Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall Flavor Edition: The Cracker Chronicles

I'm joining Linda, who's doing Fall into Flavor on Mondays before the holidays begin.

As I pondered which recipe to share, I started thinking about my Aunt Bill’s Potato Casserole. Which reminded me that I haven’t written a Cracker Chronicle post in forever.

Aunt Bill was my great-great aunt. As in, she was my great grandmother’s youngest sister. But she was about the same age as my grandmother. I’m sure there’s a real story behind that which I’ll research another day. I have many memories of her, as she had a house right next to my great-grandmother’s house at Ft. Walton Beach where we spent our summers.

She was outspoken and expressive, like all the women in our family. Another steel magnolia. She was colorful, sturdy and long-lasting, however she lacked the sweet smelling bloom. We all loved her dearly.

My earliest memories of Aunt Bill are of the bird she owned. It was a loud parrot that demanded crackers that I was delighted to provide. He lived on the porch of her beach house and attracted the children like bees to honey. She played on that to get us to do her chores. She paid us, but it was so cheap, it makes me feel like a dinosaur to think what a dollar could buy back then. I’m going to hope that one of my cousins can correct me on this, but it seems to me she would take us to the Five and Dime Store and give us each a quarter to shop with. We could actually buy something with that! Sure, it was cheap and broke after a day but the thrill of going to the store with my cousins was great. We would stay in the store making our selections for at least an hour. Now I realize that the greatest gift Aunt Bill gave us was the wonderful memories.

I have a piece of furniture that I love that belonged to Aunt Bill. I got it from my grandmother. I call it a “library table” but it folds out and becomes a “game table” when you pull up the drop-down piece. I may be sentimental, but it evokes warm memories of my great-great aunts and their love of games like Pinochle, Scrabble and Bridge.

This story started with a recipe, and it’s time for me to take this dish out of the oven and eat, so here’s the “rest of the story”….

The women in our family laugh when we call it “Aunt Bill’s Potato Casserole” because as the story goes, she got it from the back of the hash brown potato bag and claimed it as her own. I think good recipes were the currency of friends back in that day.

You may have this recipe already, but let it be known, in the South, this is proclaimed to be:

Aunt Bill’s Potato Casserole

2 lb. bag frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
¼ cup softened butter
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
2 Cup grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 cups sour cream
½ cups chopped onion

Mix all of the above ingredients.
Place in a shallow casserole dish. Mix topping in a small bowl and spread over top.

2 cups crushed cornflakes (Put the cornflakes in a large baggie and crush with a rolling pin)
¼ cup softened butter

I work the butter and cornflakes together with my hands. Bake 45 min- 1 hour at 350 degress.

For more recipes, check out 2nd Cup of Coffee

**Added Note - As a result of Uncommon Blonde's question, I found out Aunt Bill's real name was Lilly! I never heard that. She obviously didn't like it. That fits too.


Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Nothing beats the old fashioned potato casseroles.

It just evokes sitting around granny's table.


Uncommon Blonde said...

Why did we call her Aunt Bill? That wasn't her first name was it?

sara said...

Omw, I make that casserole all the time!!! I will have to change the name now that I am living in the south!!! :)

I also have a library table that was my grandmothers! I love it!

Edie said...

Just look at your new profile picture! There's a little Rosebud in there! :) She is still as cute as ever.

Your potato casserole sounds delicious. Mmmmm.

Cinderella said...

It's amazaing that I just read this today...and thinking about you and all the warm and funny stories I've heard you share....I loved the memories you shared and the recipe! Thanks again and be blessed.