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Memories Bring a New Favorite Dish

Submitted by: cindyp on October 22, 2010
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German Potato Salad


It was 1989, my second year of college. I was hired as a Resident Assistant in the dorm. My Resident Director was German (had immigrated from Germany) and with my last name being Schultz (the correct German spelling), she assumed I knew German traditions. I …




It was 1989, my second year of college. I was hired as a Resident Assistant in the dorm. My Resident Director was German (had immigrated from Germany) and with my last name being Schultz (the correct German spelling), she assumed I knew German traditions. I did not! (Well, maybe drinking warm beer, but I assumed that was just being a college kid and drinking what was available!) So she set out to bring traditional German food into my life.

My favorite was warm German Potato Salad. And it was hers that I’ve based a good German Potato Salad against since then, not many have compared. She’d make a pot and invite me over a few times a month — that’s all we’d eat — it was that good! I miss her!

I’ve never made it myself in all of these years. A little strange, I thought, with how much I loved it. And now, I have a SO that doesn’t like traditional potato salad or actually, cold potatoes. It has taken me five — five! — years to solve this problem of not having potato salad when the menu just calls for it — Mrs. Ward’s German Potato Salad!

I had family in town this week. I’d made Pork BBQs and was just going to make a potato salad to go with it. But what would I fix him? Rather than make two different sides, I decided to try my first German Potato Salad and try to replicate hers. So I searched Farm Bell Recipes first, there was one — from Marianne!

How to make German Potato Salad:

1 qt. potatoes, boiled and sliced – I boiled 10 red, sliced, potatoes.

1 onion, diced

1 green pepper, diced – A very small green pepper was in the garden, so I used some sweet banana peppers from the garden, too.

3-5 slices bacon, cubed and fried – More bacon is always better, so I used 1/2 pound!

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon celery seed – I substituted dill weed here, Mrs. Ward’s had a dill flavor.

1 cup white vinegar

1 cup water

Start potatoes boiling. When everything else is done, take off fire and drain.

Chop vegetables.

Fry bacon until crisp.

Add onion and green pepper to bacon pan.

Mix together cornstarch, salt, dry mustard, sugar and celery seed.

Add vinegar and water; stir.

Pour into bacon pan and cook until thickened.

Pour thickened mixture over potatoes and let stand at least 1 hour before serving.

To keep the potatoes warm, I covered it and let it sit for about 45 minutes. They were still quite hot actually.

This was almost how Mrs. Ward made hers, maybe a little more dill. I’m wondering if using pickle juice would work?

But it was loved by all. Not one of them, but me, had ever eaten German Potato Salad — it has become a new favorite when a potato salad is just called for!

Thank you Marianne, for giving me the basics to start the replication!

Get the handy print page and save this to your recipe box here:
German Potato Salad.

Cindy blogs at Chippewa Creek ~ Our Life Simplified.

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11 comments | RSS feed for comments of this post

  1. 10-22

    Cin…I miss Mrs. Ida Ward too…all those years I knew her, I never had her German Potato Salad! She was great to talk with though 🙂 RIP Mrs. Ward!

  2. 10-22

    mmmm, sounds delicious! I always make a cold potato salad with a homemade dressing recipe that my mother always used. However, I must try this warm potato salad soon! Thanks for sharing.

  3. 10-22

    this sounds and looks really good. I have a question for you ~ how much sugar is used? thanks!

    • 10-22

      LOL! I thought….there’s no sugar in here! Well, I reread the directions again and see the directions call for it. I DID NOT use any sugar. The peppers brought a sweet taste to it. Hopefully Marianne will look up her original recipe????

  4. 10-22

    This is very similar to the one I make. Mine uses flour for a thickener, and 1/2 c.sugar,or more if you like it sweeter. I have used dill pickle juice instead of vinegar, or 1/2 of each. We love it with smoked sausage. And I agree, lots of bacon!

  5. 10-22

    I was on a German potato salad ‘kick’ a couple of weeks ago & made it several times. I used the recipe from the Betty Crocker cook book, it has sugar & cider vinegar in it..I thought it was the best ever & found that it is best made ahead several hours to let the flavor develop.
    I’d just like to be able to can it so that I could have some on short notice ~ whenever I want!!!

  6. 10-22

    Yes, I like warm potato salad, never thought anything about the bacon bits. 🙂

    The pics are beautiful, it sure looks yummy! 🙂

  7. 10-22

    That recipe reminds me of something my Pennsylvania Dutch grandmother would make…yummmm!

  8. 10-22

    Anxious to try this version because German Potato Salad is one of the MOST wonderful things in the entire world!

    Am thinking that putting it into a crockpot on very low would hold the temp during the waiting period?

  9. 4-13

    Thanks to Suzanne, my original recipe post has been corrected. This recipe calls for 1/2 cup sugar.

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