"the" Mrs. Astor

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I may have created a monster--a potato salad monster. It seems that my potato salad, which I made at the request of those delightful, decadent gentlemen of Men's Active Sportswear, was the most popular item at their little pot-luck lunch and the word got around. After the initial message of it being a hit, the other two messages I got were, "Women's' Furs said they heard it was wonderful." and, "It even got to Cosmetics." I had no doubt it would be appreciated, but now feel I will have to supply another bowl--perhaps a vat--next weekend to keep up the hype (and the discount). The request, "What is the recipe?" was repeated again and again.

The problem IS the recipe. Like all people who love to cook, I exist with basic recipes in my mind for things like this and just add what the occasion calls for. Like all such people, I keep an immense amount of spices at hand; the more and varied, the better (most of the time). It's all a matter of experimentation, anyway, allied with a working knowledge of food, their mixes together, and the quest to enhance and improve the enjoyment of it all.

And--now--how can I give out the recipe that so closely guarded my discount at Saks? The next thing you know, Chinese agents, like that inscrutable Connie Chung, will take it, add bamboo sprouts or perhaps scorpion tails (you saw the Olympics; you know the things they eat and do), and--BAM--she's the new Potato Salad Queen.

A message came in from Countess von Cartier from Newport, RI, too, asking for the recipe. I love The Countess as much as I love Newport, but will have to send it to her by coded, sealed letter. (The Countess was a good friend of du Barry of Newport; du Barry lost her noble life during a safari to Vermont on a mission to find the fountain of youth of maple syrup. Alas--although her body has never been recovered--she apparently died at the hands of Sapphoric warriors. Her last words were, "Oh, no; flannel plaid never works of the female frame!")

So, I'd love to give the recipe but, until a Congress of Vienna for potato salads is created, I will jealously guard my secret to 44% off Prada.


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