Sunday, July 5, 2009

Whirled Peas

I don't getz it either. Today I realized world peace is not possible -- if you define that concept by celebration of what we have in common and respectful tolerance for our differences. I don't "getz" how we can attain that lofty goal when you have the basic problem of potato salad. Let me 'splain . . .

It started out innocently enough. There I was, browsing through one of my favorite food blogs (see Pioneer Woman Cooks in the sidebar) and checked out Ree's version of potato salad. She always presents her recipes with scads of great photos and this one is no exception. What was unusual, though, was the tenor of the avalanche of comments in response to the recipe.

Now, you know and I know there are a kajillion different potato salad recipes out there. Everybody has their own way of doing it but, while some folks are involved in the adventure of different salad styles, others are totally committed to specifics. (The difference between involved and committed is best illustrated by an egg and ham breakfast. The hen is involved but the pig is committed.)

The point of contention began with the fact that Ree fixed a salad with potatoes that had been pushed through a food mill -- or a ricer, I forget which. Okay, mashed potatoes. Well! You'd have thunk she was advocating the advent of the antiChrist. "That's not potato salad," came the protests. "That's -- blech! -- cold mashed potatoes with stuff added."

There was a great rattling of sabers and the rumble of tanks and the thunder of artillery. It was like a religious war, with everyone declaring they had the handle on the One True Religion. Over here was the Vaunted Church of the Redeemed Peeled Potato and over there was Our Lady of the Unpeeled Red Potato. Every now and then someone with a beard and sandals strolled by wearing a sandwich board that proclaimed the need to add bacon or the End of the World would ensue.

It got more complicated as the comments rolled on. There were specialized splinter groups peeled off (you should excuse the expression) from the main churches. Some preached Mayo and called Miracle Whip a tool of the devil. The Miracle Whip folks, of course, were convinced the Mayo folks were false prophets. The Sour Cream contingent has a smaller church but their hymns have a catchy beat.

From there, we had arguments over whether or not to add pickles and how coarse or fine they should be chopped and which was best, sweet or dill. Same-same for hard boiled eggs. And for what kind and how much onion. Celery in or celery out. Likewise olives. And paprika. And mustard. Strangely, nobody responded to a minor blasphemy proclaiming the virtue of adding apples to the mix.

I hasten to point out that I am exaggerating just a bit for effect. The commentors on Ree's blog are unfailingly considerate and there was certainly no flame war going on. It's just that this particular instance displayed an unusual degree of adamant opinion about what is "right" and what is "just wrong." It got quite exciting.

Me? I don't belong to any of those churches, although I'm willing to visit. Mostly, I'm just a simple food pagan, perfectly willing to stick a fork in whatever isn't moving. If it flinches, I pass it by. My recipe for whirled peas.


John Bailey said...

I like your recipe for world peace, Dee, and I feel confident that it could well be traced, should it ever come to pass, to a tub of good potato salad. Mind you, anything with lots of potato in it or on it is peaceable to me... ;-)

Bluenosr said...

I'm all for whirled peas, meself. Beans that folks' taste buds be as varied as folks on this earth, there's bound to be kazillions of variations of potato salad. Hurray!!! Cj

The Old Guy said...

Here's a recipe for whirled peas that's sure to appease if not please. And don'tcha like the tag line that belongs to the contributor?

kate et jim said...

You've given me a very good laugh here this morning, to start my day with, Dee.

Thanks for the giggle!

bonnie said...

What a delightful way to start a Monday! If Wil would stand still long enough he could read along. :-)

Reminds me of the potato salad I made for mom. Cardinal sin, I forgot the onion!

bonnie said...

Alright Dee what does she call her potato salad? I can't find it. Answer in email please as I won't remember to come back here. lol

Dee said...

You're right, John. It's pretty hard to beat darned near any version of potato salad for comfort food.

CJ, I can always count on you. Yay for our differences!

Oh, Bill. Who would have thunk it? Hmmm -- I'll bet one could do that with regular milk and butter, too. And, yup, profound tag line.

Kate, glad you got a giggle. As for me, I've got an urge to try the durned recipe. (grin)

Bonnie, I apologize. I had meant to link to Ree's page with the recipe and plumb forgot. I'll send this to you in separate email but for anyone reading here, the URL is: Perfect Potato Salad.

Jo said...

Most funny entry this year, Dee. Thanks for making me laugh. As for me and potato salad (my favorite food), it's gotta be every classic thing in it--onions, celery, sweet pickles, eggs, mayo or Miracle Whip (prefer MW) and, of course, potatoes (I'm rather taken by the Yukon gold ones right now). Secret ingredient is several big shakes of Frank's Red Hot sauce in it. And you've gotta have baked beans to go with it. Yummy, could eat for days on that stuff.

Julie said...

Dang it, woman, why do I check your blog when I'm hungry? I like tater salad in pretty much any variety except this hot German tater salad my mom used to make. But that was with kid taste buds, and I think I might even like that, these days, come to think of it. At least I'm working from home so I can check to see if I have potatoes because now I have a hankerin.

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