Thanksgiving was, well, an adventure.  Beachboy and I had a house filled beyond capacity as 13 of us piled inside for 4 days.  That’s a lot of mouths to feed, especially when you’re making all the food alone. 

((We had planned Thanksgiving as a day-after celebration to be held at a local park, but the weather had other ideas– namely rain.  Nonetheless, we needed a picnic menu to feed a crowd))

What does one make for a southern style holiday the day after said holiday?  Needing a hearty side, I dug through my recipe pile and pulled out a simply written recipe I’d snagged from a Georgia Peach in 2001 while she was a host-family for my church’s inner-city ministry project. 

It was a hit, just as I remember it being at the Peach’s house, so I’m passing it along to you.  Enjoy the simplicity of her ‘from memory’ recipe. It will be typed as written.  (Trust me, you can’t mess this up.)

Potato Salad

  • 4 lbs. New Potatoes
  • 4 Ribs of Celery
  • 1 Small Red Onion
  • 1 1/4 tsp Lowery’s Season Salt
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Coarsely Ground Pepper
  • 1 1/4 cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 cup Mayo
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar

Use new potatoes–do not overcook.  Chop celery and onion.  Mix all ingredients–best if it sits overnight.

I call it that, but I must confess: I’ve made it twice this year, and it’s only November. In my defense, I gave 3/4 of the first batch away.  But still….

All year I wait for cold weather to arrive so I have an excuse to my “soup is for cold weather” believing BeachBoy.  I suppose Floridians don’t eat much soup, then.

However, I reserve this to a once-a-year recipe since it is so very unhealthy…but oh so good.

I must warn you though.  Since this is my recipe, the measurements are quite, um, loose.  Just ask my sister. 

This week, my humble potato soup got the coveted Southern nod of approval: from a ten year old….but still.

Once a Year Potato Soup

  • Roughly three pounds of chopped potatoes (I usually use the better part of a bag.), cooked until soft in heavily salted water, along with black pepper
  • 1 package of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 4 green onions, chopped, in their entirety
  • 1 1/2 packs shredded colby/monterary jack cheese blend
  • 3 cans cream of potato soup
  • 1 quart of half and half  (a sad attempt to ‘lighten’ this up)
  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Up to 1 tsp. Tabasco, to taste
  • 1/2-1 tsp white pepper
  • Roughly 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley

 

Cook bacon and potatoes and set aside. I like to cut my bacon in half before cooking it. 

Heat the soup and creams, whisking until smooth.  Stir in spices, salt and Tabasco.  Melt butter and combine with flour.  Whisk the flour mixture into the cream base and continue to heat while the soup thickens.  Add cheese to melt.  Stir in bacon, potatoes, onions, and parsley.  Simmer until heated through.  Serve with additional cheese, sour cream, bacon, and chives, as your BeachBoy desires.  Or, eat it plain and claim to be eating light. 

This makes a great dipping soup, if you are looking to add some bread to your meal for extra carbs.  I know those are popular these days.  Lucky for you carb-cravers, this recipe makes a large batch.

This year, Beachboy and I are giving up on the idea of having everyone over for Thanksgiving.  His 3 brothers are in the habit of being with their in-laws for the holiday, so we just aren’t going to push the envelope. Instead, we’re planning an evening picnic at their favorite park for the day AFTER Thanksgiving.  Since everyone will be traveling, I’ll be stuck making all of the food again this year.  That said, we too will be traveling almost an hour to reach the park.

The challenge? Planning a menu with a Fall flair without screaming of Turkey and stuffing or causing travel challenges. 

Here are some recipes of interest I have found so far.  Do you have any ideas to add to the list?

 Pumpkin Cheese Ball Recipe

Pumpkin Cheese Ball

 

 

Katie posted this yummy chicken, and Beachboy and I are both smitten with it.  I’m considering traveling with the bag of marinade & meat and throwing on the grill when we get to the park.

 

 

 

I wonder if CLSTAR’s pretty potatoes could be made on the grill instead of in the oven.

The other option is Pioneer Woman’s Crash Potato– an instant hit with Beachboy and a recipe which could be converted to the grill.

 

Martha’s Corn, Bacon, and Scallions looked like a warm but light side dish option.

 

Or, we could do a grilled version of her Zucchini with thyme, grilling them on skewers instead of roasting them.

 

What’s for dessert?  Well, you’ll have to come back for a special recipe which I’ll be posting soon.  Beachboy took me to an orchard this weekend for fresh apples, and I have an apple cake recipe which I can’t wait to try out!