Saturday, May 23, 2009

a southern summer staple

Summer means certain things in the South - muggy nights with lightin' bugs glittering the yard, hydrangeas and azaleas dotting the landscape with bursts of color, and lots of excuses to get together with all your friends and family to eat. And, there are certain things you can expect to see on the disposable dixie plates (who has time to dishes in this pretty weather) of any southerner this time of year - fried green tomatoes, blackberry cobbler, or fresh corn soaked in butter. But, at every get together you will find one thing - potato salad. I don't know why. It is just there, everywhere, ubiquitous at every summer event - be it Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or any other reason we decide to get together. It is as though it has been passed down to us in our DNA - there must be potato salad at summer gatherings in the South.

As I have mentioned before, the carnivore and I love us some potatoes. We eat them many different ways together. But, one of the few potato things the carnivore will not touch is potato salad. I personally am bewildered by this fact as a good southern girl potato salad was a staple at all summer fish fries, bar-b-ques, picnics, bonfires, you name it. If it was warm outside and we were cooking for a crowd, potato salad was on the menu.

The reason the carnivore doesn't touch it is because it contains a white condiment. I know this sounds crazy, but he won't touch anything that he knows has either mayo (the way it is traditionally made) or sour cream (the way I usually make it) in it. Plus, the true southern style side has mustard in it as well, another no-no condiment in the carnivores book. If you only knew how picky he really is....But, I still make potato salad occasionally for myself. And, since it is Memorial Day weekend I thought I would share my favorite way to make it with you before your big cookouts commence.

I take 5-6 medium red potatoes and boil them. I then let them cool and slice them, leaving the skins on. I toss these bite sized bits with sour cream (just enough to coat them), a bit of diced red onion, and several celery stalks that have been chopped. I flavor it with freshly ground pepper, kosher salt, and fresh dill (from my new herb garden). It is that simple! I know it isn't the traditional way, but it is lower in fat (especially if you get the low fat sour cream) and just as good on a hot summer day, whether you are in the South or not.

p.s. Please excuse the picture. There is just no way to take a pretty picture of potato salad.


  1. Never thought of a sour cream potato salad. Thanks!

  2. I love potato salad - this sounds great!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin