Mom’s potato salad

Summer’s here, and the time is right—for the old family recipe potato salad. The Queen Mum (this would be Dad’s mother-in-law) has a great recipe for potato salad that has been a family favorite for decades. She can’t recall where it came from and has “modified” whatever the original was, but she can’t quite recall how. This is no doubt the story of many old family recipes.

Our moms and grandmas were masters of the art of home cooking, if not the science, as we have come to learn it from food television. Knowing how much of any ingredient to use is something they just know, don’t ask them how unless you want to hear “I just know.” For us, we can learn how to figure out just how many potatoes you need to create a bowl of potato salad for the church picnic (“Get the big yellow bowl off the top shelf in the pantry.”) if we just remain calm and think it through. “Well, the last time we made a bowl of this salad, it was just us and we put it in the medium bowl. That’s about half the size of “the big yellow bowl,” so we need twice the potatoes. Sure hope they’re the same size.” You get it.

So, whatever the provenance of this recipe—I’m betting they got it from the cooking column in the hometown newspaper, circa 1928—take it from me, this is a great recipe to spread your cooking wings with. You can hardly go wrong…well, maybe you can go wrong, but you can hardly be blamed!

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Mom’s Potato Salad

An old family favorite from who knows where.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword potatoes
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 servings
Author dad


  • Big mixing and serving bowl


  • 6 medium russet potatoes
  • 6 hard-boiled large eggs
  • 1/2 cup Miracle Whip® may just won't do, apparently
  • 1/2 cup pickle relish
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard must be the brand that rhymes with "wrenches"
  • 1 jar pimento
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • Boil the potatoes until just barely done the way you like them. Leave the peels on; they're good for you.
  • Hard boil the eggs. Use the best eggs you can for the most flavor.
  • Let the potatoes and eggs cool to room temp. Peel and dice and place in your bowl.
  • Mix in the MW, pickle relish, mustard, pimento. Fold in carefully to avoid breaking down the potatoes to mush.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Chill in the fridge until you're ready to leave for the picnic, or whatever, at least an hour.


  1. Karen says:

    Hi, I just wanted to let you know that the recipe is so similar to my mother’s potato salad recipe. Actually, she never had a recipe…I just watched her make it and she never measured. She cut up dill pickles in hers and added some of the pickle juice. I can’t remember her putting pimentos in hers. I still call it “my mother’s potato salad when I make it.

  2. Nancy Colleen Dickerson Ramsay says:

    Yum!! This is similar to the way I make potato salad, as well. However, I am excited to add pimentos the next time I make it!!

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