Au Gratin Potatoes

Oh, how I’m enjoying these older recipes. Today’s is from a 1894 cookbook . Something I’ve noticed all these recipes have in common is how few ingredients they have, and how easy they are to make. It makes sense when you think about it though. Women back then were doing everything by hand: laundry, dishes, making soap, making clothing, doing all the baking, cooking, and preserving food, milking the cow, raising chickens, collecting eggs, and keeping the fire going in the cook stove – all while raising 5, 6, or 10 kids. Who had time for complicated, time-consuming cooking?

I don’t think it was thought of as a hobby, but probably, “I need to get dinner on the table fast for these 10 hooligan precious angelic children of mine before they revolt and tear the house down.”

Or something along those lines. Anyway, here’s the recipe:

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INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Peeled and sliced boiled potatoes*
  • salt and pepper to taste

*The recipe calls for “boiled potatoes”, but doesn’t specify an amount. So I just started peeling and slicing potatoes until I filled my casserole dish.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Once you have your potatoes peeled and sliced, put them in a large pot or saucepan, cover with water, and boil until tender. Drain off water, cover pot, and set aside. In a medium saucepan melt the butter,

and then add the flour.

Stir over low heat until it just bubbly. Add milk.

Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute, or until slightly thickened.  Remove from heat. Grease your 2 quart casserole dish, and then add 1/2 of the boiled potatoes.

Sprinkle with 1/2 of the chopped onion,

pour 1/2 of the sauce evenly,

and then add salt and pepper to taste. Add the rest of the potatoes,

onion,

and more salt and pepper. Then cover with the cheddar cheese,

and pour the remaining sauce evenly over the top.

Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. You can switch up this recipe if you like. Use a different cheese, omit the onion, or add cooked cubed ham.

Now, what to have with the potatoes? How about fried chicken from a 1921 recipe?

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——-> UP NEXT: Fried Chicken from a 1921 recipe. It’s so good that the chicken willingly gave up his life for it.