As I searched my data base for the recipe for this month, I decided to share a favorite that was passed on to me by my great scrap-booking friend Julie Mitsivins.
At a recent holiday get-together, I took notice of an empty casserole dish and waited for the response from the group. Sure enough the call rang out “Who made this! It’s to die for!”
I decided then and there that I would share that recipe with all of our readers – and I’ve renamed it “Death by Potatoes” (yummy and to-die-for).
Okay, first the history.
The potato is an old Peruvian staple, dating back to at least 6000 b.c! The Incas used it for many things, healing, measuring time, folk remedies, treating frostbite, sunburn, and indigestion – both raw and juiced.
As the Spanish trade routes were being established fifteenth century, this wonder-food was discovered by the Conquistadors. Experiencing the food treasure before them, they quickly recognized its value and loaded it up for shipment back to the old world. When the potato landed in Europe it was quickly prized as a super-food, In England Sir Walter Raleigh introduced the potato to Ireland. The new discovery was considered as a miracle crop – a whole food providing most of the nutrients for a healthy life style – and surely easier to grow than grains.
The potato arrived to Jamestown, in the 1600’s, by way of Bermuda. The locals learned to cultivate it, in the Americas. You can thank President Thomas Jefferson for serving the first French fry in 1801, to the visiting King Louis of France.
During the Alaskan / Klondike gold rush around 1900, the potato was said to be worth its weight in gold – due to the fact that good food was so hard (and expensive) to come by.
Around that time Cornelius Vanderbilt, sent his fry back to the kitchen complaining they were too thick. His chef then sliced the potato paper thin, fried them up and the “Saratoga Crunch” was born, or as we call it now the “potato chip.” So you see, any way you slice it, the potato is a wonder food, and for me a comfort food as well!
The Potato became the first vegetable to be grown in outer space – by NASA in October of 1995. It is slated to be a food source grown to sustain life in the space stations of the future.
The potato comes in over 100 varieties with about 110 calories in a 5.oz spud. Loaded with vitamin C and potassium, its the perfect side dish, appetizer, breakfast side and, of course, the key to the famous French fry and potato chip.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my story about how the Peruvian Wonder Food gave the world what is now the 4th largest grown crop on the planet. Let the chips fry!
And now, presenting “Death by Potato.”
24oz – frozen hash browns (I use Southern Style)
2 cups sour cream
1 can cream of chicken or mushroom soup
1 stick or 1/2 cup butter-melted
1 tsp salt
1 tbl minced onion
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese and Corn flakes or French’s Friend onions
Thaw potatoes, take off excess waterMix together sour cream, soup and butter, mix well.Add salt, onion and cheese, mix wellBlend in potatoUse a 2 Qt casserole dish or 10 X 13 pan; top with crushed corn flakes or fried onions. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.