26 November 2008

...and how did she forget the taters?

As MotherMe noted....the cranberry bread recipe is nice, but ya left out the potato casserole recipe.

Well, yes.

There was sort of a reason I did, though.

I am not a fan of pre-packaged anything.  Sure, I admit, I use cake mixes from time to time.  There's a coffee cake that I make which can be made from scratch or by using that stuff that rhymes with smishquick; guess which one gets made more often.  And I admit to the sin of using condensed soups from time to time while cooking.  

But mostly, I belong to both the Eat Local and Slow Foods schools of thought.  Buy fresh local ingredients whenever you can is the Eat Local bit.  Slow Food, as one might suspect, is the antithesis of fast food; i.e., something that you take time to make, and take time to enjoy.

So I cringe both to admit that I love, love, LOVE this potato casserole and that it includes several things that usually are not in my house, let alone in my lexicon.

And after all that moaning and wailing, when you actually see the recipe, you will probably be asking what I'm fussing over.

Auntie B's Cheesy Potatoes

Oven 350F (175C)

2 pound bag frozen hash brown potatoes (cubes, not shredded) 
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 c chopped onion
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup 
16 oz sour cream
8 oz package shredded cheese (no particular type...Auntie B probably uses cheddar.)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, reserving a small amount of cheese to sprinkle over the top.  Pour into a casserole dish, sprinkle remaining cheese over the casserole, and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes.  

Auntie B used to put corn flakes on the top, too, which sounds bizarre until you taste it....I think she tossed the corn flakes with melted butter and then put them on top.  In the last few years, though, she's stopped doing that, and I can attest to the fact that it is good without them, too.  Don't try substituting croutons or bread crumbs for the cornflakes, it lacks the....flair? of the cornflakes.

What would I do differently?  The bagged frozen potatoes, outta there, just on principal.  Bagged frozen potatoes!  *scoffs* The very idea.  The cream of chicken condensed soup would be tossed for its mystery ingredients and high salt content.  The package of shredded cheese, also chucked out for its mystery ingredients...have you ever actually READ the labels on some of that stuff?  The corn flakes, for their corn syrup and associated yuckiness.

Which would leave us with the butter, sour cream, salt, pepper, and onions.  I've never tried to make this recipe using more, shall we say, natural ingredients, but I suspect that I would not like it nearly as well, because we're all so accustomed to the mystery ingredients that it seems to be missing something without them.

Maybe next year.

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