The Narciso Family Cookbook…Great food, hardly any bugs*

Rice Cake was perplexed when he realized I wanted to take a picture of him with a potato.

My sincerest apologies for not blogging last week. I forgot. Seriously. I just forgot. I spent that weekend over in Lakeland at the Original Sewing & Quilting Expo, which was a lot of fun. I might do it again next year, but Lakeland is awfully far away.

Yesterday, I was at a new writers conference here on the Space Coast. They had a good turnout and I hope they’ll do it again. We need a conference here, I think.

I’m still struggling to write my latest fantasy novel. I think I’m paralyzed by a suffocating, panic-inducing fear of failure. I just want it to be so good! And I’m scared it won’t be as good as I imagine it in my head. There’s a lot of laziness involved, too, but we don’t need to go there.

Today, I’m going to give you an excerpt from The Narciso Family Cookbook. And mid-week, I’m going to post some more pics I took at Viera Wetlands last weekend.

I wrote The Narciso Family Cookbook for my sons. It’s got some stories for them and recipes that they grew up with. Here’s a little story about potato salad and Nazis.

Potato Salad

 Potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks 

Eggs, same number as potatoes, hard boiled, peeled, and quartered 








Potato salad comes with a story. A sad story. It involves Nazis. Now I know that it’s not right to put the label “Nazi” on things because it dilutes the evil that was Nazism. But what do you call it when a person wants his food pure and bland…like white? He’s a food Nazi.

When I was young and free, I ate garbage. Garbage pizza—Pizza Hut’s Thin and Crispy Super Supreme. My spaghetti sauce had ground beef in it (all my Italian food had meat in it), and green pepper and onion and mushrooms and who knows what else? I’ve forgotten now. 

And garbage potato salad. It had all kinds of stuff in it. I know it had olives in it but I can’t remember if they were black or green. I know that I added in pimientos that came in little glass jars (really cute jars) so I think the olives must have been black. (See? Diverse potato salad.) But I can’t remember how it must have tasted, those black olives with pimientos. Maybe it was green olives and I just wanted extra pimiento. And I think I put in bacon, cooked and crumbled. And the eggs were chopped up. It was loaded potato salad! 

But then I married your father and all that was in the past. My Thin and Crispy Super Supreme became doughy Little Caesar’s pepperoni. And my spaghetti sauce, my lasagna, my ziti, all lost their meat. We’ve become purists. 

Alas, my potato salad. Now the recipe is to be strictly adhered to. One egg for every potato, which is ridiculous so sometimes I cheat. Seriously. What if I use 12 potatoes? I’m supposed to put in a dozen eggs? Pffflllttttt. And the eggs have to be quartered because there’s some kind of “have to see the eggs” fetish going on. 

Anyway, as to the recipe, I tend to go for more of a mustard base than mayo and the paprika (after having been thoroughly checked for bugs) is only sprinkled on top after it’s been shoveled into the serving dish. (Okay, it’s possible that I sprinkle a bit into the mix, too. I cook by mood, á la George Costanza’s packing ritual.) 

Refrigerate and serve nice and chilled. Heil Potato! 

*I do tend to obsess about paprika and bugs in the cookbook. But honestly, you get pantry bugs once and the rest of your life is spent a little freaked out about it.

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