So, it very well may be the end of an era.
Every Easter, since the beginning of time, dinner has been ham, turkey, pasta and potato salads, baked macaroni and cheese, baked beans, and snowflake rolls (my mom and The Kid love those rolls, but I’ve always thought they had the consistency of stale doughnuts).
Usually, I make the ham and sometimes bring along my blueberry-speckled lemon cheesecake. A few weeks ago, we were wandering through Costco, lurching from one sample to the next. In the back at the bakery, they were sampling their key lime pie. And it’s really good, y’all. Not too sweet or sour. Light, but luscious.
For $12 you get a pie big enough to serve the entire population of Paduka, Kentucky; I couldn’t make it at home that cheap. It’s perfect for Easter dinner.
I was also thinking about bringing the potato salad this year.
Lemon and dill are extremely spring-appropriate. And the potato salad I was thinking of is a lemon potato salad. It’s a twist on a recipe that is served at a favorite Greensboro deli, Jam’s. I adore it, and years ago begged one of the owners for the recipe.
Their version has an unfortunate surfeit of celery. And as any right-thinking human knows, celery in potato salad is an abomination. It’s not quite as heinous as mustard or Miracle Whip, but it is pretty darn close. They also put a large amount of white pepper in it.
They use the wrong brand of mayonnaise, too. But because I don’t have it in me to engage in the Great Mayo Crusade of 2018, I’m not naming names.
And you can’t make me.
Lemon Dill Potato Salad
3 pounds waxy potatoes
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
3-4 tablespoons salt
Place salt and vinegar in a large pot of water, along with unpeeled, whole potatoes. Cook on medium until potatoes are fork tender. Remove from heat, drain, and allow to cool completely. Once cool, peel and cut into salad-sized chunks.
Juice of one lemon
2 eggs, hardboiled
½ yellow onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
Salt & pepper
To make dressing, place first four ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth. Whisk in mayo and dill. Season, taste, and re-season, if necessary. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Gently fold dressing into the potatoes, starting with about half. Gradually add more until the consistency is to your liking. Taste and re-season if necessary; don’t forget lemons, fats, and potatoes all need plenty of salt.
Cover and allow to rest in a cool dim place, but not in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes before service so the flavors can meld and develop.Serves 8-10.
So, here I am, ready to win Easter with my famous glazed ham, key lime pie, and killer potato salad.
Then, Mom called.
The menu of our normal buffet luncheon was completely changed. No ham, no turkey, and no salads—including potato. She had decided on a make-ahead dinner; beef Stroganoff (hers is actually incredibly delicious, almost makes up for the no potato salad), and Aunt Candy was bringing her famous ziti.
Okay…And no pie was needed either, she was making carrot cake and a chocolate icebox dessert.But I am constitutionally unable to go empty-handed. I just can’t do it. So, in keeping with the bunny theme, I shall be making the trip with the prepped ingredients for a double batch of my carrot soufflé.
Happy Easter, and I’ll look for you on the bunny trail.Thanks for your time.