Barbie Butz is an independent columnist for The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press; you can email her at barbiewb@hotmail.com.

I think you’d have to live in a cave to not know that we will have a Mid-State Fair again this year. Won’t that be a special treat! I’m so happy for the kids who participate in that event, from refurbishing a tractor to raising an animal. We all needed to hear that news.

Another happy bit of news—There will be a parade on the 4th of July, organized again by the Rotary Club of Templeton. The theme this year will be “Hometown Hospitality,” so start the “creative juices flowing” and come up with a spectacular float entry to celebrate America. Applications will be ready soon and will be available at the Templeton Community Services District office located at 420 Crocker Street in Templeton.

The Rotarians will also be manning their famous hot dog booth at the Templeton Community Park. Why not bring along this delicious potato salad, buy some Rotary hot dogs, and have a real old-fashioned picnic. There will be plenty of drinks and desserts available to purchase at the park to top off your picnic. I have had several requests for this recipe again. I found it some time ago in my old Better Homes and Garden Cookbook. The one with the red plaid cover, remember? So, in case you missed it, here we go.

You can cook the potatoes a day or so ahead. Don’t peel them until you are ready to make the salad, but do put them in a covered container and refrigerate them when they are cool. I use the Yukon Gold variety as they are firmer than russets. Red potatoes are also an option.

Getting through this together, Paso Robles

I also add about 1⁄2 cup of grilled red pepper strips, patted dry, and then diced. The pepper strips are in a jar with oil and a clove of garlic and are one of my favorite “adds” to recipes. I find them at Dollar Tree in Atascadero and Paso Robles. Since my husband does not care for eggs in potato salad, I leave them out. I also leave out the green pepper for the same reason. However, try the recipe any way you like, and I know you will enjoy it. Your family and friends will ask for seconds!

For a tangier dressing, substitute plain yogurt or sour cream for 1⁄2 cup of mayonnaise. I use white balsamic vinegar, which seems to enhance the dressing better than plain vinegar.

I discovered a great seasoning blend at Trader Joe’s called 21 Seasoning Salute, and it does not contain salt. Just for fun, I used about a teaspoon in my last batch of this potato salad, and we liked it. So, after you use the recipe as is, you can be creative. After all, that’s how new recipes are developed. Enjoy!

Creamy Potato Salad
Ingredients:
6 medium potatoes (2 pounds)
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 1⁄4 cups mayonnaise (I like Best Foods)
1 tablespoon vinegar (I use white balsamic)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard or prepared mustard (I prefer Dijon)
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
6 hard-cooked eggs, coarsely chopped

Directions:
In a covered saucepan, cook potatoes in boiling water for 20 to 25 minutes or till just tender; drain well. Allow to cool. Peel and cube potatoes. In a very large bowl, combine celery, green pepper, onion, mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Add potatoes and eggs. Toss lightly to mix. Cover and chill for 6 to 24 hours. Makes 12 side-dish servings.

Note: I like to combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper with a whisk and then fold in the celery green pepper, onion, and the diced grilled red pepper. You can cover the dressing with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight.

Our Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival Committee, along with the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce, is putting together something special for June, 2021. Next week I’ll have all the details about our exciting plan. Just a hint: What do you need to “travel for tasting” some of the best wines on the Central Coast?

The answer next week. Meanwhile, enjoy the weekend.

Cheers!