It’s a rite of passage…hosting the holiday meal. I have warm and wonderful memories of holidays at my grandparents’ homes. I was fortunate enough to have both sets of grandparents until after I had children of my own. While the style, ambiance and character of the meal was different in the 2 homes, the obvious preparation, excitement, and love put into the orchestration of the day was not. Every detail had been thought out and carried through so that when the day arrived, all who came enjoyed the meal, conversation, and games.
Now the torch has been handed down and I have some enormous shoes to fill. It would be easy to get overwhelmed at the thought of trying to replicate what my grandmothers had become experts at. At times I have allowed myself to feel that pressure to measure up. But this year I realized that my holiday needs to reflect me and my personality and tastes, just as my grandmothers’ reflected them.
My Christmas gathering will be much less formal, but I may still pull out some of grandma’s china to use as serving dishes. And of course there will be a few recipes that I will duplicate because, well, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas for me, without them. I guess part of creating my own holiday is still going to be shaped by the things I remember and love about my past Christmases. Somehow that is what makes Christmas such a treasured and special time of year…it’s one of the few times we still hold tight to our traditions and in this case, it’s a good thing.
So after all that reflecting, and even though it takes 2 hours to bake, here’s my favorite family recipe for potatoes. This year it will pair beautifully with the brisket my hubby will be smoking….
Scalloped Hash Browns
1/3 Cup butter, melted
2 lbs. frozen shredded hash browns (approx. 4 Cups)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can potato soup
1 – 8 oz. carton sour cream
1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 Cups grated cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 250F Combine all ingredients except the cheddar cheese. Spread mixture in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Sprinkle cheese over the top. Bake at 250F for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven; increase temp to 350F. Cover dish with foil and return to oven to bake for 30 minutes at 350F.
Do you have a fave holiday recipe you’d care to share? Feel free to do so in the comments!