Memorial Day weekend has always been one of my favorite three-day weekends, mainly because I’m a fan of the late spring, but also because my family always has a huge get-together at the local park with relatives and good friends where we all eat, drink and play a massive game of tag football. For me, this holiday was all about coming together for the support and love we need as the summer days ebb ever closer, and here at UCSB during our time of remembrance of those lives lost last year, I would like to share some of my family’s love and support — and of course yummy food — to those who need it.

I’ve written down my mother’s treasured and incomparable potato salad recipe. My grandparents taught her how to make it, and it was the first thing she shared with me in the kitchen. It is one of my favorite childhood things, but also a sign of my growth because now at BBQ celebrations, I have taken on the task of preparing this dish. I hope that in everyone’s time of memorializing not only the veterans of our country, but the much more personal lives of those lost to our community, my sharing of something so special to me can become something significant to someone else as well.

Potato Salad:

Side note: My family never uses measurements so these are all estimates, use them with your discretion and better judgment

10 potatoes
6 eggs
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp mustard
Small jar of dill pickle spears (save the juice, you’ll need it)
Jar of sliced olives
6 celery sticks
1/2 red onion
Dash of Tabasco
garlic salt
Salt and pepper

1. Peel the potatoes, then boil with the eggs. While waiting, chop the celery sticks, red onion and about 6-8 pickles. Peel the eggs once boiled.
2. Dice the potatoes into medium-sized chunks, don’t worry if they appear large because when you mix the salad some of them will break apart. For most of the eggs, dice them up, but save one or two to slice up vertically to use later as a garnish.
3. Combine the potatoes, eggs, pickles, olives and celery in a large bowl. Add mayonnaise and mustard until you’ve got a light-yellow color and creamy texture to the salad.
4. Add a splash of pickle juice and a dash of Tabasco for the extra flavor, and then salt and pepper and garlic salt to taste.
5. Garnish with the sliced eggs and paprika. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge to cool.