Time for Change

Summer is officially over next week, which may be why a good number of people are clinging to it. This time of year seems to be filled with last-minute picnics, requests to eat outside, and reminders to soak up the sun while it’s still here. I guess I’m not really ready to let it go, either.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the fall (and fall foods) as well, but there is just something about summer that’s hard to let go. I know it’s a little late, and if you’re a traditionalist, you may have to wait another year to try this one. However, if you’re like me, this could become the endnote on a beautiful season.

I can’t quite recall where this recipe started, and it’s been through many changes throughout the years. I do remember it being one of the first dishes I brought with me to a potluck. When I was younger, my mom had always been the one to bring a dish if a dish was required. At this particular event, it was one of the first times I was being asked to bring something, and I wanted to impress.

Why did I choose potato salad? How could I land on the right combination? Would be people enjoy it? All of these questions sent me to cookbooks and websites looking for a recipe that looked good, but would allow me the opportunity to get creative.

The thing about potato salad is that it generally has mustard. I’ve tried to like mustard, but I’m honestly just not a fan. The other thing about it is that the potatoes are often cut too large, and especially when they’re cold, it makes the whole mess harder to eat. So perhaps that was where I started, with a notion of a potato salad that was more like mashed potatoes.

However it started, I ended up with a long-standing tradition of bringing this dish to events; it even sort of became a family joke that this was the only thing I knew how to make. Given the nature of this dish, and the time between seasons, you may be inclined to think of this as potato salad or as mashed potatoes. Whatever you call it, it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Mashed Potato Salad

Ingredients:
5 pounds of potatoes (almost everything except for red works)
30 ounces of mayonnaise
16 ounces froze mixed vegetables
2 cups of water
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons grated parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. Boil the potatoes until tender (about one hour). Peel them before or after they are cooked; I tend to go with after.
2. In a medium pot, add the water and the mixed vegetables. Bring to a boil and drain the water.
3. Hand mash the potatoes to desired size (this is meant to be lumpy) and mix in the rest of the ingredients.