And the Winner of the 2010 Recipe Hand-Me Down iisss...
Jean Tallcot from West Charleston, Vermont!
Thank you, Jean for submitting your time honored recipe and sharing your memories of your mother's Scalloped Potatoes.
by Jean Tallcot
Mother never complained about the weather, about housework or about how little money she had to feed a family of six. A champion at “making do” and a genius at substituting ingredients for those she didn’t have, supper was on the table every evening at five o’clock, when Daddy wanted to eat. Growing up in the 1940's, my two sisters, one brother and I never thought of being fussy. Daddy said, “Take what you want, but eat what you take.” Mother said if we were still hungry after a meal, we could always have bread and butter. Daddy pieced together a living, but we were able to pay our bills because we lived without luxury and were thrifty-- patching, mending, glueing-- repairing each thing that wore out in order to use it again. Mother counted the pieces of bacon in a package and slices of bread in a loaf In that way, she divvied out the food so we could each have toast at breakfast and a sandwich at lunch. Mother was creative. When she made Spanish Rice and found there were no canned tomatoes, she grabbed a can of tomato soup. It tasted so much better to her, that she used it from then on. We always had a supply of potatoes because we grew them.
Mother owned an old cookbook filled with recipes for potatoes such as Delmonico; Jeanette Courrangelle; Persillade; Franconia; Potaotes a l’Archiodoise; and Bhugia. There were Chips; Croquettes and Creamed; Hashed and Mashed; Riced and Diced; Julienne; Frittered and Fried; Stuffed on the Half Shell; Atop Shepard’s Pie; Saratoga; Suzette; Princess; Peasant; Baked and Caked; Bordered and Loafed, Timbales, Dropped; Savory Roast; Dumplings steamed in a Soup; Old or New; Cut into Stew; Lyonnaise; Salad with Mayonnaise; Dutch and Duchess; Omelets; O’Brien; Pancakes; Patties; Belgian; AuGratin. But the old stand-by was Scalloped Potatoes–sometimes with ham and sometimes not. There was nothing like a dish of hot, buttered potatoes at the end of the day.
Mother peeled and sliced about ten pounds of potatoes, layered them in a large roaster with crumbled crackers and butter between the layers. She poured milk, slightly covering the potatoes and dotted them with butter. She baked it at 350 degrees for about 2 hours because it was such a large dish.
The Flour Garden prepares all submitted recipes. We liked this scalloped potato recipe for its versatility. The addition of carrots and leeks along with the ham gave it a more one-dish casserole meal. We recommend keeping to the method of preparation given in this recipe (and not parboiling the potatoes as some recipes suggest). This will help to create a creamy sauce and allow the potatoes to cook to al dente so that they just resist the tooth.
If you have a time honored recipe you would like to enter in the 2011 Intergenerational Recipe Hand-Me-Down, visit The Flour Garden for more information.