Thursday, April 14, 2011

Old Friends, Gelato and Potato Salad

I've had a great day....I hosted a luncheon here at my house for 5 of my dear friends from high school! Yep, even women as old as we are can still get together and have fun! I met Susan when we were freshmen at Wyandotte High School, then as sophmores, Nancy, Joyce, Carmen and MaryAnn joined us.
I've blogged before about the wonderful times we had at Wyandotte in the late 1950s....what a perfect time to be teenagers. We received an excellent education, and had very little pressure put on us by the world. Some had part time jobs, most of us didn't. Some had cars, I did not, but it really didn't matter. I walked to school (or at least as far as Nancy's and then her mom, in her robe, would drive us the last 5 or 6 blocks.)
Wyandotte High School had a center hall way that opened up into a beautiful room with columns and fireplaces that we referred to as "Social Hall". There, every morning, we would meet our friends, flirt with the boys, make plans for the weekend.  It was indeed a simple life....calm, encouraging and most of all, full of moments that are memories today.
That was the reason for the luncheon. We had not been together since a year ago January, when we gathered together to attend the funeral of our dear friend Susan Marie Callendar. We vowed to not let so much time slip away before we met again.....but you know how life is today. It is no longer simple, never calm.
Susan's death overwhelmed me with the knowledge that at any time, any where, we could lose someone dear to us. So, today we spent 3 hours sitting around the table,  enjoying each other. We had photos of children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters. The talk of our offspring replaced the talk about our male classmates. Time sure does change things!

Tomorrow night I will be giving out samples of my Olive Oil Gelatos at The Tasteful Olive in Historic Downtown Overland Park, Kansas.  I will be "sampling" Blood Orange, Persian Lime and that tongue tingling Harissa Pecan! Come on in and give it a try.  I will be there from 5 to 9pm. There will be live music and of course, a store full of Jeanne Mackay's delicious Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars.

Saturday will bring me a few hours to work in the studio! I wonder if I will paint? Afterwards it is off to the vineyard for the Bud Break weekend. What a great way to celebrate spring!

I blogged about the weekend just a few days ago, and gave a sandwich and potato salad recipes. Since then, I have been thinking alot about potato is such a summer thing! The next day after I posted that blog, I received an email from my friend, Karen Rodriguez, sending me a video on how to peel potatoes for potato salad. Check it out, amazing. I tried it, and it works! It is a  YouTube video, showing Dawn Wells  Peeling Potato (Mary Ann ie: Gilligan's Island) Click below....

Okay, so now you know how to peel a about a few recipes for that summertime necessity.

The first recipe is for a Traditional American Potato Salad
6 to 8 servings
4 pounds Idaho potatoes
4 jumbo eggs, hard boiled
2 1/2 cups mayonnaise
4 green onions, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt

In a large pot, add potatoes and water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender. Drain and cool. Peel cooked potatoes (don't forget to try our new trick!) and cut into small chunks. Put in a very large serving bowl or container. Peel and finely chop hard boiled eggs and add to bowl. Add mayonnaise, green onions, celery, mustard, white pepper and salt. Mix until just combined. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours before serving.

Now, for a German version of potato salad....Black Forest Potato Salad

1 1/3 pounds potatoes (4 medium),
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup diced tart red apples
1 pound light polish sausage, sliced 1/3-inch thick
10 ounces sauerkraut, rinsed and thoroughly drained
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped parsley
salt to taste

1. In 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, cook potatoes, covered, in 2 inches boiling water until tender,
about 15 minutes. Don't forget to score it before you drop it in the boiling water!
2. Meanwhile, in large bowl whisk together vinegar, oil, water and pepper. Mix in apples.
3. In large nonstick skillet over medium heat, toss and brown sausage 10 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels.
4. Slice the cooked and magically peeled potatoes into 1/3" slices. Add potatoes, sauerkraut, onions, parsley and sausage to apple mixture; toss gently. Season with salt.

Here is a great potato salad by Ina Garten. Loaded with flavor, but you don't have to peel the potatoes...
Ina's Potato Salad
6 to 8 servings
3 pounds small white potatoes
Kosher salt
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red onion


Place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Allow the potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, dill, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Set aside.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in quarters or in half, depending on their size. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl. While the potatoes are still warm, pour enough dressing over them to moisten. Add the celery and red onion, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature.

I think the thing I like about this potato salad is, it tastes like one of my favorite foods....Deviled Eggs!
My favorite Potato Salad.......
Deviled Egg Potato Salad 
8 hard-cooked eggs
3 tbsp. vinegar
3 tbsp. prepared mustard
1 c. mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/2 c. dairy sour cream
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. salt
6 med. potatoes, cooked, peeled and cubed (4 to 4 1/2 c.)
2 tbsp. chopped onion

Cut eggs in half; remove yolks, mash and blend with vinegar and mustard. Add mayonnaise, sour cream, celery salt and salt; mix well. Chop egg whites, combine with potatoes and onion. Fold in egg yolk mixture; chill. Garnish with tomato wedges and cucumber slices. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
oil painting by Kay Tucker

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek
Oil Painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection


oil painting by Kay Tucker

Kansas Storm

Kansas Storm
oil painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection

Watercolor Collage

Watercolor Collage

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time
48"x36" sculptural painting by Kay Tucker