by Millie Bentley
Greetings. My mother did not like leftovers; she almost always made just enough food to fill us up with no leftovers. (One of the reasons for that is she probably didn’t have enough to make extra food. But we never went hungry no matter how bare the cupboard. Even in later years, ‘tho, when things were less tight financially, she didn’t like leftovers.) The only thing I ever saw her make to excess was mashed potatoes. And the reason she did that was so we could have tater cakes at the next meal. Now, I generally have leftovers, but not really on purpose. I have the bad habit of “cooking enough for Cox’s army”, my Grandma used to say. (I never knew exactly what she meant; do you?)
Anyway, when I have leftover mashed potatoes, I do make tater cakes. I’ll share my “recipe” with you, but you must use your own good cooking sense, because my measurements are not exact. So just experiment until they come out the way you like them.
2 or 3 cups of mashed potatoes
½ of a medium onion, grated
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup, about, flour
2 or 3 tablespoons bacon grease or olive oil
Wash your hands good. Put cold potatoes in a bowl; add onion, salt, pepper and egg. Mix well with your hands. Now the tricky part is to add flour until the right consistency is obtained to shape the potatoes into little patties about 3 inches around by about ¼ to ½ inch thick. Sometimes I’ve dipped them in more flour to help hold them together better and have a little crust. You will just have to experiment to make a patty or little cake that’s doesn’t fall apart or, on the other hand, become too doughy. Also, don’t make them too thick. Heat bacon grease or oil in a skillet and add your tater cakes in a single layer (of course) with enough room to turn. Fry over medium heat until crispy, then turn and finish cooking on the other side. Place on a cookie sheet in a warm oven until all tater cakes are done. Add more oil to skillet as needed. Serve hot. Umm-mm, good! (Mine were never as good as Mother’s.)
Until next week, dear Reader, vaya con Dios.