Cooking For Others: Potato Salad in Party-Town
EVENT: Labor Day Weekend
VENUE: Phoebe & Keith’s Parents’ Houses, Martha’s Vineyard
PARTY SIZE: 20+
TYPE: Long Weekend Party
MENU: Breakfast Burrito Buffet & Pimm’s Cup; Man Burgers & Margaritas; Potato Salad; Corn with Herb Butter
Though we’ve been known to liven things up during winter months with cook-offs and the like, my friend Keith and I earned our status as a camp counselor tag team three summers ago on Martha’s Vineyard. We’ve both been coming to the island ever since we were little, but after we became friends in college, summer on the vineyard became that much more fun.
My whole extended family used to congregate every year at my grandparents’ house. Since some of the older folk passed away, the house has been rented for most of the summer, and my parents set up shop in a little cottage next door.
But a few summers ago, around the time of this scallop meal, my mom told me that the house had failed to be rented for Labor Day. I notified Keith. Then Keith notified everyone we knew. And by the end of the month, we were picking up people from the ferry–some I knew, some I did not–and camp was in session.
Thanks to the recession’s effect on island real estate, we’ve been able to maintain our Labor Day festivities for the past few summers. And it is the weekend I look forward to all year long.
Everyone’s excitement turns into a volley ball game.
My team wins.
Adam gets started on his Man Burgers.
Matt wonders if he can finish in under an hour.
Cue: enthusiastic animal drinking game.
Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Makes 10 – 15 servings
8-10 large red potatoes (about 5 pounds), halved
6 extra large eggs
1 cup finely chopped celery
1/3 cup minced vidalia (or spanish) onion
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Coleman’s dry mustard powder
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons capers
Place the potatoes in a large pot and fill it with water until they are submerged. Salt the water and bring it to boil over high heat. Cook the potatoes until tender, but not falling part. Drain and set aside to cool.
In the meantime, place the eggs in a small lidded pot and fill it with water until submerged. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, remove the pot from the heat, cover, and let sit for 30 minutes. Run the eggs under cool water if too hot to handle, then remove the shells.
Whisk together the mayo, mustard, mustard powder, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
(Everything up until this point can be made 1-2 days in advance.)
Cut the potatoes into 1-inch chunks and add them to a large mixing bowl. Roughly chop the hard boiled eggs and add them to the bowl. Add the thyme, parsley, chives, capers and mayo-mustard mixture. Toss the potato salad together until incorporated. Taste for seasoning, and serve.