Spiral-bound, paperback community cookery books are often a goldmine of recipes from talented home cooks. Most creations are classics and a few turn out to be disasters.
Some recipes are tricky to make because the ingredients are available only in the country where the cookbook was produced. Sometimes the measurements are challenging to figure out. How big is a gob of butter?
Luckily, page 32 had a wonderful recipe, by a Ginger Martindale, that called for readily available ingredients and included easy-to-decipher measurements.
By the way, I can’t remember how I came to have this book, but Morris Press, which specialises in fundraising cookbooks, was just up the road from where I lived in Nebraska. Or perhaps my mother bought it on one of her trips to Phoenix Arizona, which is where the church is.
Hot German potato salad
4 1/2 lbs, peeled and boiled potatoes
1 1/2 c. chopped onions
3 T. flour
1 1/2 c. water
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 c sliced radishes
9 slices bacon, diced
3/4 c. chopped celery
2 tsp. salt
1 c. cider vinegar
1/3 c. fresh parsley, cut up
Cook onion and celery in bacon fat until tender. Stir in flour and salt. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until bubbly. Remove from heat, stir in water, vinegar and sugar. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.
Stir in parsley and bacon. Cut potatoes in thin slices. Toss potatoes with bacon mixture in 3 1/2-quart casserole.
Cover and bake in 350°F oven for 30 minutes. Stir in radishes. Great hot—and even good as a cold leftover.
How it played out
Petra’s cricket team was in charge of catering for both teams at a recent game. I figured it was the perfect chance to make a recipe that called for 4 1/2 pounds of potatoes, so volunteered to contribute.
It’s a completely straightforward recipe, so I more or less followed it. I didn’t bother peeling the potatoes—too fiddly a step and why lose the nutrition in the skin? Cut the sugar back to just 1/3 cup (which was plenty) and used cornflour as a thickener because I knew at least one of the players couldn’t have gluten.
You’ll see from the photo above, just how large our Australian bacon rashers (slices) are, so I used 5 instead of 9.
I was surprised by the number of people who said they hadn’t eaten radishes for ages, even though they loved them. Many also commented on how nice it was to taste the cider vinegar.
And even though the recipe title refers to ‘hot’ potato salad, this worked just fine at room temperature.
Will definitely keep this on my list when cooking for a crowd. I’m sure it could easily be halved or doubled.
If you’re a fan of potatoes, check out my travel blog for one of our memorable roadside meals in India—a great breakfast of potato cakes.