Eudora Welty’s potato salad

At the beginning of summer, Ari Weinzweig wrote about Eudora Welty’s potato salad in the Atlantic. He did not list the ingredients as I do below; instead he wrote sentences about them. “As always, for me, the story behind the food is essential…” And I recommend his story behind mayonnaise.

As the end of summer approaches, enjoy…

Eudora Welty’s Vicksburg Potato Salad

a quart of just-cooked, cut-up potatoes
3 chopped hard-cooked eggs
a whole green pepper, chopped fine
a couple of roasted red peppers chopped fine
6 strips of crisp bacon, chopped
a bunch of mayonnaise and mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together except the bacon, which you sprinkle on top.

Eudora Welty at her desk from the cover of The Writer's Desk by Jill Krementz

A Southern Author’s Poetic Potato Salad” is an article I’ve read two or three times, and I don’t even like to cook.

By the way, Mr. Weinzweig suggests that we “get a copy of Ms. Welty’s work and do some reading while the potatoes are cooking.” Perhaps start with “No Place For You, My Love” from The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty…

“Surely even those immune from the world, for the time being, need the touch of one another, or all is lost….they were, at last, imperviousness in motion. They had found it, and had almost missed it: they had had to dance.”

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16 thoughts on “Eudora Welty’s potato salad

  1. Mr. Weinzweig certainly knows how to suggest a book. As soon the potatoes are in the pot, I’ll crack open The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty. It’s been awhile since I’ve read “No Place For You, My Love.” I can’t think of a better way to revisit her work than by making her potato salad. Thanks, Cynthia.


    • Yes, Darrelyn, a recipe is certainly a wonderful way to suggest a book. Mr. Weinzweig mentioned reading “her work” while the potatoes were cooking, but I’m the one nudging you toward her Collected Stories, which I read a few months ago, and “No Place For You, My Love,” which is one of my favorites. : )


  2. Mouth watering post and a delicious article. I wouldn’t have imagined an article about potato salad could be that interesting.

    As a literary-culinary experience, it sure beats “Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls…”


  3. My mouth is watering. Earlier this summer, for my wife’s family reunion, I made my Mom’s potato salad for the first time in over a decade. It’s also a southern recipe, and similar to Eudora’s, except we use chopped dill pickles and chopped onion, and mayonnaise but no mustard. Lots of bacon on top. People loved it, and I was amazed to experience again how awesome homemade potato salad can be! Of course, it’s a rare treat now that I’m middle-aged, but I’ll surely make it again next summer for the reunion.

    And I must be on a roll because yesterday I fried chicken and made gravy. I had not fried chicken myself maybe ever. I was thinking of Mom as I cooked and wishing I could call her. The chicken, fried in olive oil, was delicious. My gravy was good too but I’d spiced the chicken over the flour, and I’d used cayenne, black pepper, salt, and paprika, and it was too hot for my son, who ate four pieces of chicken. Somewhere I think Mom was smiling.


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