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Old 09-11-2005, 02:24 AM   #1
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Potato Salad accident

What would cause a potato salad to become watery about two or three days after it's made? This has never happened before and we can't figure out what happened (I'm not the one that made it).

It looks and taste like someone dumped about 1/2 - 1 cup of water in it. The flavoring is also very weak/bland as if there's not any flavoring in it at all. I'm not permitted to give the exact recipe (family secret) but I can tell you that the ingredients are peeled potatoes (of course), eggs (whites or wholes), onions, celery, confectioners' sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper, mustard, and mayonnaise.

I was thinking that someone measured out something wrong but I can't see anything that would make it watery. So I thought that maybe it came from the potatoes or eggs somehow. Another possibility is that someone accidently or purposefully dumped water in it. Other than that, we're stumped. Any ideas?

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Old 09-11-2005, 06:02 AM   #2
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It could be that the salt (and possibly other ingredients) has drawn the water out of the potatoes.

The only other thing I could think of is that the water in the eggwhites has seperated from the protein in the eggwhites somehow.
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Old 09-11-2005, 06:44 AM   #3
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I have had this happen but after about 5 days when it should have been thrown out. Don't know what caused it but Haggis' theory sounds good.
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Old 09-11-2005, 08:36 AM   #4
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Did you mix all the ingredients while the potatoes were still hot? If so, did you store it covered or uncovered until the potato cooled? I've found that the steam given off by hot potatoes will get trapped on the lid (or plastic wrap), condense into water, and drip back into the salad.

The only other thing I can think of, is that someone spilled a little water into it.
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Old 09-12-2005, 11:03 AM   #5
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Just about everyone has their own potato salad recipes and it can vary quite widely in what you would add in the salad, so it may be something you put in it. Some vegetables contain lots of water which would come out after a while. Otherwise, Allen's theory seem to make sense.
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Old 09-12-2005, 11:25 AM   #6
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onions, celery, potatoes have a lot of water in them. If the potatoes were not sufficiently drained, if the salt leeched water out of the onions and celery, then the breakdown is tracable. cooked eggs and mayo are not gonna separate that easily.
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