Mom’s Potato Salad


Top – Jason and Cameron, my sons. Bottom – Farrell & Kelly on a fishing trip; Four generations, Melanie (baby) Kelly, Farrell, and Estus

Kelly used to do the grilling and I made the salads, because you can’t do burgers without a potato salad for a side dish. It was a great way to work together, and it makes my heart happy that his boys carry-on the grilling tradition, which Kelly’s father, and grandfather perfected before him. Grandpa Estus made the absolute best burgers, which we of course ate out on the patio. Good food and good times!

Oh, and here’s an interesting bit, my Jason’s middle name is Kelly, after my Kelly, whose middle name is Farrell, after his father, Farrell Estus, who was named after his father Estus Reid, who was named after his father, William Reid who was born in 1892. Kind of a cool legacy. Perhaps one day my son will have a son with the middle name, Jason.

Potato Salad

A couple of my favorite pictures of my mom. When  you visit her house, she always makes sure you have a comfortable place to sleep, and that you get enough food to eat.  Additionally, she likes to make pretty food for parties and such. The bottom picture is when she helped out at girls camp. Now that’s some fancy watermelon!

Idaho is about potatoes, and I have eaten them about every way they can be eaten. One of my favorite ways to eat potatoes is in a potato salad. My mom used to make potato salad for picnics or to take to the family reunion or just to have on hand to go with summertime sandwiches at lunchtime.  Homemade potato salad is sooooo much better than anything you get prepackaged in the deli. It is good freshly made, but I love it even more the second day, when the flavors have had time to meld together. The other thing I love is that it is versatile, you can make a small batch or a big one. This recipe, as written, will make a nice-sized salad for a family dinner or picnic. Adjust for the occasion by decreasing or increasing the number of potatoes/eggs a bit. Mmmm, it’s a good thing spring is here, I foresee fresh-grilled burgers and potato salad on the menu soon.



6 – 8 Idaho potatoes (They have to be from Idaho because it’s me writing this.) I usually use red potatoes, but it turns out fine with other varieties too.

3 -4 hard boiled eggs

Chopped Celery (2-3 stalks)

Chopped green onion  (one bunch)

Chopped green/red bell peppers (optional)

Chopped black olives (optional)

Salt and Pepper

Dill Seed or fresh cut dill  (optional)

Fresh rosemary (optional)

Salad dressing or mayonnaise (personal preference)

Yellow mustard



Peel potatoes, cube into about 1″ pieces. Place in pan, cover with water, add about a teaspoon of salt,  bring to a boil, and then turn down to simmer. Simmer for about twenty minutes. Check with fork at about 15 minutes. You don’t want them to get overcooked. (Potatoes are done when a fork pierces them easily.)  Drain, and run cold water over potatoes to cool them down. (You can also prepare the potatoes ahead of time, add a tablespoon of light olive oil, cover and refrigerate until ready to make the salad.)

While potatoes are cooking chop celery, onions, and peppers, and set aside. Chop eggs, set aside one to slice lengthwise for the top of the salad. Put cooled potatoes in a bowl, add several dollops of mayo or salad dressing, and a squirt of mustard (I do about a 4 or 5:1 ratio of salad dressing to mustard). Gently mix until potatoes are coated. Add chopped eggs, celery, onions, peppers, rosemary, dill, and salt and pepper, mix just until coated. Add sliced eggs to the top of salad. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover salad and refrigerate until ready to serve. Salad will keep for several days.

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