As we celebrate Memorial Day weekend, here is the recipe for Civil War era potato salad that you can make for any gathering you are hosting or attending. This recipe (and more like it) can be found in Roxe Anne Peacock's History Lovers Cookbook. (Which is available on Amazon).
10 large red potatoes (8 cups cooked)
1/2 cup of finely chopped onions
1 tablespoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
Boiled salad dressing (recipe below)
Wash the potatoes in cold water. Drain.
Place them in a large stockpot with enough cold water to cover them.
Cook the potatoes on medium heat until tender but before the skin bursts.
Cool the potatoes with cold water.
Peel the somewhat cooled skins off.
Dice the potatoes into one-half inch cubes.
Place the chopped onions into a large bowl.
Placed the potatoes on top of the onions.
Add 1 1/2 a cup of boiled salad dressing and mix well.
Serve and keep chilled (best if eaten the same day).
Ingredients for dressing:
1/2 cup of cider vinegar
1/3 cup of water
3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of dry mustard
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/8 a teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup of heavy cream
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
4 large egg yokes, slightly beaten
Wisk vinegar, water, sugar, flour, mustard, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan until smooth.
Place the pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer while continuing to whisk.
Add cream and butter while whisking until butter has melted.
In a large bowl containing the eggs, slowly stir in small amounts of the hot vinegar until it is incorporated into the yolks.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
Heat the mixture on medium-low heat and whisk until thick but not boiling.
Transfer the dressing to a large bowl and cool uncovered until room temperature.
Store covered in the fridge if you are not using it right away.
Enjoy whatever you have planned for this long weekend and remember to spare a thought for the heroes, past and present, that fought (as Abraham Lincoln said) so this nation might live. Happy Memorial Day.
Until next time.