Thursday, July 2, 2009

Comfort Food Friday (on Thursday)

Saturday is Independence Day. The Fourth of July. The start of a three-day weekend. (Or maybe the middle--depending on whether you take Friday off or Monday.) It's our most patriotic holiday. And time for one of the most American of activities. A cookout. A picnic in the park. A celebration with family, friends, community, country.

If you pack your picnic basket early, you can go straight to the park after the parade.

And when you unpack that basket, what favorite picnic foods of yours will come out? Burgers and dogs to throw on the grill?

Cold fried chicken homemade last night just for today's occasion?

My favorite picnic food is the perfect side dish for either of those two mains. It reminds me of family cookouts and day trips and potluck get-togethers.

Full disclosure: Not having a photo of my mom's actual potato salad, I borrowed this one from But I will say that this is a near perfect visual. (Except for the fancy lettuce underlayment. And the artfully placed egg slices. And the chives. Sorry Mom. Your salad might be plain looking on the outside, but it's beautiful, and delicious, on the inside!)

My mom's potato salad. Creamy and crunchy and seasoned just right so you can eat gobs and gobs of it without being overwhelmed. An old-fashioned mayo and mustard dressing. Regular ol' Idahos--no fancy red-skinned or new potatoes here (Though I'll bet Yukons would make a pretty yummy version. Mom, are you reading this?). Hard-cooked eggs, some chopped celery and onions, a little pickle relish, and just the right amounts of salt and pepper. She's made it exactly the same way for as long as I can remember. And ruined all other potato salads for me. Oh sure, I've dined on delicious variations of this classic side dish in all kinds of restaurants, delis and friends' kitchens. But they're just not the same. They don't come with childhood memories built in. And isn't that what makes a comfort food so comfortable?

Enjoy your holiday! And if you don't already have a favorite picnic food, maybe this will be the weekend you find it.
Top image via
Other food pics via
White House fireworks and parade images via ??? I need to learn to keep better records!


Maya said...

Have a great 4th..., I'll be watching some fireworks from my porch..., if it's not foggy like it is now.

Anonymous said...

Glad you liked my design. It was originally for tee shirts that were sold for the 4th. Huntington Beach, (Calif) has ahuge parade and shindig was fun to see so many people wearing my shirt. I didn't realize until I saw it on all sizes that I didn't account for chest size in women and it distorted some of the graphics.....this is how we learn. But it looked great on flat-chested little girls!!

Have a great 4th!!

Karen Eileen

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Tracy

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.

I remember reading Robinson Crusoe when I was 10 --it took me the whole summer to finish it-- but I was in love with books ever since.

I also miss Cottage Living Magazine! And many of the other magazines you wrote about, but like you I have been a fan of Better Homes & Gardens since the 70's. I am always impressed by the variety of content they offer in each and every issue.

Anonymous said...

The potato salad recipe sounds really excellent. Your Mom did a good job making memories for you. Keep up the good work and I'll keep checking back. From the mountains of Tehachapi, CA.