Squash Casserole

squash casserole

Squash casserole. That’s what you make when squash season is here! You can add squash to garden salad, serve it raw on a vegetable tray, or saute it with onions or snow peas. Then you can make a squash casserole. What I like about this recipe is that you can do it up to a day ahead and then pop it in the oven. Certainly it can be mixed in the morning and not served until dinner that evening.

I’ve used saltine crackers and Ritz crackers, and I have to say that the Ritz gives it a little more flair and sweetness. Don’t overcook the squash. You just want to soften it so it won’t be crunchy when it comes out of the oven.

Over twenty-five years ago, I clipped a squash recipe from a local newspaper and used it for years. Then, over time and several moves, I lost the recipe and forgot about it. I’ve hunted and hunted for this recipe. I’ve called our local newspaper, but finding that recipe from all those years ago will take some digging. Finally, I combined several recipes and, through trial and error, came up with this one. It’s the most like the recipe that came from Betty Bane all those years ago. I hope you will enjoy this as much as I do.

(For my local cohorts, if you have the original recipe Betty posted, I would love to hear from you. Please PM me.)

 

Squash Casserole
Author: 
Recipe type: Vegetable
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Use all that summer squash to make a squash casserole. Easy to do and fun to eat.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups sliced squash
  • ½-1 cup diced onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup crushed Saltine or Ritz crackers
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup milk or cream
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
Instructions
  1. Wash and slice squash
  2. Cook onions and squash in small amount of water until soft but still firm - about 5 minutes
  3. Drain well
  4. Add butter on top of squash and onions and allow it to melt
  5. Mix crushed crackers and cheese together
  6. Beat eggs and add to milk
  7. Mix ½ cheese mixture to squash and add eggs/milk
  8. Put into casserole dish (9 x 9 or slightly larger)
  9. Top with remaining crumbs

squash casserole

Jacket Potatoes

jacket potatoes I remember the day my ninth grade English teacher told us that when company came to their house, her mom served jacket potatoes. Their guests had never heard of jacket potatoes, and thought it must be a gourmet dish.  This potato dish is about as un-gourmet as you can get, but it’s simple, easy, practical, and tasty. I couldn’t imagine not knowing about jacket potatoes. I assume they are given this name because you serve the potatoes right in their jackets.

We often had jacket potatoes on Saturday evening for supper, and it wasn’t until later that I figured out why. The jacket potatoes were the first part of Mama’s dutch fried potatoes that she planned to serve on Sunday. She just cooked more potatoes than what she needed for Sunday and viola! provided two meals in one top-of-the-stove cooking.

For these potatoes, you’ll just need see through peelings potatoes. Nothing with a thick, touch skin because, if you’re like me, you’ll eat the potatoes, peelings and all. Children enjoy mashing the potatoes and picking off the peelings, and it’s something a child of almost any age can do.

jacket potatoes

Cut the potato in half and place it skin side up. Press down with a fork and watch the peelings lift off the potatoes.

Wash the potatoes thoroughly, then cook them in water until they are tender. Remove from the water and let them drain. Serve them right away, because that will make them easier to peel.

To serve these potatoes, cut a potato in half. Put the potato on your plate, cut side down. Take a fork and mash the top down. This loosens the peelings and you can pull the peelings off the potatoes and discard them. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll mix those peelings into the potato and continue mashing until they are soft.

 

jacket potatoes

Add some butter, and season with salt and pepper.  Growing up, we often had these potatoes along with corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden. Sometimes we sliced the corn off the cob and mixed it in with the jacket potatoes. Yumm!

With the remainder of the potatoes, you pull the skin off and allow the potatoes to cool. Once they are cooled, you slice or shred them and use them to make potato salad or dutch fried potatoes.

 

Jacket Potatoes
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
A thin-peeling potato can be fixed and ready to serve in just minutes. Add some butter and salt and pepper, and you're good to go.
Ingredients
  • 1 potato per person
  • Butter - enough for each potato
  • Salt and Pepper
Instructions
  1. Wash potato
  2. Cook in boiling water until tender
  3. Drain water
  4. Allow to cool enough to handle potatoes with hands
  5. Place potato on plate and cut in half
  6. With peeling side on top, mash potato with a fork
  7. Peel off peelings from the top
  8. Either discard peelings or mix in with potato as you mash it
  9. Season with butter and salt and pepper


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pinterest jacket potatoes

 

(Dutch) Fried Potatoes

dutch fries

There are fried potatoes and home fries, and then there are dutch fried potatoes. 

I grew up with the real dutch fried potatoes, but we just called them fried potatoes. I don’t know of any community where these potatoes are made on a regular basis – unless an individual or two took the recipe with them when they moved away from “home” – which is western Maryland/Somerset County, Pennsylvania. If somebody you  know has ancestors who came from that community, they just might know how to make these dutch fried potatoes.

My mother often served these with ham or with her meatloaf.  When you serve meatloaf, you don’t have any broth to make a gravy. With these dutch fries, you don’t need any gravy.

I still like to serve these potatoes with my mama’s meatloaf recipe. They just seem to go together.

dutch fries

Some folks use raw potatoes to make home fries.  With these potatoes, you cook them first, then cool, peel, and shred them. Or, if you’d rather, you can slice the potatoes. They will keep in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for days. So if you’ve got a big crowd to feed, you can get these ready ahead of time and then fry them just before you’re ready to serve the food.

The potatoes you choose for this dish need to have thin peelings – so think you can almost see through them- so you want to stay away from russet or Idaho potatoes. When you use thin-peeling potatoes, you can skin the potatoes easily. It reminds me of  pulling sun-burned skin off my arms – it just pulls off without taking any potatoes with it. While the potatoes are still warm, grab hold of a loose piece of peeling, and just peel away, leaving every bit of potato in its place.

dutch fried potatoesTo fry the potatoes, your best venue is to use a cast iron skillet and real butter. Oh yes, nothing like it. You’ll also need some milk or some cream to add to the skillet right before serving them.  Wait until the potatoes are cold to shred them. (Some people like to slice their potatoes, but that’s not the way my mama did them.)

Remember that the longer a cast iron skillet is heated, the hotter it gets. Be sure not to have your burner on too high or you will be serving burnt offering instead of potatoes.

Heat the skillet and put enough butter in that it will cover the bottom of the skillet once it is melted. Put the shredded potatoes into the skillet, and then season as you’d like: a little or a lot of salt and pepper. (If you’re an onion fan, you can add some flecks of onion, but don’t tell anybody I said so.) When I was growing up, we never added onions to potatoes.  My home community folks won’t consider them dutch fried potatoes if you add onions, I can guarantee you that.

Don’t turn these babies too soon, because you want to give them time to brown. My cousin Lucy told me that she puts some butter on top of the potatoes; when the butter has melted, it’s time to turn the potatoes and you’ll have enough butter to keep the potatoes from sticking. Once the potatoes are browned to your liking, flip them over and allow the other side to brown as well.

dutch fried potatoes

Once the butter is melted, it’s time to turn the potatoes.

dutch fried potatoes

Half the potatoes have been turned.

The key ingredient to the dutch fried potatoes is the milk. The potatoes absorb the milk, making them richer and fuller. Add the milk to the potatoes just before you are ready to remove them from the skillet. Divide the potatoes into rivets so the milk can finger its way through all the potatoes. Allow the potatoes to absorb the milk and then turn them over just long enough to make sure there’s no extra milk hiding in there.

dutch fries

Allow the potatoes to draw in the milk, and turn them once. This photo shows the milk just after it was added and before I had made rivets.

These potatoes work great for a carry-in meal, but wait to add the milk until you’ve put the potatoes into the crock pot or dish you plan to take them in.  Fix them at home, add them to a crock pot, add your milk, and you’re ready to go.

dutch fries

That’s it. You’re ready to go!

(Dutch) Fried Potatoes
Author: 
Recipe type: Vegetable
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Not hash browns or home fries, but dutch fried potatoes. These potatoes will stick to your ribs and add a down-home feeling to your menu.
Ingredients
  • White or yellow potatoes with thin peelings - 1 medium per person
  • Butter - ¼ - ½ cup
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Milk - ½-1 cup
Instructions
  1. Wash potatoes well
  2. Cook in boiling water until just tender
  3. Remove from water, then peel the peelings off the potatoes
  4. Let the potatoes cool
  5. Shred potatoes
  6. Melt enough butter in cast iron skillet until it covers the bottom of the skillet
  7. Place shredded potatoes in skillet
  8. Season with salt and pepper
  9. Dot a few small pieces of butter on top of potatoes
  10. When butter is melted, turn the potatoes over
  11. Allow potatoes to brown on the other side
  12. Make rivets in potatoes and add milk
  13. Allow milk to seep through potatoes, then flip one more time.
  14. Serve.

dutch fried potatoes

Spinach Salad with Homemade Dressing

spinach salad

I fixed salad with strawberries for the first time last summer. This spring I was helping a niece and she served this salad with a homemade dressing. Of course I had to get the recipe, which came from my sister Alice.

While this dressing does has sugar in it, you will only need a tablespoon or two for a large bowl, so you’re not consuming an excessive amount of sugar. What I like about this salad is that it has plenty of iron, protein, and vitamins and minerals in it.

The spinach helps give you roughage; the hard boiled eggs provide protein, and the strawberries add vitamins to your diet. It’s colorful and tasty as well. The strawberries give it a definite twist – and it’s a good twist!

spinach salad

Put spinach and sliced hard-boiled eggs into a bowl, then add sliced strawberries. Drizzle the dressing on top; remember that as it sits, the dressing will soak down through all the layers of salad. In this case, less is more!

Spinach Salad with Homemade Dressing
Author: 
Recipe type: Dressing
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups
 
A sweet-sour dressing that spruces up any salad. Easy to mix, easy to store, easy to serve.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ⅔ cup vinegar
  • ½ cup mayo or salad dressing
  • ¼ cup mustard
  • 1½ cups vegetable oil (canola or olive)
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients into a blender and blend completely.
  2. Store in a covered container
  3. Keep refrigerated