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potato salad food faves
        When summertime kicks in up here, there are CERTAIN FOODS THAT I HAVE TO HAVE, or it just doesn't FEEL like summer to me. Over the years, it's become an important seasonal routine, my very own proverbial top 10 of hot weather must-haves. Because most of them tilt towards the "NOT SO GOOD FOR YOU" side of the equation, I usually only give myself permission to eat them once each summer, or maybe twice.
        DO YOU HAVE A LIST OF SUMMER FOOD FAVES? If you don't, I SUGGEST YOU MAKE ONE and then eat all of them this summer.
        Here's the first 5 on my list. You'll have to wait until next time for the rest.

1. MY HOMEMADE POTATO SALAD, made with an addictive combo of scallions, Dijon mustard, parsley and hard boiled egg yolks mashed into alot of Hellmann's mayonnaise. It's a fave I only make once a year, for fear I 'll eat bowls and bowls of it. The only exception is a family picnic where I won't be left alone with it sitting in my fridge just calling out to me.
2. ONE, yes only one, SOFT SERVE VANILLA ICE CREAM SUNDAE with that BAD HOT FUDGE and WHIPPED CREAM on the top. I GREW UP WITH A DAIRY QUEEN around the corner from my house, and I CAN'T kick the habit. But maybe I'm slowly weaning myself, because I've worked my way down to the kiddie size.
3. ONE HOMEMADE GRILLED HAMBURGER. I want it medium rare, crusty and charred on the outside, and So juicy on the inside, that when you take a bite, IT DRIPS DOWN YOUR ARMS. It has to have 2 slices of melty American cheese, and sit on a buttered, then grilled and browned to perfection, Arnold sesame seed bun, with a ripe Jersey, and it must be a New Jersey tomato slice, with lots and lots of Heinz ketchup. There is only one side for me, and that's a pile of those adorable Ore Ida tater tots.
4. ONE BAG OF REGULAR SIZE FRITOS. The SALT, the GREASE, the CRUNCH, the "bad for you" temptation of it all is just too much to resist when those summer holidays hit.
5. Toasted marshmallows, two to a fork, that must be rotated slowly over an open fire, until they're lightly browned, crispy and crunchy outside and really gooey on the inside.

OK, the first five have been unveiled. Happy SUMMER!

        I got this recipe from the Sunday NY Times Magazine food section many years ago. Not knowing that a food blog was in my future, I was not conscientious enough to write down the recipe's creator or date. For all I know, IT COULD BE MOLLY'S (O'Neill) recipe. Whose ever it is, it's the best!

LESSONS Learned:
1. Start with cold water when boiling the potatoes. If you start with hot water, the inside of the potato will be raw, while the outside will turn to mush.
2. I use a metal skewer to test if the potatoes are cooked. They're done when I can easily push it throught the center of the potato.
3. Thoroughly dry the parsley and the scallions. You don't want any excess water to dilute the salad.
4. Stir gently to combine all of the ingredients. You want potato salad, not potato spread.

(from the Sunday New York Times Magazine-many many years ago)

4-6 medium size red potatoes, about 1 1/2 pounds
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, hard boiled
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon sugar dissolved in 1 Tablespoon warm water
1/2 cup mayonnaise, I use Hellmanns
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 smalll bunch parsley, chopped, about 1/2 cup
2 scallions chopped about 3 Tablespoons

        In a large pot, cover the potatoes and 1 teaspoon salt with at least one inch of cold water. Bring to a boil, and cook until just tender, about 3o minutes.
        Cool to room temperature and peel. Cut them into 1/2 inch dice. Separate the yolks from the whites of the hard boiled eggs. Chop the whites and add to the potatoes.
        In a medium bowl, mash the egg yolks with the mustard, blending well. Stir in the sugar mixture. Add the mayonnaise and salt and mix well. Gently stir in the parsley, and scallions. Chill until ready to serve.

Makes 4-6 servings or one for me. YUM!
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