. Nurse this year, and she absolutely loved the chimmichurri he had prepared for a couple of the dishes. He sent home a healthy does of the stuff and posted the recipe on FaceBook a couple of days later. Given how quickly things vanish down the FB feed, I thought I had better nab the recipe and put it here for safe keeping / duplication:

Put into a food processor:
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 1 tsp red pepper flake
Pulse and let sit ten minutes.

Add:
  • 1.5 cups cilantro
  • 1.5 cups parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh oregano (or 1/4 cup dried)
and pulse in
  • 3/4 cups extra virgin olive oil 
until a smooth past forms.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Time to play.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Doctor’s Potato Salad

Dr. Nurse makes a fantastic potato salad. It’s so good that when the family is doing a pot-luck, the two most requested items are her mother’s banana pudding and this. And we’re talking dozens of relatives with many, many recipes each. Tonight, she posted the recipe in a FB group for our youngest goddaughter’s grandmother’s birthday (clear on that?). Here’s what she said:



Creamy Potato Salad (adapted from a recipe appearing in our 1983 copy of the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.)

What follows is the recipe for a small batch. For feeding large crowds, I’ve put the larger quantities at the end.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Small batch:

Fill a stockpot 1/2 way full of water, add a bit of salt, put on to boil.

While the water is heating up, chop into medium-sized pieces
* 2 # unpeeled potatoes (about 6 large baking potatoes). [Do not peel the potatoes. Really. It’s a complete waste of time.]
Set aside.

Mix in a medium-sized bowl & set aside:
* 1/2 cup finely chopped white onions (I use the Pampered Chef version of the Slap Chopper)
* 1/3 cup sweet pickle relish (Mount Olive brand is great!)

Right about now, the water should be boiling. Add:
* the chopped potatoes
* 2 eggs
Reduce heat just enough to keep things boiling. Set timer for 15 minutes.

Mix together in another bowl:
* 1 & 1/4 cup Mayo
* 2 tsp sugar
* 2 tsp celery seed
* 2 tsp white vinegar
* 1 1/2 tsp salt
* 2 TBSP mustard (just plain cheap yellow mustard)

(Note on Mayo: Mayo preferences are very impassioned and very regional. That being said, I think this recipe tastes best with Dukes Mayonnaise. I buy new jars each time I make it.
If you are planning to have the potato salad outside for some period of time, you might want to use Miracle Whip Salad Dressing -- which also tastes a bit tangier. But then, you’ll have cooked eggs sitting out in the heat, and what’s the point of putting all of that work into a recipe that you’re just going to let go bad? Better to use the Dukes and keep the salad in the cooler.)

When the timer for the potatoes and eggs goes off, follow the instructions below.

  1. Strain off the water, leaving potatoes and eggs in a colander. DO NOT RINSE.
    (1.b. If you’ve rinsed off the potatoes, start over….)
  2. Return the potatoes to your stock pot. It makes a great HOT mixing bowl.
  3. Leave the eggs in the colander -- run cold water over them to stop the cooking process (so the yolks don’t turn green) and quickly peel off the shells. Leave the eggs in cool water.
  4. Add the onions and pickle relish to the hot potato pieces. Stir furiously -- you’re starting the mashing process, sweetening the potatoes and lightly cooking the onion and pickle flavors into each bite. You’re also softening up the veggies.
  5. Add the mayo mixture. Stir furiously. Things may start looking soupy and you may worry you have more sauce than potatoes. You’re fine.
  6. Set down that hot stock pot and head back to the sink where your eggs are chilling. Chop them finely, and bring them over to your work area.
  7. Add the eggs to your potato mixture. Stir well.
  8. Transfer the potato salad into a smaller bowl and set into the fridge to cool. I use 1-2 shallow pans so that the evaporative cooling goes more quickly, and then I transfer the whole thing into one bowl for serving.
  9. Get started on those dishes. You have been cooking and chopping, measuring and mixing almost the entire time that the potatoes were cooking, so you probably haven’t had a chance to clean up yet.
  10. 1After 2-3 hours, enjoy a truly different creamy potato salad. You’ve got tang, interesting flavors and textures in the celery seed and lightly cooked onions and relish bits, and in the small pieces of potato skin that were cooked into the mixture.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Quantities for large gatherings (ratio conversations are occasionally imprecise, but still tasty!)

* 5 pound bag of russet potatoes, chopped and NOT peeled (best if cooked in two large stock pots)
* 5 eggs
* 1 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion (or an entire large white onion!)
* 1 8-oz jar of Mount Olive Pickle Relish
* 3 8-oz jars of Duke’s Mayo
* 5 tsp (1 TBSP and 2 tsp) of each of the following:
   --sugar
   --celery seed
   --white vinegar* 1 TBSP salt
* 5 TBSP mustard

Enjoy!