With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart: Hazel's Potato Salad

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hazel's Potato Salad

She was a rebel in the family. And she had a reputation because of it. Hazel was my mother-in-law and she strayed from the path.

Hazel bravely made a potato salad that differed from her mothers. Grandmom Elsie's potato salad was the recipe preferred by most of the extended family. Tradition runs strong and change isn't always accepted when it comes to a beloved family recipe.

Grandmom Elsie's potato salad recipe is, however... just a bit flavorless and boring. So when Hazel got a recipe from a co-worker, who got it from the newspaper back in the 70's, she made it for the next backyard cookout. It isn't a whole lot different from Grandmom Elsie's potato salad but it soars over hers in the tasty department. Our side of the family loves it and it has been our go-to recipe ever since.

One thing I've come to value more now than ever is that Hazel made it a point to frequently gather family together. It seemed like every week or so, aunts, uncles and cousins would bring a covered dish and their lawn chairs to enjoy a Sunday afternoon. Being one of eight children, it made for a large gathering. Little kids played, ladies talked and the men would play horseshoes or pull up a chair to the card table to play cards and complain about their beloved Phillies baseball team. Each time, my father-in-law would assume his position at the gas grill and through billows of smoke, flip burgers and hotdogs. Hazel served her potato salad alongside Grandmom Elsie's, and her doctored Campbell Soup beans and her Aunt Lydia's cinnamon cake for dessert. 

As you can see from this old and stained recipe card, is is titled, "Perfect Potato Salad". I am not sure it was called that originally or if Hazel gave it the name. I call it Hazel's Potato Salad in honor of her.
 I used to peel and quarter the potatoes, boil until tender, cool and then slice to bite-size chunks. I now find it easier to peel and cut the potatoes to about 3/4-inch cubes and then boil until tender. They cook quicker this way too. As you can see in the photo, I leave a little on the peel on just because I like it.

 Hard boil the eggs while the potatoes are cooking.

 Chop the celery, onions and sweet Gherkins.

Measure and combine the other ingredients.

Add the veggies and gently toss together. Refrigerate until serving time.

Hazel's Potato Salad

1 1/2 cups Miracle Whip
1 tsp salt
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 to 1 tsp. celery seed
2 tsp. vinegar
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup sweet pickles, chopped
5 cups potatoes, peeled, cut into bite-size cubes and cooked until tender; drain and cool.
4 hard boiled eggs,, sliced

Combine first eight ingredients; add the cooled potatoes and toss gently. Fold in eggs until combined. Refrigerate several hours or until chilled.

Here is a photo of Hazel (in the middle) with of her two best friends and co-workers, one of whom shared the potato salad recipe. Look at that sweet, fun loving smile. Some rebel, wouldn't you say.



Mildred said...

How special to have Hazel's original recipe. Thanks for sharing with all of us. She and her friends looked so happy in the photo.
I have 5 girlfriends from college from different parts of the state of GA. Over the past 30 years, we have discovered that our mothers all made potato salad the same way!!!

Julie Harward said...

This is the recipe that my mom taught to me and I have made it all my life..so good! I think it's the pickles..Come say hi :D

Stephanie said...

This sounds great! I can't wait to try it!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

It has all the ingredients of my favorite potatoe salad! Perfection!

Cindy (Letters From Midlife) said...

Our favorite potato salad recipe comes from the local grocery store deli! lol Seriously, I've tried different homemade recipes but the one from the deli is hubby's favorite so I let myself off the hook and buy it instead. That said, this recipe does sound good.

Cassandra said...

Thank you, thank you for posting this - it is identical to my Indiana mom's recipe - also made with sweet pickles and Miracle Whip! I can hardly wait to try it! Cassandra ♥

Nancy's Notes said...

Oh my, sounds wonderful! I am printing the recipe right now! Thank you!!


Susan said...

Mmmmmm, sounds yummy LDH. If you make it, no doubt it's the best! Sincerely, Susan

marie said...

Sounds so good! I love that your recipes come with stories.

I alos love how pretty you food photos always are ~ nothing picnic about this potato salad!!

Ann said...

Well it looks pretty yummy to me. I love potato salad. I don't really follow any kind of recipe though, I normally just start throwing in what I have on hand. I like to toss in just a bit of pickle relish and mustard.

Rosabela said...

What a wonderful tribute to your beloved MIL! This potato looks soooo good. I'm going to make this very soon. Thanks for sharing!

Love the Decor! said...

I love potato salad and I bet the celery seed adds an unexpected pop of flavor.
Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping over!

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