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Karin's German Potato Salad

Updated: Jun 21, 2022

Hello! Ada here. It’s roundup time! If you want some recipe inspiration for your very summery CSA shares, scroll to the bottom. And if you want to hear about my newfound inspiration for German potato salad, read on.

Recently, I won badges (in an Instagram contest, nonetheless!) to the Hill Country Film Fest which happened in Fredericksburg - nearish to where I live. (Sidenote, please go and see Deep in the Heart if you’re able!) My husband and I took the opportunity to play tourists in town, cruising Fredericksburg’s Main Street with beers in hand and more in the queue. On one corner, there was a young boy crooning some Hank Williams while playing guitar. It was a surprising sight as Fredericksburg isn’t usually kind to buskers. He made me think of the Walmart boy, but this person was softer, a few years older, and more cowboy - like he just rolled in from a dusty ranch in Junction to entertain wine-drunk tourists. Or else he was a really good actor. Anyway, I ducked around the corner to dig for a tip, and found another woman doing the exact same thing. We both tipped the young singer, continued on, and then were reunited a block later. The woman’s name was Karin, and to my surprise, my husband, who is usually an ardent introvert, invited her to join us for dinner, and then to come to our house the next day so she could see a real-life Central Texas homestead - tiny cabin, angry rooster, goats and all. Karin, who lives in Belgium near the border of Germany and the Netherlands, was on a solo road trip across the United States - a bucket list trip for her to celebrate her retirement. Most recently, she worked at a Ford factory.

Over curly fries and Hill Country blues music, I told Karin about the Club Home Made cooking classes Becky and I used to teach. To my surprise, she also had some experience organizing cooking clubs. In 2015/2016 when the flow of refugees to Belgium was at its height, Karin and her daughter started a nonprofit that gathered the newcomers over food and the act of cooking. Part dinner party and party cooking class, different women from different parts of the world would take turns teaching each other some typical dishes from their home countries. Participants were introduced to local grocery stores so they could figure out where to shop, and also were given the opportunity to practice shared languages, all while sharing their own foodways. After Googling Karin’s name (we all do this, right?), I found several pieces of press about the project and plopped one in Google translate. "What pleases me the most is that connections are made outside of the cooking project, that people greet each other on the street, that people hug you because you are now friends," says Karin Maldinger-Jochims.

A photo of Karin's Cooking Club in Belgium.

While in Fredericksburg, Karin had a disappointing German “potato salad” - air quotes that she provided. To her taste, the potato salad as we know it was more akin to mashed potatoes, and she was expecting something else entirely. The next day, she drove out to our house and together we made what she calls potato salad, which truthfully, is somehow more salady. Laughing, she took a picture of the finished bowl of potatoes to send to her friends back home who she said would be amused. The potato salad seems to be her signature dish, one that friends were always requesting she make. And here she was, in Doss, Texas, whipping up the same dish with a few pounds of new potatoes that I had just harvested from our garden. A recipe shared, and a friend gained!

Be well, and enjoy your potatoes! According to Karin, this potato salad only works with small, waxy potatoes - just like the Yukon gold and red potatoes you’re receiving from the Vrdnt shares. Too starchy of potato (like a Russet), and the salad will end up mealy. Scroll to the end for Karin’s Potato Salad Recipe.


Karin’s German Potato Salad