I’m going to take you back to the year 1997-98.
Why? Well, that was a particularly good year for me as a 4-H’er at the fair.
I usually took many projects to the fair as a 4-H kid: my top involvement was horses, but I also loved to take part in foods. (I know, imagine that, I took food projects to the fair – who would have thought?!) Each year I would try and experiment with something new. I had to choose a dish, prepare it, and then submit a presentation about it, with the recipe and details about making it, to a judge.
Usually I would make something once, a couple months before the fair; I’d take a picture and write down the recipe and other information. Then would come that one busy week in July (all 4-H kids know when this is – crunch time, the week of the fair) where I’d need to make the food again to present to the judge.
I did a few different food projects that year, but the one that stood out most was the potato salad. It was a recipe I decided to try that was molded and had a design in it.
It was interesting, to say the least.
Why did it stand out?
Because, while I got blue ribbons with all my projects, I got a Reserve Champion with that potato salad. I was pretty darn proud of that.
Why am I telling you this story?
When I got to thinking about what I wanted to do for my June recipe, I started thinking about summer food and what would be good. As I was going through my old 4-H project record book (I was reminiscing one day), I spotted the picture of my award-winning potato salad and had an ‘Aha!’ moment.
BBQ’s, grilling and potlucks are coming up, and what do you usually see at these? Potato salad.
Now, while I no longer have the recipe I used for that 1997-98 fair, I did find another delicious potato salad recipe for all you fans out there. This is some of the best potato salad I have ever had, hands down.
I use fat free ranch and low fat miracle whip to make it a little healthier – you can’t even tell the difference. I also leave the onions out of mine, only because I am allergic to them.
I can’t just let the potato salad stand alone, though. I am a fan of BBQ, and have a great slow cooker recipe for baby back ribs. I again leave the onions out, but add in about a tablespoon of garlic powder.
10 red potatoes
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/3 cup dill pickle relish
2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
1 onion, chopped
Place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and refrigerate until cold. Peel and cube once cold.
Place the eggs into a saucepan in a single layer and fill with water to cover the eggs by 1 inch. Cover the saucepan and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and let the eggs stand in the hot water for 15 minutes. Pour out the hot water; cool the eggs under cold running water in the sink. Peel and chop the cooled eggs.
Stir together the mayonnaise, ranch dressing, relish, mustard, salt, pepper, paprika, and celery seed in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, potatoes, and onion; stir until evenly mixed. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
Slow and easy baby back ribs
4 pounds pork baby back ribs, cut into 2-rib portions
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup tomato paste or tomato sauce
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
Place ribs in a 5-qt. slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the onion, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, tomato paste, paprika, Worcestershire, mustard, salt and pepper; pour over ribs. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until meat is tender.
Remove ribs to a serving platter; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking juices; transfer juices to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil.
Combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Gradually stir into the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with ribs.
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