I love potatoes. I shake my fist at the heavens for making my body process potatoes as a starch rather than a vegetable. But potato salad? Never been a huge fan. That is, until I tried Jake Bailey's family recipe.
Jake Bailey is a difficult man to describe. On paper he's been a bigwig at major Richmond companies such as Car Max and Snag. But you can't put Jake into a box. He's gone on archaeological digs, and was hired by the company that makes Tabasco to find the location of their original pre-Civil War factory. His team found it (!) on their Louisiana property. He has an eclectic collection of several thousand artifacts, which includes 4+ billion year-old stardust, a swatch of Steve Jobs' iconic turtleneck sweater, and a sample of Princess Diana & Prince Charles wedding cake! And he makes the best damn potato salad I've ever had.
Lucky for us, he has shared the recipe. When he went away to college, his parents handed down a recipe book to him, filled with family favorites. He relied on this recipe when feeding large groups of friends on archeological digs. It's filling, simple and will make everyone want to be your best friend.
I thought it would be charming to share an image from the family recipe book. The well-worn page makes you feel like you're in in a family secret, and you can save the image for easy reference.
Friends, this dish doesn't have the congealed quality of mayonnaise-based potato salad. The earthy potato flavor isn't masked by mustand, green peppers or celery. The crispy bacon gives it texure, the vinegar gives it tang and the eggs make it feel almost healthy. I dare anyone to come at me with a better recipe. If you can find one, I promise to stand corrected. Enjoy!