Last night, I decided to pick something out of my cookbook of five generations of family recipes. I decided to make Gram Patton's Potato Salad with Cooked Dressing.
Now, Gram Patton was an incredible lady, although I never met her (she passed away three years before my mother was born), her son, my great-grandfather, was one of the most amazing people I have ever encountered in my life. She raised 15 (yes, you read that correctly) amazing children- nine of which were boys. "The Patton Boys" they were coined, as they formed their own semi-pro baseball team. During the 1940s and 1950s, "The Patton Boys" traveled around the northeast part of the United States playing baseball. Their weekend games brought people out in droves within the small, steel-town of Coatesville, Pennsylvania. To this day, many people still tell stories of watching the Patton brothers play baseball, stories that I adore hearing.
Gram Patton and her husband, my great-great-grandfather, Jackson Fuller Patton (how awesome is that name?)
My great-grandfather, Charlie, was an amazing person. He passed away in 2002 at 92 years of age. He left me with the baseball from the last game "The Patton Boys" all played together. On this ball, Gram Patton wrote that it was the last game that her boys ever played together, the date, and that- of course- they had won the game. This ball is my connection to the beautiful Sarah C. Jane Miller Patton who raised, not only 15 amazing children, but my Pop-Pop, Charlie, whom I loved dearly and miss so much.
This photo I have posted before, but this is my great-grandfather with my great-grandmother, and my grandmother as a little toddler!
This recipe was hers. I feel so lucky to have family recipes that my great-grandfather and his brothers and sisters grew up eating during the teens, 20s and 30s (remember... 15 kids, now!). What a gift! I made it last night. And boy, this is quintessential Pennsylvania Dutch Cookin'. Won't you try it out, too? Imagine a recipe so good that it has survived 5 generations!
My Great-Great-Grandmother's Potato Salad with Cooked Dressing
Courtesy: Sarah C. Jane Miller Patton, aka Gram Patton
Yields: 15 to 17 servings
My many apologies for the terrible photo, I made this at about 8:00PM, I've been putting in extra hours at work, preparing for when I'll be away on my honeymoon! So it has been late dinners that I've been eating!
6 large potatoes- peeled, cooked, and drained (small cubes: increased surface area: decreased cooking time)
1 tsp white vinegar
Sugar- to sweeten
1 onion - diced
2 celery ribs - diced
1 hard boiled egg (optional)
1. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, cooling to room temperature (very important).
2. Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a small bowl, add enough sugar to sweeten, add vinegar and blend together.
3. Heat the egg mixture on stove top to thicken, STIRRING CONSTANTLY (I didn't do this the first time around and ended up with scrambled eggs. Haha! So stir constantly.)
4. Allow mixture to cool
5. Once cooled to room temperature, add mayo (the mixture you just made), enough to cream potatoes.
6. Carefully fold in diced onion and celery, so not to smash the potatoes
7. Salt to taste
8. Garnish the top with sliced hard boiled egg!
Serve and enjoy a cherished family classic!