Back home again

I'd never been to the Indianapolis 500, which is strange since I grew up there. If you're going to sit in the heat all day and watch cars race around in a circle, good food and plenty of cold beer is necessary. I have to admit, I loved every minute of the race. The people watching was top-notch. We sat where we could see the entire track, which meant trekking up many, many flights of stairs before we could sing the National Anthem and my favorite, "Back Home Again in Indiana."

As you might have guessed, I was initially only interested in the picnic. I wanted to make some tried and tested family recipes with a few twists. My Grandma's potato salad was a must, as were deviled eggs. Instead of traditional sandwiches, I made fried chicken, and then my sister's Chocolate Chipper cookies for sweets.

My Dad's wife, Lisa, bought adorable bags, checkered ribbons and a great deviled egg carrier so we could get to the race in style. The two of us stayed up until mid-night splattering the kitchen with oil whilst frying chicken and drinking wine. We started first with making the potato salad so it could sit over-night to develop it's flavor.
This is Dorothy's recipe, my maternal Grandmother, and all three of her daughters have made it many times over the years. When searching for the recipe, I couldn't find it written anywhere. She used to make a German potato salad as well, but I remembered the creamy version with celery and onion. I spoke to my Aunt Patty and she reminded me. The key is using Miracle Whip instead of normal mayonnaise.

Dorothy's Potato Salad
Serves 6

1 1/2 potatoes
6 celery stalks finely chopped
1 sweet onion finely chopped
1 1/2 cups of Miracle Whip
3 hard boiled eggs- chopped
Plenty of salt and freshly ground pepper
Chives or Scallions if you'd like

Boil a large pot of salted water. Cut the potatoes into quarters if they are large, leaving the skins on. Boil until just finished. It's important not to over-cook the potatoes or they will be mushy. Cool the potatoes by running under cold water. Let them sit in water with ice cubes if you need to.

In the mean time, finely chop the celery and onion and chop up the egg.

Skin the potatoes (they should remove easily) and dice. Add to the other ingredients, then season before adding the Miracle Whip. Start with a cup of Miracle Whip and add more as you mix. This should be creamy, so add as you mix to get the right consistency.
If you're making a big bowl of the stuff for a barbecue, finely slice rounds of hard boiled egg and sprinkle with paprika.

I added finely chopped chives from Lisa's garden.

Next up was the deviled eggs. I adapted two recipes from Bon Appetit magazine that each gave a kick to the traditional deviled egg. We passed these around and shared them with the guys who sat next to us.

Chipotle Deviled Eggs
Adapted from Bon Appetit

6 free range eggs
3 tbsp light mayo
1- 1 1/2 tbsp canned chipotle chilies, finely chopped
12 cilantro leaves

Hard boil eggs, drain and cool in water with ice cubes. Peel and slice in half, then remove yolks. Place egg whites on platter and refrigerate separately if serving later. Combine yolks and mayonnaise is a food processor and add chilies until smooth.

Spoon mixture into each half of egg white and top with a cilantro leaf.

Horseradish Deviled Eggs
Adapted from Bon Appetit

6 free range eggs
3 tbsp light mayo
1 tbsp juice from sweet pickle jar
1 tbsp prepared horseradish
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
12 parsley leaves

Hard boil eggs, drain and cool in water with ice cubes. Peel and slice in half, then remove yolks. Place whites on a platter and refrigerate if you're serving later. Combine yolks, mayo, horseradish, salt and pepper in food processor until smooth.

Spoon mixture into each half of egg white and top with a parsley leaf.

For the chicken, I quite rightly referred to Ina Garten's version, Oven Fried Chicken. I added smoked paprika to the flour this time, but you can also add chili powder or what ever spice you fancy. Soaking the chicken in butter milk over night makes the chicken extra tender. For 6 of us, we used about 3 pounds of chicken and then added 6 drumsticks since that seems to be everyone's favorite. It turned out amazingly crispy.

Lastly, we made 2 batches of my sister's chocolate chip cookies from her home-economics class in junior high. These are the best I've tasted as I don't like my chocolate chip cookies too doughy or too sickly sweet.

Stacia's Chocolate Chippers

1/2 cup of shortening
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1/4 light brown sugar
1 large free range egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream until light and fluffy.

1 cup of flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
16 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips (she prefers the Ghirardelli chocolate chunks mixed with Nestle chips)

Sift flour, salt and baking soda together. Add to cream mixture and mix in the chocolate chips until completely combined.

Drop a large tablespoon of mixture onto a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375F for 10-12 minutes and remove immediately. I would watch these at 10 minutes to ensure they don't become hard. Stacia recommends that you cook them until rare and broil until crispy on the outside, but you can just watch them in the oven to ensure they don't over cook.

Cool on a rack and then devour!

We wrapped these in individual cookie boxes and tied with black and white checkered ribbon for race day!


  1. Ahhh, those Chocolate Chippers are addictive - the more chocolate chunks/chips the better. Don't forget that you can double the recipe and freeze pre-balled cookie dough for late-night consumption or you can impress friends with homemade cookies at a moment's notice. :-)

  2. Andy said... Rose and I just read your blog for story time. She really loves it. She had her foot up in the air most of the time which means that she's very interested.

    I'm going to make your sister cook up that chicken... sounds awesome!