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.
This image is from Amazon, and says it was published in 1964. I thought it was a bit older, but this must be the same book. Click on the image if you would like to purchase your own.
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.
German Recipe: Pennsylvania Dutch Warm Potato Salad
|Meal type||Salad, Side Dish|
|Misc||Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot|
|From book||Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers: Salads|
- 10 medium potatoes (cooked in jackets)
- 2 small onions (diced)
- 3 stalks celery (diced)
- 4 medium slices bacon
- 2 heaped tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 4 eggs (beaten)
- 1 cup vinegar
- 8 hard-cooked eggs (sliced)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 dill pickle (diced)
|1.||Dice potatoes (peel if you want, or leave skin on).|
|2.||Combine diced potatoes with onions and celery and set aside.|
|3.||Fry bacon until crisp. Drain and crumble into the potato mixture.|
|4.||Stir flour into bacon grease and mix to make a paste. (Adding more if necessary).|
|5.||Combine eggs, sugar, dry mustard, salt and pepper with water and vinegar. Stir into bacon-flour paste.|
|6.||Cook sauce over low heat until thick. Pour over potato mixture and mix lightly. Stir in dill pickles and gently add hard-cooked eggs.|
|7.||Sprinkle with paprika or parsley. Serve while warm, or refrigerate to marinate for several hours, then either reheat or serve chilled.|
The recipe in the book called for carrots and I skipped those. I also do not eat onions, so left out the onions, with no loss. I substituted dill pickle for olives.
I also used less sugar than called for (1 cup) because I felt that left it too sugary.
The recipe was contributed by home economics teacher Mrs. Sandra Mock, Pequea Valley High School, Kinzers, Pennsylvania
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.