Thursday, July 7, 2016

Theresa Blodgett's Hot Potato Salad

My husband's grandmother and grandfather both emigrated from Germany as youngsters, before WWI. They met and fell in love and married and worked and had a gazillion kids, and lived on a farm and Grandma Eichas was pretty well self-taught in so many skills... as she said to me "Because it was needed!"

She was a darling woman, strong and vibrant and fair.... and I loved her.

My mother-in-law is her daughter Theresa, and Mom (Theresa) developed this family favorite about five or six decades ago... it's her version of German potato salad, without sugar so you don't get "sweet and savory" you get salty and savory with a twang of vinegar....

The entire family loves it, and the trick in making it isn't in the ingredients or the skill, it's in the layering and patience.... Because once you layer it, you want to warm it in a medium oven (about 275° or 300°) until well warmed through, about 40 minutes to an hour.... and if you want, you can leave it in a slow oven for a long time. (Don't ask how I know that. Timers do not always work correctly!!!! )

So here's a shot of the simple ingredients, and there is no measuring with this. You use a big serving spoon (not the HUGE ones in your utensil drawer, the "vegetable" sized ones in your silverware drawer).

You'll need cooked potatoes (I did a five pound bag), peeled and diced to a medium/large piece.

Apple cider vinegar

Cooked bacon, not overdone.

One medium onion, chopped and sauteed lightly in the bacon grease when the bacon is done.




4-6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

4 quart baking dish or pot

Spread layer of potato chunks on bottom of pan. Sprinkle with one spoonful of bacon grease/onion mix.

Sprinkle top with salt. Then pepper. Then Parsley. Then a handful of crumbled bacon. Then sprinkle with TWO spoonfuls of the apple cider vinegar.

Repeat twice.

Cover and put in slow/medium oven and walk away.....Let it heat through without stirring, then stir after about an hour. (Unless you can't wait and need to taste test after thiry minutes or so. It is that worthy).

Kav, you could use bacon bits and olive oil to saute the onion for your version, and I laughed when I saw your admission about over-cooking the potatoes.... because that's the one thing Mom scolds about! "Don't overcook them potatoes!"

So I don't!!!!

And if I remember to take a pic when it comes out of the oven, I'll post it, but I've got this and it's WAY BETTER THAN POTATOES!!!!

The Little Princess!!!!

Nine months old (and 4 days) The Little Princess has taken her first steps, gotten one tooth and is eating a freeze pop!!!!

She's so big!!!

Bald is beautiful!

And THIS TRICK is amazing: Fruit flies in the kitchen are an obnoxious problem every summer, but Mandy showed me this trick and it works!!!!

Take one-quart (or so) bowl. Fill it about 1/3 full of warm, soapy water. Put small glass or candle holder in middle, filled with apple cider or red wine vinegar.

Set next to a banana or any fruit fly enticing fruit....

Fruit Fly Trap!!!

It works! I had a melon and some bananas on the counter, and no fruit flies! They all were drawn to the bowl and the aging banana and the vinegar. The bubbles "trap" them, but I found it worked even once the bubbles disappeared.... Although I did use my coffee frother to whip them back up! I've changed the soapy water twice in a week, and there are no clouds of fruit flies in my kitchen, and it's caught about 7 house flies, too....

And non-toxic! Go Green, Ruthy!!!!!

And then there's this....

Grandpa and a snuggle bunny Lena, curled up at our Herne Family Reunion on July 3rd... Note the cleanliness of this sweet, old house and you know in an instant, it's not mine!!!!

We had a great time, great family, and it's always fun to reconnect with those we love.

And I just received my first box of books from my beloved Love Inspired for "Her Unexpected Family"!!!

Such a delightful story, I love it!!!!

And that's it from the farm.... Next week I can show you more progress on the ponds and front gardens, and maybe reveal the Secret Project I'm working on....

I am loving having a chance to be inside writing and outside working!!

God is good!

Multi-published, bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne loves living in the Eastern Woodlands of upstate New York because she's pretty sure she's part dryad! A mother of many, and grandmother to many more, she is living her dream of writing sweet, inspirational stories of faith, hope and love in her 162 year old farmhouse... where if you try to fix one thing, you break two others!

Visit her on facebook as Ruth Logan Herne or stop by her website

She'd love to meet you!


  1. We get fruit flies here in winter. I use that trick too.

    That potato salad looks awesome. This is one thing I have never braved. I was afraid they'd end up mushy.

    1. Tina, they don't at all.... You cook them til they're just done, fork tender, let them cool and then peel (the peel slips right off) and dice.

      It's so good for being so simple!

      Mom and Dave's sister make a 30 lb roaster full of this for the Eichas family reunion every year.

      That's a lotta potatoes, and Mom's is always the first to disappear.

      Old family recipes rock!!!

    2. So you knew about this trick??? I'd never heard of it, but boy, I'd have fruit flies by the dozens (probably more than that, to be honest) every day, every summer, and I couldn't leave anything out to keep it naturally sweet.... I'm in love with this!

  2. Thanks for the vegetarian twist on this, Ruthy. Isn't it a shame that an Irish lass like me can't boil a potato right? Must be why I eat so many mashed potatoes. :-)

    I was checking out the latest Christian Fiction books at my public library and guess what I found in the line up? Back in the Saddle! And they actually bought three copies (doesn't happen much for Christian Fiction in this library system) and there's already mega holds on all the copies. Woot!!!!!!

    1. KAV!!!! You've just made me the happiest ever!!!!

      How fun that they got 3 copies!!! WHOOT!!!! Happy dancing in upstate!!!!!

  3. Potato salad looks yummy and you are so right. The photo of Lena is much more fun than potatoes. What a precious sweetheart and i know she brings you much joy.

    1. Sandra, Lena is a hoot! She's so much fun that it should be illegal.... and it's not! I'm so glad you stopped by, and I'll make this for you sometime when we're on retreat and see if you like it!

  4. This looks wonderful, Ruthy, thanks for sharing! And I love the photos of the Little Princess!! You said: "Bald is beautiful" and I agree. Both of my girls were born with a little hair, but it all disappeared not long afterwards. When the second daughter was born those little velcro bows were just coming out, and I was so excited. I went shopping for a pretty pink one and the salesgirl looked at my baby and said, "They gotta have at least one hair to stick that to, hon." I laughed so hard about that, later :-)

    1. Laura, I would laugh out loud at that, too! Oh my stars, these bald babies are so precious. Not all of mine were bald, but 4 of the six.... and it was a hoot. Sarah didn't get "real" hair until she was six years old. Her kindergarten picture shows this pale, blonde, wispy hair.... which then became a gorgeous mane of hair by 18 months later.

      Hair is so funny!!!

  5. That potato salad looks wonderful! I love using apple cider vinegar. I know some people don't like the taste, but I love it. A secret - I gargle with it in the winter to kill off the germs from all the sick kids.

    I discovered that fruit fly trick by accident this week. My daughter forgot to take her compost to the farmer's market so she had her compost bin plus a plastic bag full of rotting fruit and vegetable peels. I picked it up planning to discard it and was attacked by a swarm of fruit flies who proceeded to infest my kitchen once deprived of their food source.

    I left her compost bin to soak - full of sudsy water - while I went off to write. When I came back, the suds were studded with dead fruit flies.

    1. CATE!!!! You are an inventor!!!! Who knew the value of suds???? That is awesome!

  6. Yes, LOVE love love the Princess Lena photos. Grandpa looks so content. Life as it should be. :)

    1. He was content! Great food, a quiet room, his baby girl and a Yankees game... He was #happy!!!!!

  7. I LOVE German potato salad, but hubby doesn't, so I've never searched for a recipe.

    But now that you've shared this fabulous one, I'll HAVE to make it! The church picnic is coming up, and I think I'll take this to share!

    Fruit flies...I haven't had one since we moved here. It can't be the semi-arid climate, because Tina has them in the desert. Maybe it's just because food doesn't last in this house for more than a few days? But with children moving out left and right, that may change!

    BTW - love the pictures of Lena. :)

    1. Jan, the Great Fruit Fly Revolt of 1907 eradicated fruit flies from BOTH DAKOTAS. It was really a blessing and a curse, because the toads love fruit flies, and it cost you guys a lot of little reptilian friends.

      (shakes head in sorrow....) So sorry, my friend, but so excited that I get to stay with you in Nashville and giggle like a couple of teens!!! YES!

  8. Potato salad might just be my favourite summer food! I've never tried the German version so might give this a try. It looks wonderful!

    As does little princess. She's such a darling.

    The fruit fly solution (is that a pun?) is intriguing. We aren't often bothered by them, but when they arrive they're such a bother. I'll give this a try.

    1. Carol, let me know how it works for you? We get a ton of them, and that's probably because I am not Mrs. Clean.

      I don't even KNOW Mrs. Clean and if I did, she'd move away and disown me.... So it's probably me leaving food lying around on the counters.

      Oh, silly me!!!

  9. I'm I day late but I love an interesting summer recipe. I don't think I've ever made a potato salad without mayo and my paternal grandma was German! (we've talked about that before)

    On fly traps, we have a horrible problem with fruit flies once our tomatoes come in. I found a solution on pinterest. I put about one inch of apple sider vinegar and a small piece of banana in a quart jar. Then make a cone out of a piece of paper and tape it to the mouth of the jar. The flies go in but something about the shape of the cone keeps them from flying out. Sometimes we so many flies we can't even tell how many there are. I put the jar in the freezer for about 20 minutes to kill them then just take it back out of the freezer and reuse it over and over. Works great.

    I can't wait for Her Unexpected Family!

    Ooooh! I love a secret project, do tell!

    1. Secret project must remain secret for now.... I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill.... I don't know, not you, you're such a nice person, but I'd kill SOMEONE.

      I love secrets, though. Except when I forget it's a secret and BLURT it out, like I did with someone's pregnancy a few years back.


      My bad.

      Tracey, I love that fruit fly idea, too, and maybe the East Coast is inundated with the little buggers! Maybe they're special to us!!!!