Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer Potato Salad

Summer Potato Salad
Dorcas Annette Walker

The scorching hot “dog days” of summer are upon us. For those of you who don’t live in the mountains “dog days” are when you are extra careful walking in the woods to watch for snakes as this is the time of the year when they shed their skins and are more likely to strike out with their fangs. The name comes from the ancient Romans, who considered Sirius to be the “dog star” because it was the brightest star in the constellation shining between early July and August and responsible for hot weather when rainfall is at its lowest levels. During this time my dogs hide out under the back porch seeking a cool spot to snooze the day away while I stay indoors enjoying the modern convenience of an air conditioner. The mind feels sluggish and the body slow as the heat outside rises with temperatures that stays humid even when the sun has set.

So I only work outside in my garden first thing in the morning while it is still cool. The experts are now informing us that gardening is beneficial to your physical and mental health. They figure that forty-five minutes of gardening can burn that many calories and is as good as thirty minutes of aerobics. How my farmer grandparents would shake their heads and laugh to see all the hype going on today about tanning beds and aerobic classes. Every time I turn around another weight loss or body building gym is opening up. All a person has to do to get a tan and a plenty of exercise is to plant and maintain a garden. Instead of staying indoors riding circles on an exercise bike hoeing rows of corn is guaranteed to give you a full body workout. No weight-lifting equipment can compare with eating fresh corn off the stalk that you have grown yourself or digging into a hill of new potatoes.

My Summer Potato Salad is a brand new recipe that originated from an idea I read about. This Summer Potato Salad has the tangy taste of a freshly tossed garden salad. My son, who generally doesn’t care for potato salad, actually took a second helping of my Summer Potato Salad. You can add shredded carrots, radishes, black olives, diced red and green peppers, fresh peas, green beans, or substitute your favorite salad dressing. Preparation time for my Summer Potato Salad is around thirty-five minutes (not counting cooling time) and this recipe serves eight.

Summer Potato Salad

8 medium size potatoes
1 tsp salt
1 small onion and clove of garlic minced
1 tb minced chives
½ c bacon bits
salt & pepper
2 c mayonnaise
1½ c blue cheese salad dressing
1 c ranch salad dressing

Cover and boil potatoes with salt in water for twenty minutes until the potatoes are soft. Rinse in cold water and let the potatoes cool. Peel and cube into a medium-size bowl. Add onion, garlic chives, and bacon bits. Sprinkle on salt and pepper to taste. Mix in mayonnaise, blue cheese and ranch dressing until well blended. Cover and chill. Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika and serve on a lettuce leaf!

Weekly tip: White potatoes are low in starch and are good for boiling; yellow potatoes or Russet potatoes are high in starch and are good for mashing and baking; while red and yellow potatoes are best for steaming, boiling, soups, stews, roasting or scalloped!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at:

1 comment:

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

For picnic or get-to-gether: Serve in a bowl lined with lettuce leaves first that come to or over the top of the rim, fill up with the potato salad, and then garnish the top with a sliced hard-boiled egg, and a sprinkle of paprika!