I’ve shared with you before that my love for cooking comes from my mother. My mother cooked almost every night. She would only take a break from cooking if we ordered pizza. Eating out was just something we never did; try booking a reservation for 10 people. All these years of cooking for 10 people and my mom jokes she doesn’t know how to make small amounts of food. Now, she delivers any extra food to people in need. One day, I snuck a scoop of some her extra potato salad and brought it to Brian.
I was on a mission to recreate her Potato Salad.
This is one of my favorite things made by my mother. Potato salad is not only a thanksgiving favorite, but also a summer barbecue stable. Everyone thinks their potato salad is the best, however my mother’s is the best. I’ve strayed and tried others, but I always end up coming back to hers. Brian was in love and immediately called for her recipe. She gave us the list of ingredients, but of course, no measurements. However, just like her Sloppy Joes, I was on a mission to recreate it.
Last summer I tried cooking this recipe and failed. But over Independence Day vacation, I was ready to give it another try. Brian pulled up the list of ingredients and I called up my mom. I wish I recorded the conversation. As she’s walking me through the steps she used all types of sounds, “add just an uh of pickle juice”. Her description of ingredient amounts always makes me laugh. This lady cooks with her heart.
Add an uh of this and an uh of that.
As I was cooking and listening to my mother, I had Brian write down the measurements as I added each ingredient. Full disclosure: you may need to add an uh more of pickle juice or salt, etc. I guess that’s where I went wrong trying to cook this the first time. You have to taste as you go and it’s ok to add a little more of something.
Ms. Jackson's Southern Potato Salad
Adapted from: Ms. Jackson’s Potato Salad
- 2 small golden potatoes
- 2 medium russet potatoes
- 2-3 eggs
- Small green pepper
- Small red onion
- ¾ cups mayo
- 1 tbsp. pickle juice
- 1 tsp. of garlic
- ½ tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. mustard
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 2 tsp. of salt to start
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- Additional Salt and pepper for taste
- First, cut the potatoes into large chucks and place in a medium or large pot.
- Add water to pot until it’s a few inches above the potatoes. Add salt. Adding salt to the water will helps season the potatoes.
- Cover the pot and bring water to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to medium high.
- Let the potatoes cook until tender (stick a fork in them; if it goes through easily, it’s done.)
- At the same time hard-boil 2 eggs in a small pot.
- While the potatoes and eggs are cooking, dice the onion and green pepper.
- Once the potatoes are done, drain and let cool. Then, you can cut them up into bite size pieces (2 or 3 inches).
- Peel the shell off the eggs and cut them up (doesn’t need to be perfect).
- Combine the potatoes, eggs, onion and green peppers in a large bowl.
- Add the mayo, mustard, pickle juice and gently combine them together. Be sure not to mush the potatoes too much, you don’t want mashed potato salad.
- Add your salt, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, garlic powder and sugar. Be sure to taste and add pinches of any ingredient you feel are needed. Potatoes are not consistent in size and may need more of one thing over another.
- This potato salad went perfectly with the steak we made from Chrissy Tiegen’s cookbook, Cravings, that same day. However, it tasted even better the next day with our burger recipe.
- I hope this recipe is a great starting point for you. Remember to keep tasting and adding as you go. There are just some dishes you cannot write an exact recipe. Don’t be afraid to add an uh of this and an uh of that to make it your own!