Recipe Column: Learning to embrace technology
If some soothsayer told me 20 years ago, “Mary Ann, in 20 years you will have a blog,” I probably would have come away from that conversation thinking I was going to die from a tumor. But a few days ago my boss invited me to write a blog (which is actually short for Web Log) on the Star Journal’s recently renovated website at starjournalnow.com.
I have to admit I have not exactly embraced the influx of new technology that seems to evolve minute by minute in today’s world. Only a couple of years ago I had a friend go into lengthy detail on the effects social media would have on American society and my question to him was, “What is it?”
IPods, IPads, web pages, Kindle, texting, Facebook, cell phones, have all baffled me at one time or another. In fact, my defense against the onslaught of all these new gadgets was to pretty much bury my head in the sand, hoping they would just go away; sort of like the guy who said television was only a fad when it was invented.
But I have come to realize it is not going to go away. I am thankful, though, that the younger set in my family, mainly my son and nieces and nephews, have been good coaches in getting me on board with some of this new fangled technology. In fact, they even talked me into starting a Facebook page.
I have to admit, at first I was a little overwhelmed. Social media itself is filled with shortcut “terms” and a type of lingo that can be confusing at first. For instance, do you know what “BTW” means or “WEG” or “BFF” or “IMHO”? Neither did I, but gradually over time it is starting to sink in.
In fact, I have come to actually enjoy keeping abreast of my friends and family on Facebook. My niece Katelyn posts pictures of her expanding belly in anticipation of her new baby arriving in early June; my nephew Kehler is a hunter, and he likes to post pictures of his latest exploits; my sister, Patty posts pictures of the cabin she and her husband Jeff, are building in Hayward, and one day last week I got a welcome and completely surprising post from my cousin Theresa concerning a recipe.
Have you ever had a dish made by a relative or friend that you’ve tried to duplicate, but just can’t seem to nail? That was the case with my Grandma Doyle’s potato salad recipe. I practically grew up on this dish, and I remember it more than fondly. As a youngster, whenever there was going to be a family gathering on my dad’s side of the family, my first thought was always “I hope Grandma brings her potato salad.’ And quite honestly, she always did.
Now, I realize there are many different types of potato salad recipes out there, but Grandma Doyle’s, in my opinion, was the best. It was an eggy mixture, with a creamy dressing that held all the other ingredients together perfectly. It is one of those dishes you get a craving for, and when Grandma was alive, I would frequently call her up and ask when she was making a batch of her potato salad. Of course, she made one for me right away, but since she passed away several years ago, I have not had this craving satisfied.
And it’s not because I haven’t tried. I’ve made batch after batch of potato salad over the years, trying to conjure the same goodness my grandma used to, but my endeavors are never up to par. I’m always left thinking “What is missing?”
And then I got a brain storm, and asked my cousin Theresa on her Facebook page if she knew about this recipe. To my delight she did, and informed me it was made using “Aunt Bess’s salad dressing” which was a complete revelation to me. In fact I didn’t even know Aunt Bess HAD a salad dressing. She sent along the recipe, and if I would have made batches of potato salad for 100 years, I wouldn’t have ever guessed those were the ingredients for the dressing. Last weekend I tried out the recipe, and it was right on. The only ingredient missing was Grandma’s smiling face when she used to serve it up.
So you see, technology can come in handy, and even connect you with the past in a way. And I’m inviting all of you to log onto the Star Journal website and take a look at our new website and my blog. Being a newspaper reporter is a fascinating business, and I’m going to be sharing what it’s like with anyone who cares to know. I’ll just say this about it-FWIW and IMHO I’ll be writing OT, ISO GR8 stories in RT that may have you LOL or maybe even wearing a WEG.
Isn’t technology great?
Aunt Bess’s Salad Dressing
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. dry mustard
2 Tbs. butter
1 tsp. flour
1/2 cup white or apple cider vinegar
3 Tbs. sugar (or so)
1/2 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
Grandma Doyle’s Potato Salad Ingedients
4 or 5 potatoes, peeled, boiled and diced
1 to 2 sticks celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
3 to 5 eggs, hard boiled and diced
10 small olives, halved (optional)
Mix first six ingredients of Aunt Bess’s salad dressing, and cook over a low heat until completely blended and heated through, but not boiling. Cool. Add sugar to taste, and then Miracle Whip or mayo. Mix thoroughly and pour over potato salad ingredients. Refrigerate before serving.