At the end of 2004, I was getting ready to leave BYU and spend some time at home. I’d had some health problems and I’d gotten far behind in school – I was overwhelmed and needed a break, and thankfully my parents were understanding when I said I wanted to move back for a while. Before the semester ended, I wanted to go see The Nutcracker with friends, and I planned a nice steak dinner.

The dinner didn’t go as planned, but I made a side called “creamy potluck potatoes.” (Side note: I wrote down the recipe with the title “Egypt potatoes.” I’d made a cake for a ward auction shortly before this dinner, and the person who bought it asked if I was from Egypt. Aside from my name sounding not-white, I’m pretty much white as white gets. But I wanted to pay tribute to the ridiculousness of Mika-the-Egyptian somehow.) As Jarom was on his mission at the time, I invited another guy to be my date. He described the potatoes as “luscious” (and his comment was immortalized in my recipe book). I wanted them recently, but I also wanted funeral potatoes*. So yesterday I tried combining the recipes. They’re essentially similar – tons of cheese, a cream-of-something soup, potatoes in a casserole dish. The Egypt potatoes go so far as to have sour cream, cream cheese, AND butter (plus a few other things). I thought I could just toss some cornflakes on top and call it good.

Yesterday, I was almost ready to put the potatoes in the oven when the power went out. It had started snowing Monday night and didn’t let up until late last night, but thankfully the power was only out for 40 minutes or so, during which I fantasizes about the potatoes. Are you surprised that when I eventually made them, they weren’t that great? Apart from needing more salt, they just didn’t have much flavor. (There was seasoning in the recipe – but not nearly enough, I think.)

So now I’m on the hunt for the best cheesy, creamy potato recipe. Have one?

* Funeral potatoes are commonly brought to funeral luncheons, brunches, and family meals in Utah and Idaho. I’m sure they exist in other areas with a different name. Everyone seems to have their own version – some use shredded hash browns, others potato chunks; some have onions or green onions; most have cornflakes on top. Always baked in a casserole dish and almost always delicious.


8 Comments on “Potatoes”

  1. Bridget says:

    They are called scalloped potatoes in non-Mormon places.

    • Mika says:

      I’m going to agree with Jarom, scalloped potatoes are sliced and layered. My mom made scalloped potatoes growing up but I’d never had funeral potatoes (not just the name – but the dish itself) until I came out to Utah.

  2. Jarom says:

    I think scalloped potatoes pretty much have to be thin slices. Funeral potatoes are more often shredded or diced. Though I believe either could fall under the category of potatoes au gratin.

    • Mika says:

      I always felt justified in hating potatoes au gratin because it sounds like “rotten.” Though come to think of it, maybe I’ve never eaten potatoes au gratin. Surprised, anyone? Nope. Didn’t think so.

  3. Kimberlee says:

    I remember that dinner. I still feel really bad…. We need to go see the Nutcracker again (and make proposal steaks!)

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