A few summers back I packed up the car to attend a family reunion on my in-laws side of the family. Being late September, the 18 hour leisurely drive up to Cincinnati Ohio was beautiful. From a marina on the Ohio River near downtown, we all boarded my brother in-laws 80 foot Pluckebaum house boat and motored westward down the river out of Ohio. The reunion was actually being held in Indiana on the Ohio River shoreline near the quaint town of Rising Sun. Across the river is gorgeous Kentucky farmland. What a setting for a 100+ person cookout. The beer flowed as freely as the conversation and snacks ranging from deer jerky to homemade chocolates were plentiful. We had arrived at the property around two in the afternoon and the cookout was set for six that evening.
Everyone had been asked to bring a covered dish. Now, I know of few dishes that will survive a 4 hour boat ride on top of an 18 hour road trip so using our trail cooking / boat skills, we made up our dish on the houseboat.
Now the houseboat has a full sized kitchen in it. I have a hard time calling the kitchen a ‘galley’ as most boats have because a floating house does not in anyway shape or form, resemble a boat. The vessel is not only eighty feet long but eighteen feet wide! That’s longer and much wider than most house trailers. Having stopped at a Kroger’s in Cincinnati, I picked up all the necessary items for the covered dish.
Earlier, I mentioned my boating skills. When I had a restaurant in the Florida Keys, I lived there on my boat. I set up the galley so that even when rough weather was up, I could still cook with ease. Cooking in the houseboat was so calm it was like cooking in my house!
Pulling out a large stainless steel stock pot I began boiling my water. Figuring ten pounds* of Red Potatoes should do about right, I whipped out my Kitchen Aide potato peeler and went to work. *(The recipe below is much smaller but will still feed from 6-8 people.)
After I completed my recipe, I kept the finished product right in the stock pot. To chill it down, I slid the pot inside a beverage refrigerator after removing all its shelves.
By six o’clock, my covered dish was perfectly chilled and waiting to be devoured.
1) Wash your potatoes and place them in a pot of cold water. Cover the potatoes with at least 1 inch of water. Do not peel at this time. (peeling the potatoes prior to boiling will over saturate them with water and make them too soft.)
2) Place 4 eggs in a pot of cold water and while uncovered, bring them to a boil. As soon as the water begins to boil, remove the pot from the burner, cover and let stand for 17 minutes. Then pour out water and replace with ice cold water. Let stand for 1 hour. These will now peel quite easily.
3) When potatoes are thoroughly boiled, test by piercing them. They should offer little resistance to your fork or bamboo stick.
4) Place pot of potatoes under faucet and run cold water for 1 minute, leave it partially filled then pour in ice and set aside for 1 hour. After 1 hour your eggs and potatoes should be well chilled.
5) When potatoes and eggs are well chilled, peel them. Normally just rubbing the skins will remove the potato skins.
6) Slice 2 eggs into ¼ inch thick slices. Set aside as they are used later on top of the potato salad
7) Chop into medium pieces the last two eggs and place them into a large bowl.
8) Add these ingredients into the bowl then mix it all together;
-2 tablespoons of dill pickle juice
-1/4 cup of chopped up red onion
-one fresh celery stalk chopped into 1/8 inch thick pieces (1 tsp of celery salt may be used)
-1 tsp of paprika
-1 tsp of mustard
-1 cup of Miracle Whip
9) Mix all ingredients together then add your potatoes and re mix it until the potatoes are well coated.
10) Transfer the coated potatoes into a smaller bowl that you will use to serve the potato salad from
11) Place egg slices on top covering the salad
12) Sprinkle paprika lightly over the entire top
13) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until served