I know, I know, many of you are now cringing or grabbing your waste baskets, but for us it is comfort food. Cheese on bread is a tradition handed down from my mother, from her father, going back I don't know how far. But this post is not about cheese on bread, it is about my dad's famous (at least in our family) potato salad.
The first thing that sets my dad's potato salad apart from the rest of the world's is that it is pink. Yep, that's right, pink! That's because potato salad just isn't the same without ketchup and paprika.
Another thing that sets my dad's potato salad apart is the radishes. Now I have to say that normally I am not a huge fan of radishes. I don't hate radishes, but I don't typically buy them either. However, for this potato salad, radishes are essential.
The last thing that is unusual about my dad's potato salad is that he makes it in mass quantity. I'm not sure whether that is because of his day's in the army where everything was prepared in ginormous batches or if it comes from being the father of 7 children, but my dad simply doesn't make anything in small batches.
If he makes potato salad, then be assured that there will be lots and lots of it. Which is seriously fine with us because we love to heap our plates full of it, and since the flavor is even better the second or the third day it makes wonderful leftovers.
My dad's famous potato salad has been part of Easter for as long as I can remember. Every year we knew that the hard-boiled eggs that we decorated and dyed were ultimately destined for glory in my dad's potato salad.
More recently this salad has started showing up on other occasions as well. When my dad makes his potato salad he just mixes a little of this and a little of that. Some years it tastes better than others. Here is his best attempt at a recipe for it-
Con's Famous Potato Salad
4 lbs. red potatoes, parboiled, and cubed
1 bunch red radishes, sliced
1-2 bunches green onions, chopped (use the white and at least half of the green part)
1 dozen hard boiled eggs, sliced
1 3/4 cups Miracle Whip
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup ketchup
2 TBS mustard
paprika, to taste
Mix thoroughly, add to salad mix. Garnish with paprika.
When I made this salad I had to google "how to parboil a potato". I don't know if it is the way my dad does it, but basically you cover the potatoes with water, bring them to a boil and let them boil for 12-15 minutes, until tender. Then you dump the potatoes in ice cold water to stop them from cooking any further. Then I cubed the potatoes and put them in the refrigerator while I tackled slicing and chopping the other vegetables and making the dressing.
My dad says that you should always taste the dressing and make sure that it tastes good to you before mixing it with the other ingredients.
I have found that the salad always seems to taste better the next day, after the onions and radishes have had some time to flavor up the sauce. I also think that just like deviled eggs, the more paprika the better, so don't hold back on the stuff.