Nana’s Creamy Potato Salad

It seems like those summer days are with us, and that means picnics, and picnics mean potato salad!

There must be thousands of potato salad recipes out there.  My nana used to make a wet, creamy potato salad that I have never seen duplicated. Nana was of German origin, so this potato salad must have had its beginnings there . Problem is, she never used a recipe! The first time I had a rather dry potato salad made with mayonnaise, I was so disappointed.  I have spent years trying to perfect the recipe on my own to no avail. However, after experimenting with different ingredients, the recipe I’m going to share with you today is the closest in taste to the salad I remember.

About 2 – 3 lbs. potatoes, red or white
1/2 c. diced green onions, or 1 whole white onion, minced
1 c. diced celery ribs
1 c. red radishes, sliced & quartered
3 – 4 hard boiled eggs, quartered
1 c. creamed cottage cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 t. prepared mustard, or 1 t. French’s hot mustard powder
Salt & pepper to taste

Boil potatoes with or without skins left on (up to you)
Drain and refrigerate potatoes until they are cold and firm, Slice thinly.
Combine potatoes, onions, celery, radish and eggs in a bowl. Remember to leave some egg quarters for garnish on top.
Blend together cottage cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, and salt and pepper.
Pour over potato mixture and mix gently. Check seasonings, and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Garnish with egg quarters and paprika. This salad tastes better the next day, but if you just can’t wait (like me), dig in and enjoy!

Genealogy: An Adoptee’s Journey, Part 3 – Mother and Child Reunion

I’ve been putting off writing this post for a while, because in a way, it’s painful. Here’s what happened.
When I made the momentous phone call, a woman answered (I didn’t know at the time that this was my birth mother), and asked to speak to her husband, Stu, who had answered my ad. It turns out that he had responded without my birth mother’s knowledge, and then pushed her to go ahead to meet me. You can imagine her reaction: shock, fear and anguish. It must have been traumatic revealing your not-so-pristine past to your children and loved ones.

In any event, we all agreed to meet. Stu and Betty travelled to our home, where I lived with my former husband and two small children. The reunion itself was rather anti-climactic as no one knew what to say at first. Betty said something like, “So we meet again”. We welcomed them into our home, and chatted for a couple of hours.

Stu then invited us up for Thanksgiving at their farm. As you can imagine, I was quite uncomfortable with this idea, but my husband and I agreed. Betty and Stu had SEVEN children; I was her first. This made eight of us altogether. Needless to say, I didn’t receive a very warm reception; they must all have been stunned. I had literally been forced into their midst., However, a younger brother and sister were happy to get to know me.

With this first hurdle over, we continued to visit each other until…Ah yes, there’s always a “but”. One issue I had a problem with was when Betty wanted me to call her “mother”. This I could not do; my adoptive parents were always the parents of my heart. The second issue was a little more ugly. Naturally, I wanted to know who my birth father was. She could not or would not reveal the name. You may draw your own conclusion here; I’m not going to write about it further, again, too painful.

At this point, all communication ceased between us. I did not have any contact with the family until she died at the early age of 57 from a heart attack. Her husband, Stu, phoned to let me know. He has been in my life since then, showering me with love; a lovely stepfather. However, there was no further contact with my brothers and sisters until…but you’ll have to wait to hear that story.

Next: My Genealogy Search

This ‘n That

I just realized that I haven’t posted for over a week. Mon Dieu! What can I say, except that I’ve been busy, busy, busy: celebrating my birthday with family and friends; cottage hunting; selling Vintage Treasures… I’m sure you know how it goes.

My birthday (and no, I’m not divulging my age) couldn’t have been better. I love to stretch out the celebrations as far as possible. On the actual day my husband treated me to a leisurely beachside lunch, and then an afternoon at the theatre. This was followed a couple of days later by a lovely dinner at my son’s and his girlfriend, along with my daughter and husband. Wonderful!

Sales continue at my Etsy shop, Vintge Treasures. I just sold this gorgeous Vintage Wadsworth Art Deco Fan Shape compact and shipped it out to its new owner. Vin Wadworth Shell CompactI’ll soon be sharing more recipes, blogging about my own personal genealogy journey, and writing in my series Women’s Makeup Through the Ages.
Stay tuned!

Grab and Go Lunch Salad

We’re using the versatile chickpea in today’s salad. I love chickpeas and they’re high in fibre. This tasty salad can be kept refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Make it the night before and it will be ready for you to take to work.


This Recipe feeds one person generously.

1 c. canned chick peas
6 Grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 Green pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 c. red onion, chopped (or 2 green onions, sliced)
1/4 c. Kraft Golden Italian dressing
Parmesan cheese (real grated or from shaker)
Salt & pepper to taste

Optional: Add black olives, red pepper, kidney beans or lima beans, tuna or salmon
I like to make this salad colourful which I find adds to its taste appeal.

Drain and rinse chick peas; pat dry.
Prepare and cut up vegetables.
Combine all ingredients in a portable plastic container with tight-fitting lid.
Add desired amount of parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.
Add Golden Italian dressing and mix well.

Make the night before and it will be ready to “grab and go” in the morning for your lunch. Remember to put it in the fridge at work to keep fresh.

Betty Boop

thCA503O9KI have always been fascinated with that flirtatious flapper, Betty Boop, and her signature phrase “Boop-boop-a-doop”. Watching her black and white cartoons on Saturday morning was a favourite pastime. It seems she has never lost her appeal, judging by the number of collectibles that are for sale out there. From handbags to clothing, and everything in between, there’s something for everyone. I’m the proud owner of a Betty Boop key chain, pendant necklace and even pajama bottoms.

Here are some fun facts about this miss that may be new to you.
Did you know:

Betty began life as a dog, a French poodle to be exact, with floppy ears?

She proved to be such a popular character that she was turned into a real person, and the long ears became her earrings.

Betty’s character was based on the popular American singer Helen Kane?

Betty was first voiced by Mae Questel, a veteran of vaudeville, stage and movies?

Betty’s first movie as a person was “Betty Co-Ed” in 1932?

Max and Dave Fleisher, her animators, invented the rotoscope in 1915? This revolutionized the art of animation.

Betty first appeared as a newspaper comic strip, drawn by Bud Counihan, and distributed by King Features Syndicate, in 1934?Boopoct2334[1]

Betty Boop appeared in well over 100 animated movies between 1930 and 1939? In the 1980’s, she made an appearance in three, the last of which was “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” in 1988.

Here are some of Betty’s Boop’s lines from movies:

“I’m too pooped to boop” from The Romance of Betty Boop
“Go away, you big bad man”
“Where ya going, bunny, huh?” from Betty Boop in Blunderland


Genealogy: An Adoptee’s Journey, Part 2 – Finding my Birth Mother

As I mentioned in a previous post The Search Begins, I was now armed with my original Birth Registration. Because I had two small children, I felt it was important to know my medical background. As well, I wanted to find someone else, other than my children, who looked like me. And most adoptees, I think, can relate to the need to discover why they were given up.

Coincidentally at this time, I had come across a magazine article with tips on how to find a birth parent. One suggestion, which I decided to follow, was to place an ad in the newspaper, with details about my original name, and date and place of birth. But where to start? With so many newspapers, it would be like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack!

On a holiday that summer my ex-husband and I happened to visit the Owen Sound area. For some reason, I felt a very powerful draw to this place. (I must confess that I have had psychic twinges in my life that proved to be real). Following my instinct, I placed an ad in that town’s newspaper (the one and only ad I ever placed!), asking for replies to be sent to a box number in care of the paper.

Much to my surprise, within two weeks I received a letter response! With shaking hands, I opened the envelope. It was the reply I had been waiting for, complete with a phone number. The letter was from my birth mother’s husband (which I didn’t know at the time). Obviously, there was some need for protection of identities at this stage.

Gathering up my courage, I made the phone call that was to change my life.

 Next: Mother and Child Reunion