Monday, 10 September 2012

Classic Potato Salad

As summer comes to an end, I find myself scrambling around, trying to preserve the last of it... like if I hold on to it hard enough, the warmth and sunshine may just stay a little longer. Its a bit like watching your child grow up... except that in this case, summer will always come around again, but those precious childhood years won't ever be back. 

Aditi started kindergarten last week. Even though she's been going to preschool, it struck me quite hard as to the fact that my baby was no longer a baby, and that she's now independent and ready for big-girl school. We placed her in a lovely programme at a wonderful school, but there is always niggling questions... are we are doing the right thing, is she too young to start school (she's a bit on the young side), will she cope with all the kids, is it too much pressure, how can we make her life easier... all valid, legitimate concerns, but the fact remains that the years race by, and seasons pass on by and my baby grows older with each passing day. Its enough to make a mum emotional.

Home grown potatoes

But then... I console myself with the fact that at least the seasons are consistent. Summer is slowly giving way to autumn. There is a nip in the breeze and the fragrance of woodsmoke in the air. The leaves are going gold, and the nights are getting colder. The sleeves are getting longer and the sweaters are coming out. My silly Canadian husband Kay, comes in after feeling the cold night air on his face with a huge grin on his face and yammers on about how much he's looking forward to winter (yep, opposites attract :-))

While I am certainly not looking forward to winter, I am rejoicing in the abundance of the autumn harvest. You may remember that I wrote about our lovely garden being battered by hail in the summer. Well, nature is a lot more resilient than I would have ever thought. Kay went out to the garden, after moping around for a couple of days, and started all over again. He pulled weeds, cleaned out the smashed plants, replanted the herbs and snipped away broken branches. And the garden responded to his care, and gave us all a massive bounty, far more than we would have expected after that battering. 

Kay planted these lovely potatoes in our neighbour's garden. My neighbour has been unable to garden this year, but he wanted Kay to plant potatoes. So Kay did, and now we have enough potatoes to feed the neighbourhood (and we are, too) People from the neighbouring houses have been heading over to Mr P's yard and helping themselves to potatoes. And we are giving away basketfuls to friends and family. 

Classic Potato Salad

We recently had a dinner for a few friends. I was incredibly proud that three quarters of it was from our garden. The carrots, the potatoes, the parsley for the English parsley sauce, was all our own and the corn came from the farmer's market. The fish for the main course was a sockeye salmon caught by Kay's brother this summer in the Skeena river. 

We wanted to hold on to summer memories, and we had a barbeque. So of course, like any self respecting Indian-British-Canadian, the potato salad came out of course. The inspiration for this delicious salad came from my dear mum-in-law, and being the good daughter-in-law that I am, I tinkered with it, of course, and this is the adapted recipe. Our freshly dug potatoes are the star of this show, and this recipe, for me, is the essence of summer... long, lazy days in the sunshine, cold salads, freshly barbequed burgers and the fragrance of flowers in the air.  

Yes, I am holding on to it hard and I don't want to let it go... just like I don't want to let my baby girl get bigger. But at least, I know that I have the memories of sunshine to sustain me through the coming winter. And lots of pictures of my li'l baby to keep me going too.

(Printable Recipe

3 - 4 large potatoes, scrubbed and peeled
½ white onion, finely diced

3 sticks fresh celery, chopped
5 eggs, hardboiled and chopped


½ cup light mayonnaise + a little extra, if desired.
2 teaspoons hot English mustard (I used Keen's here, in England, I liked to use Colmans) 
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper


2 - 3 green onions/ scallions/ spring onions, chopped
Sprinkle of smoked paprika 


Cube the potatoes. Boil in salted boiling water, until just tender. Drain, and place the potatoes in a large bowl. 

Add the onion, chopped celery and eggs to the bowl and stir gently. 

Whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard and lemon juice. Season to taste with the salt and pepper, adding a little extra mayonnaise, if desired. 

Pour the dressing over the warm potato mixture, and fold it in gently. Taste and adjust seasoning. 

Garnish with the chopped green onions and a sprinkle of smoked paprika. 

This salad can be served warm or chilled. 

Classic Potato Salad


  1. I LOVE this with the hardboiled eggs! - delish!
    mary x

    1. Me too, Mary. If there's no potatoes around, I just make it with eggs which is so good on a sandwich too.

  2. That sounds just great to me - there's no better way to celebrate a fine harvest of potatoes. I always try to hold on to summer - I can't imagine why anyone would look forward to winter (except, maybe, people who sell coats, gloves and skis).

    1. Jeez Phil, you should see our potato harvest. There are millions of these with more to come. I wish you lived closer, I'd parcel you a ton :)

  3. Your recipe is virtually identical to mine except for the lemon juice :)

    1. Haha, Melissa, I do believe there may be identical versions floating around :) Not like its a unique dish like some of my other stuff now, is it?


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