Welcome to Lesson 25 of When Sue Began to Cook. If you’re new, click the book link to be transported to Lesson 1, where the adventure begins, and we meet Sue, her friend Ruth Ann, and Sue’s mother Bettina, Twenties homemaker extraordinaire. This week Sue makes Escalloped Potatoes under her mother’s guidance.
Scalloped Potatoes, or Escalloped Potatoes, are a U.S. tradition. The Henry Ford Museum posts a recipe from 1898 here. Escalloped potatoes are warm, filling, and cheap. They contain vegetables and dairy, two items on every Twenties cook’s daily list.
And then there are the pimientos. The Twenties cook put pimientos in everything. They provided color and just a bit of extra nutrition. When Sue makes Escalloped Potatoes during her Saturday cooking lesson, she puts pimientos in the recipe. Feel free to leave them out if you like. I probably will.
Let’s see what Sue has to say about making Escalloped Potatoes on this Saturday morning.
Sue’s Diary Entry for Escalloped Potatoes
This has been a cold raw Saturday for May, so Mother said it was just the day for Escalloped Potatoes. “We’ll use up the old ones I have on hand. New potatoes taste better than old ones in the Spring.”
Escalloped Potatoes sound hard, but are really very easy to make. Of course it isn’t easy to slice raw potatoes very thin, but I’m sure this lesson did us a lot of good. The little vegetable knife must be sharp!
Oh, I mustn’t forget to write something else down. We used only a part of the canned pimientos and Mother had us pur the rest in a little bowl and cover them carefully with cold water. She told us that pimientos would keep a long time if you renewed the water every day. Lots of houskeepers don’t know that, and their pimientos get mouldy very soon and have to bre thrown away.
Next week we are going to begin house cleaning if the weather is pleasant. And Ruth Ann is so excited over it that she has begged Mother to let her help every night after school. She says there isn’t anything so much fun as putting drawers in order. I’m afraid I can think of lots of things more pleasant than that, but then, it will help to have Ruth Ann here taking an interest in things. But Mother says we will have our cooking lesson next Saturday just the same. Not even house cleaning shall interfere with that!
- 3 cups raw potatoes peeled and sliced very thin
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1½ tsp salt
- ⅓ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp celery salt [you may want to reduce salt by ¼ tsp]
- 2 tbsp pimientos cut very fine with kitchen scissors
- 2 cups milk
- 3 tbsp butter melted
- We peeled the potatoes and then sliced them very thin, just as thin as we could.
- Then Mother had us each mix our potatoes, flour, salt, paprika, celery salt, and pimientos very carefully and empty them into buttered baking dishes.
- Then we poured the milk and the butter over the top and baked the potatoes in a moderate oven for fifty minutes.Note: Moderate oven = 375 degrees F.