Yuriko's Potato Salad


It is often the case that food equals love. My daughter turned six on Saturday; her namesake, my grandmother, passed away quickly and suddenly when my daughter was 18 months old. Although my daughter has no real memory of my grandmother, who was an incredible woman and cook, I have tried to keep her spirit alive for my daughter through food. When we cook together, my daughter wears my grandmother’s apron, and she is fully aware of its special significance. My grandmother’s cooking was synonymous with her love – no matter how big or small a group she was serving she always had a thoughtful, delicious menu planned out and was able to execute everything to perfection. She practically floated around the kitchen, and I do not remember her ever saying a cross word (unlike myself, under pressure) or even getting flustered with any potential mishap. The ultimate was always the enjoyment of the meal, sharing food and love with family and friends around the table. She is a constant reminder of the kind of person and cook that I aspire to be. The recipe I want to be remembered for is one that my grandmother never wrote down, and the one that connects the wide-eyed, eager kitchen helper with the person I am today. This simple potato salad was one of her spot-on, amazing recipes. For a period during my teen years, when I was boycotting mayonnaise, this was the only exception. It is bright from a healthy dose of lemon juice and has been enjoyed on many a summer Sunday. It is perfect for a potluck or barbeque and goes especially well with fried chicken. I watched her make this countless times, without any formal measurements. After she passed away, I was the only one who knew how to make it, and finally figured out the measurements and wrote them down. Once I even included it at Thanksgiving, in her honor, on a holiday that she had mastered.

What you will need

3 lbs potatoes (either 12-14 small to medium red potatoes, or 4 big Yukon golds)

1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion

1/3 cup finely chopped celery (tender stalks)

2 -21/2 tablespoons mayonnnaise, start with 2 T adding more if necessary

¾ t plus a pinch of salt plus ¾ t plus a pinch of sugar thoroughly dissolved in ¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (Meyer lemon preferred)

Freshly ground black pepper


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