My family gathers today at my son and daughter-in-law's home for an early Easter celebration. Yesterday afternoon I made cupcakes with pastel icing and prepared my first potato salad of the season. As I peeled and cooked the potatoes, diced the onions, snipped newly born chives from the garden, sprinkled in salt, pepper, celery salt and dill, then stirred everything together with Hellman's mayonnaise, my grandmother was in my thoughts. My potato salad recipe was passed down from her, along with a lovely little covered dish which ALWAYS was used to serve her salad.
No summer picnic was complete without Grandma's potato salad. As she grew too old to cook, my mother took over the salad-making, and the tradition continued with my sister, my cousin, and myself. I was the lucky one who claimed ownership of the pretty covered dish, which now bears a crack in its lid from an unfortunate kitchen accident.
Through the years I have made "adjustments" to the recipe. I added fresh chives and lovage when I started my herb garden years ago, and dill when I sampled a good friend's potato salad which included chopped pickles (so much of my cooking has been influenced by friends). I have deleted the chopped boiled eggs which were so much a part of Grandma's salad, because my daughter and one daughter-in-law do not like eggs.
And so, today as we gather, once again Grandma's potato salad will be part of our celebration, and she will be with us in spirit. One day I will pass along the special little dish (which is much too small for the larger salad I now make for our growing family), and the recipe will continue on in the now tiny hands of my grandchildren.
I wish you all a Blessed Easter in the company of loved ones and traditions new and old --