Although the following potato salad recipe is not pertinent directly to Prospect for Murder, I offer it to you as a means of expressing the warm atmosphere that accompanies any gathering in Hawai`i. During graduate studies of history at the University of Hawai`i, I made several friendships that have continued to this day. Margaret-Jean Hansen was a woman whose educational opportunities had been delayed by family responsibilities and other challenges in her life. When my husband John was overseas, she and I sometimes had potluck dinners at my townhome in the Valley of the Temples in Kāne`ohe, on the windward side of the Ko`olau Mountains of the island of O`ahu. I am sad to say that since we spoke about this recipe, she has made her transition from this plane of existence. But while I miss her mirthful voice, I can guess her response to issues that arise in my own journey.
After a challenging day on campus, it was so delightful to kick off our shoes and relax at twilight on my back lanai. Our meals often featured sautéed chicken or grilled lamb chops, but regardless of our protein, Margaret-Jean almost always arrived with her delectable potato salad. While she enjoyed a glass of iced tea, I usually sipped a glass of white wine as we gathered the ingredients for our small pā`ina. The many hours we enjoyed in research libraries and at my dining table discussing theories of humankind’s development and our personal slices of life remained in the minds and hearts of both of us through the years....
MARGARET-JEAN'S POTATO SALAD
4 small to medium Potatoes, 1-inch cubes
[cooked and warm, tender but not mushy]
1 Tablespoon Carrot, grated
[1-2 inches of the wide end to avoid grating your knuckles]
1 Tablespoon Onion, grated
[Maui, Vidalia, or red]
2-3 Eggs, hard boiled and grated
[Japanese grater preferred]
1/8-1/4 Cup Mayonnaise
[enough to flavor everything generously]
A dash of Dijon or yellow Mustard, if desired
Salt and Pepper to taste
Combine all dry ingredients, except salt and pepper. Stir moist ingredients and add to mixed dry ingredients. Season to taste. Refrigerate until use.
As Margaret-Jean always said with a smile and a nod,“The secret is in using warm, not hot, potatoes. It allows the mayonnaise to be absorbed fully.” Regardless of whether you're planning a quiet night for two, or a large gathering that will overfill your lānai, the final ingredients in Island cooking are creativity and love....
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