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Potatoes – From Dry Storage to Masterpiece

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This Christmas I had fun preparing two different types of meals for my family.  One, reserved for Christmas day, broke tradition with a yummy spinach stuffed pork loin served with a dapple of my home canned Mint Jelly.  The second, served Christmas Eve, was a more traditional meal comprised of a spiral honey ham, scalloped potatoes and a side of my home canned Ginger Carrots!  Yes – it is a great deal of cooking but, you know me, I wouldn't have it any other way!

I was blessed to have a decent supply of potatoes on hand from this falls' harvest.  It is easy to store potatoes long-term if you know what to do:

  1. Only store potatoes which are free from blemish, rot, soft spots and sprouts.
  2. After harvesting your potatoes, brush off excess dirt and allow them to set out in the sun for a full day giving them time to dry before storing.  Do NOT wash with water.
  3. Store them in a dark, dry place where the temperature ranges from 50° to 60° Fahrenheit
  4. Be sure to store your potatoes with good ventilation such as a Jute basket/liner or on a rack ensuring the potatoes have good spacingand are not touching each other.
  5. When ready to use your potatoes, wash thoroughly with a vegetable brush.

Keep in mind – you can use this same storage techniques with store bought potatoes!  It helps to know you can stretch a dollar by lengthening their storage time!

Here is the recipe from my kitchen to yours:

Diane’s Scalloped Potatoes

6-7 Large Potatoes*

1 Medium Onion

1 12-oz can Evaporated Milk

3 Tablespoons of Sour Cream

5 Fresh Sprigs of Thyme – use leaves only

2 Tablespoons of Dried Parsley; if you prefer fresh parsley be sure to chop fine

2 Tablespoons of Minced Garlic

1 Teaspoon Crushed Rosemary

¼ Teaspoon Sea Salt

Black Pepper to taste – couple dashes

1/2 cup Sliced Ham – this is optional! I had a spiral ham waiting in the wing so I choose to remove a couple slices, cut them into small pieces and apply to the potato layers. Your choice!

*The number of potatoes required depends on the number of mouths you intend to feed.  I clean, peeled and sliced 8 pounds of potatoes and 1 large onion – enough to feed 15 people – so you do the math accordingly!  🙂  The amount above reflects filling one 9×13 glass baking dish.

Using a 9×13 glass baking dish, coat the bottom and sides with butter or Crisco then cover with a layer of sliced potatoes.  Then add onions and sprinkle cheddar cheese to lightly cover the potatoes.  Dash salt and pepper across the potatoes and onions.  Repeat this step until the glass dish is filled to the top.  If you are also using ham, sprinkle cut pieces over top the potato/onion layer.

Next whisk the remaining ingredients together in a bowl and pour over the entire dish of layered potatoes.  Sprinkle a nice layer of cheddar cheese on the very top and place in an oven – uncovered.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender and the cheese is bubbly and browned on top.  You may also test for doneness by pressing a fork into the potato – if it breaks through nicely and is not hard, your side dish is ready.

Enjoy~
The Canning Diva

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