Grandma’s Potato Salad


This potato salad is unlike any other potato salad I have ever tasted before and it’s always been a big hit with any crowd, so it’s often my go to picnic/barbecue/pot luck recipe. According to my Great Grandmother Petty, it’s a recipe that came from the Schreiber side of the family, so she always assumed it was German. I’ve had to modify it only slightly, replacing diced yellow onion with the dark green parts of scallions, which should only be added when serving, as they don’ t have a very long shelf life and look a whole lot prettier that way, anyway.

Like most recipes in my family that have been passed down from one generation to the next, I don’t know that this recipe has ever actually been written down. There were no measurements to go by. Instead, my mother and grandmother always just added what looked right to them, stirred, tasted and adjusted as needed. This usually yielded great results, though I have to admit as my mother aged and her lupus and undiagnosed EDS began to take their cognitive toll, we came to fear dinner invitations a bit. As my sisters and brother never learned her recipes and she’s gone now, I am the sole owner of this family knowledge, which makes me sad, as I have no children of my own for whom I can pass this knowledge. So I pass it on to you instead, with properly assigned measurements. I hope it brings your family as much joy as it’s always brought me and mine.

Note to low histamine dieters: This recipe is not appropriate for people with mycotoxin (mold) sensitivity. Even if you take out the bacon and pickles, the vinegar in mayo is very likely to cause a reaction. However, if you don’t have any mold issues, you could do it without the pickles, pepper and bacon.

Grandma’s Potato Salad

  • 4 large or 6 medium Russet Potatoes
  • 3 eggs, hard boiled and diced (LH, yolks only)
  • 1/3 cup dill pickle chips, diced (omit for LH)
  • 8 slices hardwood smoked bacon (omit for LH)
  • 2-2 1/2 cups low FODMAP mayonnaise (only okay for LH is no mold reaction is present)
  • 3 tablespoons bacon grease (omit for LH)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celery Seed
  • 1 teaspoon Parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper (omit for LH)
  • 2-3 scallions (dark parts only), diced

One day to 8 hours before making, boil potatoes whole in a large stock pot over medium-high to high heat. DO NOT remove the skins. Potatoes are cooked through when a fork slides through the middle easily. Drain and allow to cool before refrigerating at least 4 hours. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until well browned on both sides. Remove and set on paper towels to drain. Reserve 3 tablespoons of bacon grease.

Peel cold potatoes, removing eyes and bad spots. Cut into 1-1 1/2 ” pieces. Place cut potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Pour reserved bacon fat over potatoes and crumble bacon on top. Add remaining ingredients, except scallions. Using a large, sturdy spoon, stir until all ingredients are well distributed throughout your potatoes. Best if covered and refrigerated overnight. Sprinkle with scallions before serving.

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