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Sheila’s Potato Salad

Besides the deliciousness of this old-fashioned potato salad recipe, I also love that when Sheila sent me the recipe she named specific brands of mayonnaise, pickle relish and seasoning salt.

All three of the brands are true Red, White & Blue Americana, all created in the early 1900’s!


Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise

In 1905, Richard Hellmann from Vetschau, Germany, opened a delicatessen on Columbus Avenue in New York City, where he used his wife’s recipe to sell the first ready-made mayonnaise. It became so popular that he began selling it in bulk to other stores. In 1912 he built a factory for producing Mrs. Hellmann’s mayonnaise. It was mass-marketed and called Hellmann’s Blue Ribbon Mayonnaise. It was so successful, that Hellmann closed his delicatessen in 1917 to devote full-time to his mayonnaise business.


Lawry’s Seasoned Salt

The seasoning was originally created by Lawrence Frank, the original owner of the Tam O’Shanter and Lawry’s The Prime Rib Restaurant, where the seasoning was used and sold to patrons of Lawry’s. In 1938, Lawry’s began marketing its seasoned salt in retail stores.


Vlasic Dill Pickle Relish

Frank Vlasic immigrated from Poland to Detroit in 1912 and started a small creamery with savings from his factory job. His son Joseph acquired a milk route in 1922, which eventually grew into the state’s largest dairy distributor. In 1937, Vlasic was approached to distribute a home-style pickle, later marketing their fresh-packed pickle in glass jars. A star was born!

mix box centerpiece

The mention of a “milk route” reminds me to show you one of my 4th of July “Americana” centerpieces.  Made with three Vintage Milk Dairy Porch Delivery Boxes.

In case you’re too young to know what these are, they are boxes that were left on people’s porches and a milkman delivered milk and other dairy products right to the door. Here is a little history from the Historic New England exhibit – From Dairy to Doorstep.

After World War II, change came to the milkman. The milkman was a familiar character in the neighborhoods of small towns and cities alike, and dairy products now held an unquestioned place in the American diet. Yet, refrigerators, supermarkets, suburban sprawl, and automobiles threatened home delivery. Consumers chose to live in different places and get milk in different ways. In fact, by the end of the 1950s, home delivery fell into a decline and never recovered. By the early 1950s, reliable power refrigeration replaced ice boxes and revised the homemaker’s job of buying and cooking for the household. Perishable foods like milk could now be bought in greater quantity and kept longer without spoiling, more meals could be made from leftovers, and frozen foods could replace fresh. The milkman did not have to arrive every day in order for the family to have unsoured milk.

milkman boxes

I am just barely old enough to remember the milkman. These boxes (purchased on eBay) make me really happy!


Speaking of happy – check out this lovely spread of food. The potato salad is in that huge yellow stoneware bowl in the upper left corner. YUM!

sheila's potato salad

Sheila’s Potato Salad

5 pounds red potatoes, peeled, boiled, and chopped
1 bunch celery, diced
6 green onions, diced
10 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
4 to 5 tablespoons Vlasic dill pickle relish
Lawry’s seasoned salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
5 to 6 tablespoons Hellmann’s real mayonnaise
5 to 6 tablespoons sweet honey mustard

Place all ingredients in a large bowl in the order in which they are listed, layering as you go. Then mix with a large spatula or with your hands until thoroughly mixed.

Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight is best.

fireroasted chile cheese burger

Serves a happy crowd.

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1 Sheila { 07.08.14 at 7:43 AM }

I LOVE how you gave the history on those ingredients, always learning something from you. Btw, one of us forgot to add the Honey Bears or Grey Poupon mustard ; same amounts as mayonnaise. 😀

2 Merilyn Volkmann { 07.08.14 at 7:51 AM }

You might tell people that West of the Mississippi River Hellmann’s is called Best Foods Mayo

3 Linda Hopkins { 07.08.14 at 7:56 AM }

Thank you, Merilyn, you just did. Here is a little history about that:

While Hellmann’s Mayonnaise thrived on the U.S. East Coast, the California company Best Foods introduced their own mayonnaise. Best Foods Mayonnaise became popular on the West Coast, and was operating a major plant in San Francisco in the first half of the twentieth century. In 1932, Best Foods bought the Hellmann’s brand. By then both mayonnaises had such commanding market shares in their respective halves of the country that the company decided that both brands and recipes be preserved. To this day:

Best Foods Mayonnaise is sold west of the Rocky Mountains, specifically, in and west of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.
Hellmann’s is sold east of the Rockies, specifically, in and east of the Frontier Strip (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas).

4 Linda Hopkins { 07.08.14 at 8:03 AM }

Sheila, I love how you so diplomatically say ” ‘one of us forgot’ to add the mustard.” I went back and looked at the recipe you sent me and it was clearly me who forgot to add the mustard. I have since fixed that omission on the recipe. Thanks!

5 Sheila { 07.08.14 at 8:29 AM }

No problemo!! It could’ve just as easily been me as evidenced by the ‘lost’ corner sofa. 😀 that made me smile ALL day!

6 Tram Mai { 07.08.14 at 12:51 PM }

Wow! Not only did I learn so much history, I now have a great recipe for potato salad!! Double love! 🙂

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