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How to Make Mom's Potato Salad

She never measured so do what you like!

My Grandmother used to boil the potatoes whole and cut them after cooking. And I remember Mom doing it that way when I was very little, until one day she got frustrated with how long it took to get them to boil and how hot the kitchen got.

So... cut the potatoes into the size chunks you want to be eating.

Boil to well done, and drain.

Mom made them well done so that some of the potato would be mushy and mix in well with the mayo.

While potatoes are still hot and in the pan, pour pickle juice to soak into potatoes

(She used Dill pickle juice. She said this was the "secret" to her potato salad to have the pickle juice soaked into the potatoes. I know she meant more flavorful than other people's recipe, but she never would have said that.)

When potatoes have cooled down some but still a little warm, transfer to bowl and stir in celery seed and dill weed. It's called weed, but what is meant by that is, it's the green leafy part of the plant and not the dill seeds.

Let sit a little longer to let the spice flavors sink in, then add:
chopped celery
chopped pickles
chopped boiled egg
chopped cucumber, take out the seeds first.

Use sweet pickles or relish here to compliment the dill flavor. Use a LOT of celery so there will be a little crunch in the salad. Smoosh the yolks and sprinkle over the potatoes and stir in later with the mayonaise.

Add chopped or sliced black olives (if desired). Mom didn't always have them.

After having mixed in the above, add mayonaise, a little mustard to give it color, and black pepper.

(This is where I have changed the recipe. I use brown mustard that has the seeds in it, and I do it to add flavor and not just color.)

Smooth the now finished mixture to make flat across top of container.

Nice and neat, put a layer of sliced boiled egg and thinly sliced cucumber and decorate with some of the olives, to make it look pretty. Sprinkle liberally with paprika to finish the artistry.

Refrigerate AT LEAST an hour before chowing down.


Please note: Mom's name was Genevieve Borden Deane


  1. Mom didn't measure anything either when she made potato salad.

  2. Well, now that I've made it, I must have not put in enough of something or too much of something else! It's been a long time since I made it, and my taste buds chide me! Still hope to rescue it before company arrives!

  3. It's a lot like mine except for "the secret", olives, and cucumbers. I always cut my potatoes in half and boil them in the skin. Then peel and cut. I'm going to a picnic tomorrow and plan to combine yours and mine.

  4. My mom used to make potato salad and add a little vinegar and sugar to it, it was always so good. I am still working on getting it right, but I like to make it with out the vinegar and sugar too.

  5. We make potato salad in Japan, only it is cooked longer so that when potato is swirled with mayonaise is similar to mash potato. We also like to eat inside of sandwich.

  6. My mom always just threw things in to make her potato salad, no measuring either! Her coleslaw and potato salad were her two best sides for any summer picnic.

  7. Pumpkin, maybe Mom could give you her recipe? I'd be interested in the vinegar and sugar.

    Miyagi... I'll have to try that.

    Ciss, Mmmm.... coleslaw!

  8. Chunks of apple!


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