Oma’s German Potato Salad

I grew up in a west-end neighborhood of Toronto.  A family that we were very close to lived next door up until I was in 10th grade.  The family had a girl my age, and she had a younger brother and sister.   I was very happy about this, as my sister is 14 years older and had moved out by the time I was six years old.

Those were the days that your mom stood on the front porch and yelled for you to come home even though she couldn’t see you.   We usually were a few blocks away playing whatever game we decided on when we faintly heared the holler of one of our mom’s calling.  We would stop play, wondering if we heard something, hear it again, and run back home (or else).   Our houses were so close we even played the telephone game using cans and string, stretching it from one house to the next.   I should try and tell the electronic generation of today that and see the eye rolls that come with it.

We used to play hide-and-seek on our street.  Since we had such great neighbors, they allowed us to use their backyards to play.  We gave ourselves boundaries of about five houses.  Usually though, when my girlfriend’s youngest sibling was the one who was counting, we ran across the street and hid, while we watched her march up and down, calling our names, hands on hip, knowing full well we weren’t within the boundaries but wanting to play with us so she let us do it to her again and again.  Or, we’d hide in my parents cherry tree, which was big enough to really be able to hide in it. Her only clue that we may be in there? We threw cherry pits at her.  “I know you’re up there!” But our rule was you had to SEE the person to call it in.

Ahh good times.  Not sure the youngest one will have such fond memories though.

We are Ukrainian and they are German and being stay at home moms, the would swap recipes often.   I grew up eating this potato salad in my house, but what I didn’t know, is that it’s was the recipe of my girlfriend’s German Oma (grand-mother).  I recall going to a picnic and seeing other potato salads on the table and thinking “Why do they look funny?”, as they were nothing like what I was used to, and (sorry everyone but) none of them compared.

Please use good mayonnaise, not the kinds of brands that are actually called salad dressing.  I am a Hellman’s girl, and no, I’m not getting paid to say that.  The other dressings are sweeter and that’s not the taste you want in here.

This is a very loose recipe, by that I mean, the amounts aren’t exact, so feel free to adjust to your taste.  There are a few other things you can do also, my mom recently added pickle juice and even 1/3 cup of sour cream which I thought tasted great. Oh, and don’t expect this to help you lose weight, there’s bacon fat right in the dressing.

I’m going to type it out straight from my girlfriends hand-writing.  Because I’m loyal to this potato salad recipe.  And her. And I bet after you try it, you will be too.


  • 4 lbs potatoes
  • about 1/3 cup rice or herb vinegar
  • 1 lb bacon
  • 6-8 eggs
  • 1 large onion
  • about 3/4 cup good mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon
  • salt and pepper


In a large pot of lightly salted water, boil potatoes.  Drain, cool, peel, and cube.  Drizzle vinegar over potatoes and toss.  Refrigerate overnight.

Fry bacon, let drain but pour off bacon fat and keep aside.  Fry onions in a little bit of the bacon fat.  Hard-boil the eggs, drain, cool, peel, and chop. Add bacon, onions, and eggs to potatoes.

Dressing: Combine mayonnaise, dijon, and however much bacon fat you’d like (depending on how much fat your bacon produced).

Add the dressing to the potatoes and combine well.  Add salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.

(Can keep refrigerated, but I prefer it right after it’s made). 



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