Tag Archives: potato

the ultimate potato salad

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If you view this full-size, it looks somewhat like an alien blob. It may not be ALIVE! but it's obviously not food.

Recently I had several home-cooked Thanksgiving meals, and for there were lots of great traditional foods — turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes, etc.  But there is one traditional food that I just don’t understand — potato salad (or as some say, tater salad).  Actually, let me call it “food”, because I’m not convinced it’s edible.

Normally I’m all about potatoes, in just about any capacity, but why ruin it with pickles and mustard?  I just don’t get it.  We’ve discussed at length that pickles are evil and should not be eaten.  I don’t like eating mustard, but at least I can accept that some people like it.  Pickles just aren’t food.  Even just the smell of them is repulsive.

Fortunately my in-laws realized my dislike of it and left some of the mashed potatoes uncorrupted for my consumption this year.  So props to them for that.

But why ruin good potatoes in such a manner when there are so many better uses for them?  Nonetheless, I understand how tradition and nostalgia is important, especially this time of year, so if potato salad is a tradition that many people feel should be continued, let’s revamp it.

So here and now, let’s invent a new-and-much-improved “potato salad” (if one must exist).  First off, no pickles or mustard.  Let’s just start with mashed potatoes (with butter and milk, of course), then add cheese and bacon.  Or we could go with bacon and gravy.  (Or all 3 if you feel adventurous.)  This will be a hundred times better than regular potato salad!  (Actually, I’m not sure I could even put a number on the comparison, since in its traditional form it is inedible to me.)

If we make this change, it might be culture shock to a few people, but once they try it, there’s no going back.  People will forget about the previous version, and everyone will be happier for it!  If it makes you sad that family members will no longer say things like, “Grandma Bottlestopper made the best tater salad”, realize that now people will say YOU make the best potato salad.  YOUR recipe will be written into the legends of Thanksgiving cooking, to be discussed for generations to come.  How will you feel about that?

If you have any additional suggestions or have done research on this topic, feel free to share.  Together we could invent the world’s best potato salad recipe.

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the special days of August, pt 3

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It’s time to continue our look at the special days / holidays / observances of August:

  • 10 Lazy Day — Here’s your excuse to be lazy this day.  Put off your chores another day — they’ll still be there tomorrow.  Take time to do whatever you want to do.  (And here’s an important note: if cleaning is what you actually want to do, it doesn’t mean your spouse wants to.  Just thought I’d throw that in there, for no particular reason.)
  • 10 National S’mores Day — You don’t need a campfire to make these — a microwave will do.  And you don’t need a recipe, either — just mix graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate.  You should make a lot of them, to hone your own personal recipe and get it just right.  And you should invite me over to help you taste-test them.  🙂
  • 11 Presidential Joke Day — This is not a day to make jokes about our President.  It’s actually a day for them to make jokes.  It started on August 11, 1984, when President Ronald Reagan was about to make a speech.  He was testing the microphone, thinking it was off, and said, “My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever.  The bombing begins in five minutes.”  This became quite the joke because he was speaking to a live feed!
  • 11 Play in the Sand Day — I wish I was near a beach.  There’s some sand pits in various parks nearby, but there are also cats and dogs that roam those areas, and so I’d rather not play in what may be someone’s litterbox.
  • 13 International Left-Hander’s Day — On this day, lefties have rights!  🙂  Otherwise, lefties never do anything right.  🙂
  • 13 National Filet Mignon Day — Sounds like I need to visit a steakhouse on this day!  Since it’s a holiday, this particular cut of steak should be discounted, so more people can afford them and appreciate their yummy goodness.  And the filet mignon should be bacon-wrapped.  Mmm… mmm… mmm…
  • 13 Comic Book Hero Day — Comic books should get more respect.  Many of the most popular superheroes featured in movies these days got their start in comics, and their story is still being written.  The movie version is just a brief summary of all the detail that is in the original story.  And lest you think comics are bought only by 13-year-olds, the U.S. market for comics is between $660 and $700 million.  Worldwide, comic books are perhaps the most widely read literary format.  That’s not small potatoes…  (So don’t be a “hater” or say that they’re just for “little boys”.)
  • 14 National Creamsicle Day — This sounds like a good plan, and it’s an appropriate treat considering how crazy-mad hot it typically is in the middle of August.
  • 14 Yukon Discovery Day — The name of this day reminds me of Yukon Cornelius, from the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer claymation Christmas “cartoon”.  He was awesome!  He was the self-proclaimed “greatest prospector in the North”, always searching for silver and gold.
  • 15 Relaxation Day — This is different from being lazy.  Here, you’re resting and relaxing because you should.  It’s important to have down-time for your body to recover from all the stuff you do.  So relax, sit down a spell, and drink some tea.
  • 16 National Tell a Joke Day — I’ve thought about becoming a stand-up comedian.  It started when I was a kid, and I told my parents I wanted to be a comedian, and they just laughed at me.
  • 16 International Homeless Animals Day — Did you know most animals are homeless?  Well, not really, because they find or create homes, but I mean that most animals don’t live with humans.  Besides, animals are naturally homeless.
  • 16 Roller Coaster Day — On this day in 1898, the roller coaster was patented.  The popularity of roller coasters has been going up and down since.
  • 18 Bad Poetry Day — At first glance, this kind of holiday seems obscure and useless, but I know of a few people (who happen to be regular readers here) who seem to enjoy writing bad poetry.  (That is, “bad” meaning poorly composed and consisting of mostly bad puns.)
  • 19 National Potato Day — Some also call this French Fry Appreciation Day.  Either way, it’s good stuff.  Did you know that potatoes are actually vegetables?  So I can’t say I dislike all vegetables.  Taters are good in just about all forms: baked, mashed, smashed, and fried.  (My brother used to say, “Everybody loves soft-fried taters.”)  Just don’t make potato salad, which isn’t a food.

Once again, this list is getting long, so I’ll finish the rest of the month in the next post.  Click here to find the other entries in this list.