Our short little table was adorned with a patchwork of vintage linens and a clearance April Cornell table cloth. Spare chairs were summoned from the far corners of our fair home and the entire dining/living room had been rearranged in a an attempt to make room for company.
Our guest list had only two names on it, but that is reason enough for a little bit of grandeur here on Park Street, and I worried about the table legs which always seem to be in the way of ours. We did our best to cool the place down for the evening and I sweated away in our room-sized oven of a kitchen, cooking away.
I love entertaining – I always stress and fuss way too much and practically drive myself and the surrounding husband crazy in my effort to have everything ‘just so’. Under it all, however, is this deliciously deep satisfaction at having people come to our home and enjoy themselves. It isn’t grand, it isn’t showy and the table legs definitely get in the way, but it’s ours and we love it, and I love to welcome people into it and give them good food.
The menu was braised chicken breast sandwiches with tomato, mayo and garden-fresh lettuce, a huge fruit salad (served in a carved-out watermelon because we *ARE* that stinking cute) and a potato salad, with ice cream for dessert.
This potato salad is one that I loosely translated from my husband’s dear grandma’s salad. While we were in Maine visiting YiaYia and Papoo, she served us a potato salad that I ate an embarrassingly large amount of. It was incredible and when I asked her how she made it, she shrugged and said, “A little of this and a little of that!” She did go into the details that I was craving and I tried my best to remember it. Ever since then I have been itching at the chance to make one and try my hand at it.
They say never to make something for the first time for company, but really, what do ‘they’ know? Never having been one for listening to the random voices of the universe, I dived in and made my first potato salad as a married woman, YiaYia’s spoken recipe in the back of my head leading me onward – – –
4 red potatoes, boiled
5 green onions, diced
1/2 sweet red pepper, diced
2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 cup mayo
salt and pepper to taste
The simplicity of this salad is its perfection. As I said before, this is not her exact recipe, but I’d never heard of using mint in a potato salad and it was awesome. Also, she used red potatoes, which keep their shape well and have an excellent texture. I liked the waxiness of them. The bit of vinegar (her suggestion) cuts the mayo and brightens the salad.
The potatoes got chopped into small bite-sized pieces and then mixed with the rest of the ingredients. I made it ahead of time to let the flavors meld together and I think next time I will make it even further ahead, like over night.
My-oh-my was it good!
We had a delightful evening with our guests, everything went swimmingly – everyone enjoyed their meal and didn’t knock their knees too badly. I’d say it was a success!