I make cold “picnic” potato salad often. My family loves it. (So do I). But I have never made as much potato salad as I did last week. A forgotten bag of potatoes in my pantry was starting to sprout. I should know better than to buy potatoes by the bag.
So, following my trend of thinking of my waste-not-want-not ancestors in aprons, I got to work making potato salad. All those potatoes in one big cold potato salad would get very boring, though, so I made the German warm potato salad that I do not make quite as frequently. I usually turn to my favorite old Joy of Cooking Cookbook, but decided to look for something a little different.
I dug out a thoroughly dilapidated spiral-bound cookbook from my mother’s Home Ec teaching days. Harriette Anderson Kaser taught many subjects, but when I was in high school she was teaching home economics and all my friends took her class. I didn’t. Instead, ironically, I went home and started dinner.
Home Ec teachers got lots of product books, like the Joys of Jell-o book I’ve used here before. Their national organization also pulled together cookbooks featuring favorite recipes of the teachers across the nation. My copy of Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers: Salads has been used so much that the cover and the first few pages are missing, as well as the last pages of the index and the back cover.
There are some really strange recipes in here, along with an endless variety of old favorites like bean salad or carrot salad or chicken salad. It is a source of endless experimentation for the curious cook.
I was looking for an authentic Pennsylvania Dutch warm potato salad recipe that my German Ancestors might make. The one I found, did come from Pennsylvania and seemed authentic except that it included olives, which did not strike me as a food that German immigrants would have at hand. I substituted dill pickle, which they could have on their canning shelves. Warning–if you don’t like vinegar–like my friend Kerry Dexter, who commented on the Sauerbraten recipe–you’re not going to like this sweet and sour, warm potato salad. But, hey! It has BACON.
Note: I did not include a picture, because next to cooked oatmeal, this is about the least photogenic food I can think of.
Reminder: You can find an index of some of my favorite cookbooks–vintage and not–on their own special page: Food Books that Stir Family Memories.