Sunday 12 April 2020

Scalloped Potatoes

When it comes to times of stress and hardship, few things provide comfort like the combination of cheese and potatoes. How else can you explain Wendy's Bacon Cheese Baked Potato, O'Grady's Au Gratin potato chips and the caker classic Schwartzie's Hash Browns, a.k.a Funeral Potatoes?

This week’s recipe for Scalloped Potatoes comes from the 1976 “New Y Cook Book” from Owen Sound, Ontario. The recipe had an asterisk beside it which means it was a reprint from the 1930 and 1956 editions. In other words, you’re looking at another tried-and-true cheese n' tater caker classic!

Peel and slice enough potatoes for a 1 ½ to 2-quart casserole. Parboil for 5 minutes. Drain and place in casserole. Add a little chopped onion, if desired. Add the following:
1 can cream of chicken soup
½ to ¾ cup of Cheez Whiz
Enough milk to make about 2 cups liquid
When this is all combined, add to potatoes in casserole. Dot with butter and bake at 350 degrees. 

I look for any excuse to buy Cheez Whiz. It’s perfect on celery sticks, Ritz crackers and toast. I also use it as lip moisturizer in the winter. In fact, Cheez Whiz is one of the four caker food groups, along with Cream of Anything soup, Saltines and shredded coconut. 

The recipe was vague about the number of potatoes to use so I had to guess. Suffice to say, I bought too many. I ended up using about four and turned the rest into batteries

When I was growing up, my mom used to make scalloped potatoes but not that often. I think it was all the slicing. She was more the “boil-then-mash-the-hell-out-of-it” kind of gal.

The recipe also calls for Cream of Chicken soup, a variety that has always mystified me. First off, who knew that chickens produce cream? And secondly, what part of a chicken does the cream come from? On second thought, never mind. I don't need to know.

I cooked the scalloped potatoes uncovered for about 45 minutes, just until everything started to get nice and brown around the edges. 

When I served these to my Italian husband, he said, “I’m used to B├ęchamel sauce and nutmeg in my scalloped potatoes.” Honestly, the Roman attitude alone is enough to make me climb the walls!!! So imagine how sweet my victory tasted when Signor Nutmeg went back for seconds.

Seriously, these scalloped potatoes were fricking delicious. They were cheesy, creamy, salty, chickeny and kept my belly full for almost an entire hour. I’d make them again in a heartbeat. If I needed comfort. Or Cheez Whiz. In other words, I'd eat these every day.

Shout to the YM-YWCA of Owen Sound! Thank you for your good work – and your good food! I’ll be back next week for more culinary magic. Until then, stay home, stay safe and eat caker food.


  1. What fun you have with cookbooks. I never thought to par boil the potatoes which is a great idea I will now use. As for Cheese Whiz, we never had it in the house as my parents were cheese purists. I suppose you could use any cream soup instead of mushroom. I make my own as the DH can't tolerate MSG. Thanks.

    1. You could use any soup you like. Except maybe for vegetable. Or chicken noodle. I don't understand the Cheez Whiz thing in terms of your parents being "purists." You're telling me cheese spelled with a "z" isn't real cheese?