spuds of spontaneity

the best ever potato salad - this is not subjective

If you took a random sampling of my friends and asked them if I was a person of spontaneity or planning, they would not only file me in the “planner maximusˮ category, but also add a snarky comment about how I was born with an exact itinerary of to-do’s in my head. Regimented – yes; spontaneous – let’s just say I’m working on it.

My mother, if she could, would undoubtedly pipe in, and tell you that I arrived on the scene exactly nine months after the wedding day, ahem conception, as in her contractions began nine months on the day after she was married. And while she was quite keen on giving birth in April (it’s considered bad luck to give birth in May), I insisted upon my own arrival time, around 5:30am on May 1, precisely committed to that biological gestation clock Mother Nature has given its human fledglings.

In grade school, I used rulers and color pencils to denote my daily activities and their durations. And in college, I diligently (or perhaps psychotically) rewrote my notes after class, using a ruler and colored pens to achieve neat, pretty and to-scale graphs.

Some of this has changed: I no longer color-code my closet, despite the daily temptation; and my books, now commingled with KS’s, lack that autobiographical order that made me feel closer to Nick Hornby.

radishes... kind of sassy... really big!

But I was happily content not to have any weekend plans – our first weekend of no weddings or birthdays or other commitments. Of course, we couldn’t just sit still, and decided to throw a little barbecue! For awhile now, I wanted to make a potato salad – but I kept finding recipes that made me wrinkle my nose in disgust – too much mayo here, not feeling the eggs there. And given my boundless love for the spud, how was it that I was yet to find a potato salad to love? The famed Russian salad “olivyeˮ, otherwise known as the winter salad, or “zimniy salatˮ, does not count – as the key word there is zimniy, or “of the winterˮ. And do you see any winter outside? No? Me either. All thanks to Deb – this salad is going to become a staple of summer cookouts and picnics – it is incredibly delicious.

So, how did I fare when KS and I decided to throw a last minute barbecue? I was cool as a cucumber. Not only did I get most of the ingredients at the farmers market, but we had enough time for a long walk, food prep and I even found a few minutes to throw some lip gloss on to look pulled together for the guests! I guess I could do this spontaneous thing, as long as, well, I get a bit of warning in advance that we need to be, well, spontaneous!

2 lbs fingerling potatoes
1 large cucumber thinly sliced
1 bunch of radishes – thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped dill
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 20-30 minutes until soft when pierced with knife. Drain and cool completely. In a large bowl cut potatoes into thick slices, add cucumbers, radishes, dill and green onions, followed by the mayonnaise, the sour cream and some salt and pepper. Mix well. Add more salt if necessary.

Serve chilled in a large bowl or small bowls.

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