Homemade scalloped potatoes are an ideal, inexpensive dish to carry from one’s oven to the home of another when invited to Thanksgiving dinner. These are times when many do not have enough cash to afford a good bottle of wine.
Although food markets offer instant varieties of dehydrated potato products that promise an artificial golden glob of cylinder spuds in less than ten minutes, it is more appetizing and fashionable to cook using only fresh ingredients.
Potatoes should be pared with a knife, using one hand to hold the vegetable and the other, the blade. Scraping them obsessively with a razor-like device sends bad vibes through the soul of the food, just as pork, beef and poultry raised inorganically causes mental illness in those who eat such cruelly cared for cattle.
In poorer Irish families in generations past, women with just their knives were judged by their efficiency at performing near-perfect circumcision upon the tissue-thin outer-layer of the tuber’s flesh. A wasteful woman who couldn’t peel potatoes without wasting any of the sweet meat was viewed upon as untrained and as nearly as despicable a common whore.
In 2009, a five- pound bag of potatoes can be purchased in America’s largest cities for under $1– there is no need to exhibit such house-wife efficiency; besides, a dish that serves a dozen takes just seven peeled potatoes sliced at the thinnest width that one’s talent with a knife permits. Even if slices are thick, there is no way to make bad-tasting scalloped potatoes.
To make the bubbly sauce which causes the scalloping of the potatoes to occur requires a half stick of butter melted in a saucepan, followed by a handful of chopped onion which should be cooked until tender but not brown. Stir in a handful of flour, a teaspoon of salt and a dash of pepper and then pour in almost three cups of milk. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly.
Place half the sliced potatoes in a greased casserole dish, cover with half the sauce and repeat with another layer, ending with the sauce. Bake covered in a 350 degree oven for an hour, stirring once. Uncover, bake 30 minutes more.
For orange tinted scalloped potatoes as advertised on packages of instant varieties, add a cup of American cheese to the sauce until melted. White scalloped potatoes without the cheese go better with turkey at Thanksgiving dinners and they are less expensive to make.
Onion: $. 50
Butter: $. 50
Flour: $. 20
Milk: $. 80
Potatoes: Practically free