Perfect Potato Salad

Perfect Potato Salad

A Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens Salad Book (1958)

About the Recipe

When friends are coming over for a beach picnic, what do you do? You make potato salad, of course! I went to this book right away looking for a recipe, knowing that it was one of my grandma’s go-to’s. When I saw the 3x math on the page, I knew this one had to be a winner!

My husband doesn’t like celery, so I left it out. The onions and pickles give it plenty of crunch and flavor, and in the end it’s exactly as described – a perfect potato salad.

For potato salad newbies (like me!), don’t miss the step by step instructions on how to cook the perfect potato for a salad.

About the Glassware

I found the cradle and the Fire King rectangular baking dish together at a vintage store just outside of Palm Springs on a recent visit. It’s not clear on whether they might have been originally purchased together or not. Many sets like this seem to have a clear dish instead of an opaque one. Either way, it’s a great little serving piece, and I can’t resist the opportunity to make potato salad look fancy.

About the Book

I went to visit my grandma this past weekend, who is getting ready to move out of the house that she’s lived in for… well a very long time. It’s no secret to anyone following my posts that she’s a big inspiration for a lot of the work I do on this blog. While I was there, she told me to take the cookbooks. Any of them that I wanted, including this Salad Book. I cried.

This book is so clearly well loved and well used. There’s a page covered in plastic wrap, because a recipe was used so often, she was trying to keep the splatter off it (a Caesar salad, for the record!). There are splotches on most, if not all of the pages. The edges are torn. I could not love this book more.

The Recipe!


2 1/2 cups cubed or sliced cooked potatoes
1 t sugar
1 t vinegar
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced celery (if desired)
1/4 cup sliced sweet pickle (if desired)
1 1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t celery seed
3/4 c mayonnaise
2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced


Sprinkle potatoes with sugar and vinegar. Add onion, celery, pickle, seasonings, and mayonnaise; toss to blend. Carefully “fold in” egg slices. Chill. Serve in lettuce-lined bowl. Trim with egg slices.

Cook potatoes in boiling salted water, peel and cube — they’re salad-ready

1. Scrub potatoes thoroughly with a firm vegetable brush. Choose potatoes of equal size so all will get done at the same time.

2. Cook potatoes in boiling, salted water. Begin fork testing after 25 minutes of cooking. When just tender, remove from heat and drain. Shake in pan over low heat to dry.

3. Peel potatoes while hot, holding on long fork or on paper towel. Salad secret: Mix salad with warm potatoes — they absorb seasonings.

4. Halve potatoes lengthwise. With flat side down on cutting board, slice each potato half in 3/4-inch strips. Then cut it crosswise to make bite-size cubes.

Potato Kugel (Meat)

Potato Kugel (Meat)

A Recipe from Grandma’s Kosher Recipes (1968)

About the Recipe

The same way that every Italian family has its own red sauce, every Jewish family has its own kugel recipe. Full disclosure – this is not my family’s recipe, but it is really freaking good.

This is the kind of recipe that could be adapted for any occasion. Do you need it to go with a kosher milk meal? Just use oil instead of smaltz. Do you need it to be kosher for Passover? Substitute the flour for potato starch or a very fine matzo meal and you’re set! This versatile dish is perfect for every table.

For more recipes from my Weekend at Becky’s click here!

About the book

This book belonged to my great-aunt Martha on my mom’s side of the family. It came to Becky by way of her mom. How it got into Becky’s mom’s hands? No idea. But there we go.

Dinners with Aunt Martha and Grandma Koppelman (Abigail or Gail to those who knew her) were full of warmth and joy. Making this dish and smelling the potatoes and smaltz as it cooked brought me back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Salisbury, MD.

Two days ago was Grandma’s yartzeit (anniversary of her death). While she passed away 4 years ago, she’s still present in every family meal and gathering. To the Holt sisters in heaven – Abigail, Edith, & Martha – we remember you.

About the glassware

We made the kugel in a vintage Pyrex 232 lasagna pan. It’s one of those great dishes that was passed from person to person and ultimately mother to daughter and no one can quite remember where in the family it came from.

The Recipe!


5 potatoes
1 onion
salt & pepper
3 T smaltz (chicken fat) or oil
3 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup oil for pan


Grate potatoes and 1 onion, add salt and pepper, melt chicken fat and add, beat eggs and add, then flour. Mix well. Pour oil in bottom of pan and pour kugel in. Bake 1 hour or until brown at 375*F. Serve hot.