Mom’s Vintage Potato Salad & Franciscan Earthenware
Franciscan Earthenware was a wedding gift to my father and his first wife. My mother “inherited” this china when she married him. We’ve enjoyed her home-cooked meals on these dishes for well over a half century.
We still have most of the pieces, a few are chipped, but overall a fine collection in great condition. This china has proven to be very durable. Back in 2008 Ma graciously lent me several pieces from her collection. As you may have read earlier, I am addicted to dinnerware. Now, with her passing, I am the keeper of the entire collection. And I will cherish it forever.
Franciscan Apple is one of the most popular raised-relief hand-painted patterns from Gladding, McBean & Co., which began production of Franciscan dinnerware in 1934 at their plant in Glendale, California. This pattern first appeared in 1940.
The name Franciscan is an allusion to Franciscan Friars and reflected the simple, informal style of Mexican folk pottery. The Franciscan Apple pattern has become a darling of collectors with its branches, beautiful green leaves and red harvest apples painted on cream-colored porcelain reminiscent of days gone by.
American production of Franciscan Ware ceased in 1984, following the announcement to relocate all Franciscan production to England. Franciscan Apple pattern is still made today under the Wedgwood Group. It is slightly different now and many pieces are larger than the originals, but still charming as ever.
Mom’s Vintage Potato Salad Recipe
She requested that her ashes be spread at the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine dedicated by Paramahansa Yogananda in Pacific Palisades, California. She couldn’t have chosen a more serene, spiritual location.
Along with my brothers Bill and Don and my sisters Randi and Paula, sister-in-law Kristy, brother-in-laws Ron and Mark and nephews Stone and Jett – for her final resting place, we discreetly found places along the banks and among the trees and flowers, swans and turtles, and near the memorial that contains a portion of Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes as well.
Her potato salad was always one of our favorites, so when we planned a picnic at Will Rogers State Park after our service, I knew Mom’s Potato Salad had to be on the menu.
Her recipe includes russet potatoes (not heirloom, red rose nor yukon gold), a high ratio of hard boiled egg to potato, the addition of green bell pepper and celery salt, and Hellmann’s Mayonnaise (or Best Foods Mayonnaise after she moved west from Chicago). And never Miracle Whip, oh heavens no!
- 4 large russet potatoes, cooked and cooled, large dice
- 8 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- 1 c. green bell pepper, small dice
- 1 c. yellow onion, small dice
- 1 c. celery, chopped
- Hellmann’s/Best Foods mayonnaise, enough to well-coat all ingredients
- celery salt, salt and white pepper to taste
In a large bowl, coat potatoes with a good amount of mayonnaise. Season with celery salt, salt, and white pepper. Fold in hard boil eggs, bell pepper, onion, and celery. Add more mayonnaise and seasonings to taste. Fold gently to keep from breaking up the potatoes. Transfer vintage potato salad to a vintage bowl and finish with a sprinkle of celery salt.
Rest in Peace, Ma. We will always love you…
Mom’s Vintage Potato Salad is Sensational
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35 thoughts on “Mom’s Vintage Potato Salad & Franciscan Earthenware”
Oh my, but this is truly a sweet article. I am sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. I send my sincerest condolences to you and your family. It’s the SRF, your mom and her china that really tug at my heartstrings. I grew up right near the SRF on Sunset Blvd., visited there often and attended may weddings and other celebrations there. As for the china, Franciscan Apple is my husband’s and my every day china and has been for the last thirty-four years. I also grew up with it. It was one of my mom’s favorites, so I always love seeing it.
It most certainly is durable. I much prefer the colors of the older versions, the one made right here in Southern California. The newer version, made in England , lacks th vibrant, saturated colorr of the older glazes. Mind you, I am not talking about the ones with lead. Those were relegated to “Display Only” status ages ago. It is always a pleasure to come across someone else who treasures this wonderful Franciscanware. May each use summon up wonderful memories of life at home with Mom!
HI Adri – thank you so much for your comment, it makes me smile. SRF is so beautiful, we immediately knew why why mom picked it for her final resting place.
So neat that you use Franciscan Apple as your china. I don’t think it will be my everyday china – but I will definitely use it often, especially when entertaining. Perhaps the next time you’ll see it on my blog is when I make my mom’s famous casserole we called PC&S. Pork Chops and Spaghetti.
Thanks for taking the time to connect.
What a lovely post, so sorry to hear of your mothers passing. Great recipe for the potato salad. I do believe my mom has the same tableware. Gorgeous pieces!
Hi Cheri – I just love hearing from folks who have memories of Franciscan Apple. Thank you for your comment and condolences.
My name is Cathy Grindle and I live in Georgia. My mom began collecting Franciscan Apple in 1956. She had service for 12 and every serving piece available. We only used the dinnerware for special occasions, when the ministers of our church came for lunch and family birthdays. My mom passed in 2014 at the age of 88. She had only one granddaughter the rest (3) were boys. The dinnerware was pass on to my daughter who just got married 3 weeks ago.
Thanks for sharing your sweet story Cathy. So sorry for the loss of your mom. To your daughter – I hope the charming dinnerware brings decades of pleasure and joy, and evokes wonderful memories of her grandmother. Congratulations on her marriage!
Oh I’m so sorry for your loss. Your mom certainly was a beautiful woman, judging from that photo. How apropos that she had beautiful dinnerware too, and now you have inherited these treasured pieces from her. You did them justice by making her potato salad recipe to commemorate her.
Thank you Linda – yes, she was beautiful, had beautiful dinnerware, and we were all in awe but not surprised at the beautiful place she chose as her final resting place. I always appreciate your eloquent comments, thank you so much.
I feel with you and for you. Having slowly converted to Buddhism over the past few decades . . . I more than understand the beauty and peace . . .
You would adore the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine Eha…make sure to put it on your list whenever you visit Southern California. Thanks for your continued support.
Thank you for sharing your mom with all of us and her wonderful recipe. xo
Thank you Elise. My mom was a fan of my writing and my blog. She would mail my articles to my aunt (her sister) who was not on the internet.
So glad to get to know you through Food Network…
I really enjoyed your story. That is exactly how my mother fixed our potatoe salad! interesting to say the least. Good Luck and God Bless. Lea Ann
Thank you for taking the time to comment Lea Ann. Yeah, the recipe is nothing fancy, but it holds a world of memories. And it is really really good.
I am sorry to hear of her passing….I know how you feel. Enjoyed your post…
Norma – thank you for your sympathy, my friend.
I know that you have cherished your Franciscan long before your mother’s passing. But, now, it holds even more precious memories for you. At each use, may it remind you of your mom’s loveliness and graciousness. I am so privileged to have known her. Great picture of you mom and dad!
I am so sorry for your loss Lori Lynn, but I know your mom is thrilled to have you share her potato salad recipe especially when it is featured in her beautiful dishes. I love that pattern and I am glad you and your family will have many more holiday celebrations with the festive plates!
Thank you for your sweet comment Jane…
Lori, this post was very special. I thought you might enjoy knowing that I inherited my grandma’s Franciscan Desert Rose china, also with a few chips but in great condition! xo
Came across your post on Pinterest looking for a Potatoe Salad recipee…..although I have made many different recipees for it,I opened up your post because the picture drew me in..it looked good.So today I am going to try your recipee……also was making it for my son’s birthday today.Thats a great story of your mother and father and the Franciscan Earthware……sorry to hear about your mother.My mother passed twenty one years ago and I miss her so much…Have a great day…..Carol
Hi Carol – thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Happy Birthday to your son, I hope he enjoys the potato salad… And I’m sorry for your loss too 🙁
This is very much how I make my potato salad, when my macaroni is done I toss the macaroni in a little bit of olive oil, this way the macaroni doesn’t suck up to much of the mayo plus I add a little bit of dill weed to it.
Well, whaddyaknow, this is *exactly* my Dad’s potato salad, the one we grew up with. Plenty of extra egg, no mustard, no pickle and definitely no Miracle Whip, only Hellman’s. Though he usually used scallions combined with onion if he could. It looks just like your Mom’s too, so I could ‘taste’ it with my eyes. And it’s forever the best recipe, isn’t it, because it tastes of home & childhood & Sunday barbecues by the pool.
Now, my Dad wasn’t from Chicago like your Mom, he grew up on a ranch in Montana and when asked always claimed with a wink he learned how to make it that way from an old Indian Chief’s wife. (Political correctness wasn’t a thing when he grew up.) But who knows, it may very well be true as so many of the stories of his childhood I’d always assumed to be just tall Dad tales turned out to be 100% legit – like riding his pony to school in -25° snowstorms.
Thanks so much for the recipe & the beautiful memories of your Mom which jogged memories of my Dad & my own Grandma’s Franciscan ware! It’s always amazing to me that just reading recipes on the internet can transport us to such far-flung places in our minds.
Hello Elle! Thank you so much for sharing your precious memories! I starting Taste With The Eyes in 2007 and one of my favorite things about this site is hearing that something that I wrote or a recipe that I created has touched someone. I really appreciate your comment 🙂
Looks perfect. Any idea how many this would serve?
Hi Adele – It would serve 8 to 16 depending on portion size.