Happy New Year! It’s 2019 in New Zealand, and has been all day. As the rest of you catch up, I wish you all the best for whatever this year brings.
For the US, it brings the first major Democratic candidate to announce for the 2020 election: Elizabeth Warren. I like Warren and think she would be a good president. However, I’m not sure she will be a good candidate. Every now and then she makes basic but major blunders. The most recent example is “proving” she has Native American ancestry. I much prefer her to Bernie though. I’ve never been a Bernie fan.
There are many others who are lining up on the Democratic side for 2020. It will be a good opportunity for them to get the White House back after only four years. Given his unpopularity, it will be difficult for Trump to win a second term. The only things in his favour are the Electoral College and the huge amount of gerrymandering, both of which favour the Republicans.
About Potatoes to Die For
But back to more important things – food! I promised I would provide the recipe for Potatoes to Die For after a few people began requesting it when I said it was one of the things I was making for Christmas lunch.
The original recipe came from one of my brothers-in-law. Robert is an excellent cook, and has been tantalizing our family’s taste buds since shortly after he and my sister Brenda began dating. I tried several times, but could never manage to get the recipe to taste as good as his. So, I made some adaptions and came up with this simpler version, which is nevertheless delicious.
I’ve put Gruyere cheese in the recipe as that’s what was in Rob’s original. However, I’ve made it several times with Edam cheese, and since Christmas I’ve decided I prefer my version with Edam. You could probably use whatever cheese you prefer though obviously, a milder cheese is probably better for kids.
Anyway, here it is! I use a large pie dish about 30 cm x 20 cm (12 x 8 inches). Mine is ceramic and the dish should be ceramic, Pyrex, or similar. You could alternatively use a smaller but deeper dish and put the potatoes in three layers instead of two.
10 medium potatoes
3 large cloves of garlic, chopped
¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups low-fat sour cream
½ cup low-fat milk
200 grams (7 ounces) Gruyere cheese, grated
1. Wash and cook potatoes (by boiling).
2. Cool. (You can hasten the cooling by rinsing them for a few minutes in cold water, patting them dry with paper towels, and putting them in the fridge.)
3. Mix together all ingredients except potatoes.
4. Spray dish with cooking spray or similar. (This is important as otherwise the potatoes will stick and the dish will be a nightmare to clean.)
5. Slice potatoes into 5 mm (¼ inch) slices.
6. Spread half potatoes evenly over the base of the dish.
7. Spread half the mixture over the potatoes.
8. Place remaining potato slices evenly on top of the dish.
9. Spread remaining mixture over potatoes.
10. Cook at 180˚C (350°F) until top begins to brown (about 1¼ hours).
As I said above, if Gruyere isn’t available, I use Edam and have now decided I’ll use Edam in the future. Edam is also cheaper, which is a bit of a bonus given the price of dairy products these days. Basically, use any cheese that suits your palate.
Use new, non-floury potatoes. As the potatoes will be sliced once cooked and cooled, choose the same sort of potato you would for potato salad i.e. one that holds together after cooking.
Fresh garlic is best, as is chopping rather than crushing. The taste difference is noticeable. However, the dish can be made with pre-crushed garlic.
I prefer the flavour of low-fat milk and sour cream. Full fat sour cream in particular makes the dish quite rich and, imo, too heavy.
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Yum, yum! Thank you, Heather, I look forward to trying this. 🙂
Good morning Heather –
Thank you for the recipe. I would probably make a couple of changes, but then, I do that with most recipes.
May I respectfully disagree with you about Elizabeth Warren’s family research? As someone who became interested in my own family almost a decade ago, I find her curiosity unremarkable, and not a “major blunder”. All she was doing was finding out whether family legend was true. NBD in my book. If she were not in the public eye, nobody would care. The reason people care is that Don the Con made a big deal out of it. And, he promised a big charitable donation if it were true, and then reneged after she care up with the proof. And yet, THAT was just passed off as one more little piece of his basic BS.
I am more interested in hearing her policy proposals, and in how she will deal with the massive dishonesty coming out of the Republican party.
I frankly don’t think the US is ready for a woman president. Two weeks into Hilary Clinton’s tenure as First Lady *an UNELECTED position), a Republican National Committee operative was instructed to begin planting lies about her in the press. He was told to say that his information was coming from the Secret Service, so it would sound convincing. Then, he followed up his stories with “talking points” planted in the right-wing media.
I first found out about this from a Molly Ivins column, but the interview with the RNC operative was from Time Magazine. Ivins’ comment was that she couldn’t recall the Democrats treating Barbara Bush like that.
And the lies just kept on coming, even when Clinton had left the White House, and Hilary ran for the Senate.
I expect the same thing to happen to Warren. The people who said that they’d vote for a woman, just not Hilary, will now find reasons along the same vein, like Warren’t family research, to define mundane actions as “major blunders”.
Another example: Do you remember the whole noise about the Clinton Foundation? The Clinton Foundation has the highest rating from Charity Watch, and it has since its beginning. It is still in operation, and still doing what it was founded to do. Have you noticed what happened to Trump’s foundation? Disbanded, being investigated, and will probably have criminal charges leveled against it soon. And, where was the media focus? Hmmm….
A big part of the problem lies with media attention to items which generate a lot of hits. Policy discussions do not. Trump got, and continues to get, plenty of attention because his behavior is outrageous. If you look at analyses of media time during the 2016 campaign, he got the lion’s share of time, column inches, and internet hits, all for free. And why? Because people were, and are, fascinated. Wow, what’s he doing NOW?
Until we can separate ourselves from being riveted by that, and focus on policy and outcomes, the situation will not change. American media love Trump, precisely because he’s good for them. No matter how “unpopular” he may be, he’ll get the attention.
Sorry for the rant.
Happy New Year.
I agree with you completely about the woman thing. Much is always made of having a woman as Commander-in-Chief too as if a woman couldn’t do that. The truth is that the average woman is actually better suited to the job than the average man, and Hillary would have been particularly good given her history. As many pointed out, she would have been the best qualified person in the job for decades because of her experience.
I have no problem with Elizabeth Warren being interested in her family history and even checking out whether the family legend was true. I stick by my assertion that it was a mistake to go public with the results. It would have been a useful fact to keep up her sleeve if an attack came on the subject though.
Hi Linda. I thought you might enjoy this cartoon about Elizabeth Warren. (I like it anyway.)
Regarding the politics – I think anyone who runs for two years, you would get very tired of. Can you do potatoes without the carbs? Probably not. Have a good year.
Here in NZ we can purchase lower carb potatoes – Lotatoes. The texture would be OK, but I’m not sure the flavour would quite match. I suspect they would make a good meal, but not “to die for”.
I’ll be. I only asked because you know, us diabetics. I’d eat the real thing, just maybe a little less.
I have diabetes too – it’s one of the reasons I originally used the low-fat versions of the dairy products. Then I discovered I preferred the flavour anyway. Potatoes aren’t too bad as long as you don’t eat too many. I rarely eat potatoes, and when I do I only have a small serving. This dish can be made smaller obviously, and keeps well in the fridge to be heated up for meals over 2-3 days too.
Hi Heather. I do a similar potato dish (in fact we are having it today), which is rich and cheesy. We add finely chopped red pepper, and my family add chopped fried bacon to theirs. Me, being a vegetarian, I add some vege sausage or vege ‘chicken’. Very yum ????
Sounds yummy! I add finely chopped ham cubes to my potato salad, and given your comment, I think I’ll try adding it to this dish as well.
Thanks Heather. Going to try this recipe for sure. My family will love it!
Happy New Year!
Good one. I’ll be interested to hear how you and they like it!
And just for the helluvit:
Ha ha! Very good. 😀