Nikki’s Recipe Book: Palace Potato Salad

Palace Potato Salad

Nikki Benton, from Sweet Dreams at The Palace Hotel is always looking for fun ways to put together dinner for her growing family while running her business. One meal her family loves is spare ribs from the slow cooker and potato salad. Add a basic green salad and dinner is on the table without turning on the oven or standing over the stove. What makes this Potato Salad unique is the minimal amount of mayo. Having the reduction of the creamy white condiment changes not only the color, but lifts the focus of the dish to be the potato. Yum!


5 white or gold potatoes – washed
3 eggs – hard cooked and peeled
3 stalks of celery – cut into thin slices or small chunks
3 green onions – sliced including green tops
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. yellow mustard
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp celery salt
Pinch of celery seed (optional)
6 baby sweet pickles, cut into small pieces

1. Cover potatoes with water in saucepan, sprinkle with salt. Bring to boil and cook until fork tender, skins may begin to split. (about 20 minutes, depends upon size of potatoes)
2. Drain potatoes.
3. While potatoes cool slightly, combine onion, celery, and pickles in large bowl. Peel and chop eggs and lightly toss with celery mixture.
4. Blend pepper, celery salt, mayonnaise and mustard in a small bowl.
5. When potatoes are cool enough to touch, peel and chop into chunks. Gently stir into celery mixture.
6. Add Mayo/mustard mixture to bowl and stir to just coat.
7. Sprinkle with celery seed.

Store covered in refrigerator. May be served immediately slightly warm or later thoroughly cooled. Nikki usually makes the potato salad the night before, pops the spare ribs in the slow cooker in the morning and her teenagers manage assembling a green salad and getting dinner on the table. Dinner is family time for Nikki, a chance to relax around the table and catch up on the day.
Like Nikki, potato salad always sparks my memories of summer and the time I spent in the kitchen with mom and grandma putting together potato salad and slicing fresh tomatoes. What food(s) trigger your summer memories?

Interview with Victoria Wyatt

Today on SJP blog our special guest is Victoria Wyatt, the benevolent spirit from Sweet Dreams at The Palace Hotel.

Stella: Thanks for joining me Mrs. Wyatt. Welcome to the blog, it’s a pleasure to uh see you.

Victoria: Thank you. This I my first conversation away from The Palace and I’m pleased to be here.

Stella: What possessed you to open a hotel in a very small town?

Victoria: When Mr. Wyatt died I discovered that others saw the business we operated together as his business although we worked about the same number of hours and I handled all the money. In 1917 the role of women was changing at a fast pace, from homemaker to bread winner. The right to vote for women was on the horizon and, with men headed off to war, women were suddenly pushed to take over traditionally male jobs. The perfect time for a woman to start a business in a place no one knew me.

Stella: Why Creekside?

Victoria: Creekside in 1917 was a small town with a big heart. Few inhabitants were second or third generation residents, most arrived to start over. Because the population was small we supported each other. There was another hotel but we didn’t see each other as competition.

Stella: You passed away in 1949, why did you stay?

Victoria: On April 24, 1949, my heart stopped beating but love of friends, family and the community didn’t end. I stay to experience again the emotions embedded in my life’s important moments. And, I stay to encourage the living to embrace their own life. To live with courage, kindness and love. The Palace sheltered me in life and I’m not ready to leave.

Nikki’s Recipe Book: Blueberry Bread Puddiing

Blueberry Bread Puddiing
Adapted from Kemptville Blueberry Bread Pudding

By Charles Leary and Vaughn Perry

Served fresh once a week at The Palace Hotel

2 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 day old baguette (1 lb) cut into 2 inch pieces (or any slightly dry bread)
2 large eggs
½ cup sugar
1 cup blueberries
¼ cup of toasted almond slivers for baking (or any favorite nut in small pieces)
1 ½ tsp unsalted butter softened

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Butter a 9 inch by 9 inch square glass or ceramic baking dish
In a large bowl, whisk milk with vanilla.
Add bread and nuts, submerge in milk, let stand 5 minutes
In a bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until fluffy
Add to bread mixture and stir.
Fold in blueberries
Transfer to buttered pan
Dot top with butter
Bake 45 minutes uncovered until browned and crisp on top.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving

Before dotting with butter, poke dark chocolate chips (about 16 chips) halfway down into pudding