Sunday, February 19, 2017

Dinner Party Potatoes

I spend my days with about 80 senior citizens managing an Adult Day Health Center.  One of my favorite things to do is to sit and talk with them.  They have some of the best life stories.  Each one unique and with a lesson to share.

I've been spending time with one lady who was a housewife most of her life.  In the 1960's and 70's, her husband was a businessman and he would often entertain co-workers or clients in their home.  I can tell from the expression on her face that she loved being the hostess at those dinner parties.  She describes to me in great detail the meals that she would prepare and how her guests would love them.  Most of the recipes she recites from memory.

One dish she talks about often are her Dinner Party Potatoes.  I relate them to the Cheezy Potatoes that I often make.  The difference is that her recipe contains fresh ingredients.  Instead of frozen hashbrowns, she boiled ten potatoes and then shredded them.  Instead of canned soup and sour cream, she used cream.

I decided to write down her recipe and make her Dinner Party Potatoes for my family today.  They were so good!  I could tell such a difference in the texture and taste.  My family enjoyed them, too.  Surprisingly, it didn't take much more time to make these potatoes.  It did take me longer to prepare them, but they cooked for a shorter period of time so it evened itself out.  I'm not an expert to say which potatoes are "better for you," but I've always thought that fresher is better.  I'll definitely be making these again!  And I can't wait to see what dish she tells me about next!
Dinner Party Potatoes
Dinner Party Potatoes
10 potatoes
1 small onion
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 stick butter
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 pint half & half cream
Boil the potatoes with the skin on until soft (about 20 minutes)
Let the potatoes cool until you can handle them easily.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Remove the potato skins, optional
Shred the potatoes
Dice the onion, add to the potatoes
Add 1 cup of the cheese to the potatoes
Season with salt & pepper to taste
Place the potato mixture in a greased 9X13 pan
Cut the butter into cubes and place on top of the potatoes
Cover with the remaining cheese
Pour the half & half over the potatoes
Bake uncovered for 40 minutes

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