Friday, April 22, 2011

Family Recipe Friday: Aunt Rae's Crabby Potato Salad

Rae Harriett Madsen Christensen
Easter has always been a big holiday for our family. It wasn't so much a religious day for us, but more of a family reunion sort of day. The earliest Easter celebrations I remember were held out at Alden Lane in Livermore, California. Later, when our family moved out to the Koster Ranch, outside of Tracy, we started hosting the picnics out there. Then, when Mom and Dad moved up the hill to the end of Bird Road, the party moved with them. They were always big events with a lot of family and good friends.

As with most family celebrations, we had our Easter Sunday traditions. Of course, we hunted Easter eggs: hard boiled, chocolate and plastic filled with coins. One year we started having two separate hunts: one for the kids and one for the adults. We hid Easter beers to get the men interested. We also played games, including sack races, egg toss, hay bale rolling and other fun picnic games. My Great Uncle Rob used to bring his guitar and serenade us with old standards and classic country western songs (think Hank Williams, Sr., Patsy Cline, Gene Autry). My Great Aunt Rae also used to fill a jar full of jelly beans and attach a $5 bill to it -- whoever guessed the correct number of jelly beans in the jar got both as the prize!
Sack Race up on Bird Road in Tracy, CA
Another tradition at all of our family celebrations, including Easter, is an abundance of really good food. Our family potlucks are something to behold, and nobody goes hungry. One favorite dish that we could always count on at Easter was Aunt Rae's Crabby Potato Salad. I don't know when she started making this simple, yet tasty, concoction, but it just wasn't a family gathering if she didn't bring it. Our Aunt Rae passed away last year, and Easter -- or any holiday, really -- just isn't the same without her. She left us with a lot of fun memories. She also left with us the recipe for her yummy Crabby Potato Salad. I'm going to see if Mom wants to help me make it for the Easter picnic out at Uncle Clay and Robin's house this year!
Aunt Rae & Dad
Aunt Rae’s Crabby Potato Salad

12-15 red potatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
½ cup cider vinegar
salt and pepper
1 can crab + juice
1 quart Best Foods mayonnaise

Cook potatoes until done; don’t overcook. Let cool about one hour; skin and slice in large bowl. Add ingredients in order given. It might seem sloppy, but all the juices will soak into potatoes overnight. Store covered in refrigerator overnight. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired. 

I'd love to hear if any readers make Aunt Rae's Crabby Potato Salad for their own picnic. I'm sure you and your family will enjoy it!
Ready! Set! Go get some Easter Eggs!


  1. Yum! Lovely post, and what a great photo of your Aunt Rae back in the day!

  2. Sorry I didn't read your latest post yet!

  3. What a great article. Brought back lots of good memories. Maybe we will include the crabby potato salad next year.

  4. Thanks, Mom! I did enjoy Grandma Donna's macaroni salad.

    And, thanks for the comment, Missy. I love that photo, too!