Potato Salad in Red

Kitchen Cyclone

My Sweet Baboo suffers terribly in the heat of Western Washington. Those 85 degree temperatures can be brutal to someone who has lost their heat resistance after nearly 5 years in residence in a climate that consists largely of drizzle and mild cold. She already has heat flashes to go with her medications, various surgeries and conditions, so she is suffering mightily this summer.

My wife also believes that if she is miserable, everybody must be miserable whatever they might say to the contrary.

I was making potato salad for the 4th of July (and doing it wrong, of course). There is a swamp cooler in the kitchen blowing in a generally southerly direction and a small fan in the window blowing generally westerly. Together they make a nice southwesterly draft that carries the cool air past me as I work. There is a third fan at the edge of the living room which I have pointed in a westerly direction to carry the cool breeze on through the rest of the house.

My wife has this theory that if you point two fans directly at each other things will be twice as cool.

So when she looked in a few minutes ago and decided I looked overheated, acting on her theory of double coolness, she turned the big west-facing fan around to the northeast pointed directly at me a few feet away and straight at the other two fans creating an invisible vortex around me of which I was blissfully unaware. I was adding spices to the potato salad at the time.


Having been raised in Texas I am mostly impervious to heat or temperature change and when I'm working on something you could have set fire to the place and I really wouldn't have noticed. So I didn't - that is until I went to add a touch of paprika to the taters - at which point a sudden tornadic swirl of red paprika rose up in front of my face. In fascination I watched the little red cyclone take a couple or three swirls and then break apart, half of it sailing off across the kitchen and a generous portion of the lower half collapsing into the potato salad bowl.

Paprika is red.

And now so is my potato salad - a nice pinkish shade of red.

Sheila looked in a few minutes later.

"Potato salad isn't supposed to be red," she commented. "That's not MY recipe!"

That is how holiday legends are born and somehow it will be the "Dad's Red Potato Salad" incident and will give much hilarity to my offspring, friends and relations.

I tried to brush it off. "I'm a very funny guy," I said.

"It would be nice if it was on purpose," the household's other resident wit shot back without hesitation.

© 2015 by Tom King

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Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

A wonderful story. Good luck with your heatwave in and out of the house.

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