My grandmother’s name was Ardath Harter, so I called her “Grama” Harter (she would write her surname with a heart!).
I only remember her making three foods. For me, when I visited her house, she’d make a grilled cheese with dill pickles on the side and a cup of tea in a gold teacup. For dinner, she would make Pennsylvania Dutch Ham, String Bean, and Potato Soup, and for picnics, she’d make her potato salad.
This potato salad recipe is sized for a crowd and more closely resembles a German potato salad than a typical American one. She was adamant that the hot dressing be poured over the potatoes while they are still hot. I am adamant that you make it a day in advance—it needs to absorb the dressing overnight in the fridge.
It should have a yellow hue when done and taste like my family’s old-time picnics.
My Grandmother’s Potato Salad
- 4 pounds potatoes
- ½ cup diced onion
- 2 cups diced celery
- 4 diced hard-boiled eggs
- Fresh dill, chopped
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 Tablespoons prepared brown mustard
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ cup sugar
- ¾ cups apple cider vinegar
- 1¼ cups milk
- Salt to taste
- Boil the potatoes whole and “cooked in jackets” (i.e.: with the skin on). This keeps them from getting mushy.
- In a saucepan, combine the dressing ingredients and bring to a boil before bringing the mixture down to medium heat and stirring until thick.
- Take the potatoes out and cut them down to size (I keep the skins on, but you don’t have to). Add in the celery, onion, and three of the hard-boiled eggs.
- Toss with the dressing and leave in the fridge overnight.
- Right before serving, add the final hard-boiled egg (for fresh color) and chopped dill.