Let me tell you a little something about my maternal grandmother, Grandma Wilkinson, or Shorty as we all called her. Shorty lived in the German neighborhood of St. Louis on a street named after the state of Ohio. She made her home in a three room "shot gun" house with a tiny back yard where she grew roses along the side of the garage . Whenever we'd visit, if she wasn't in the living room watching a Cardinals game, she'd most likely be out back in the high ceilinged kitchen tending to something on the stove or in the oven. She loved cooking and was facinated with kitchen gadgets. She was the first in our family to have a deep freeze and a microwave oven. I recall she also had a little appliance specifically made for cooking hotdogs.
One summer my cousin and I came over to her house for dinner. I don't recall what she made for the entre (it might have been hot dogs made in her special hot dog cooker) but I DO remember the side dish - warm German Potato Salad. The recipe is very German, which is to say it's hearty, unadorned, and efficiant. The potatoes soak up the tangy, sweet warm dressing which is balanced by the smokey, salty bacon. It's great fantastic warm, room temperature or cold. It would be perfect for a picnic or a bar-b-q accompanied by some bratwurst slathered in mustard.
2 lbs red potatoes
1/2 lb bacon (fried crisp)
2 large onions, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
Place potatoes in large pot with enough water to cover by several inches. Bring pot to boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt, and reduce to gentle boil. Cook until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 20 minutes. Drain in colander, and let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel and dice; set aside.
Fry bacon until crispy. Remove to paper towel line plate to drain. Add onion and celery to the bacon fat in the pan. Saute until onions are transparent. Add vinegar, water, sugar, bacon, and flour. Bring mixture to a boil.
Pour mixture over diced potatoes and stir gently to combine. Let stand until moist of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.