Friday, February 11, 2011

Family Recipe Friday... Fried Taters and Onion

Spending my teen years in the mountains of the Appalachia, I soon found that one of the staples in the diet here was that of fried taters and onions.

My Grandma's kitchen always had these leftovers!!!

Spuds are easily grown in the rocky soil, with crops usually coming in with an abundance.

As a young divorcee with 5 children to raise on my own, I used to raise a garden that was a whole acre in size. My thinking was always to make sure that my crops of potatoes, hullouts [beans] and tomatoes were plentiful. If those three crops were plenteous, I could feed my family through the winter!

Potatoes were often served at every meal in the old days. And sometimes... became the only item in a meal!

Grandma's taters and onions were cooked a little differently than I did, but they were so much more delightful!!!

Begin with a large, well-seasoned cast iron skillet. Cooking over an open fire or on a wood cookstove, heat the skillet until hot. Add a large, generous dollop [oh, about 1/3 cup] of home rendered lard into the skillet. Make sure it is good 'n hot! [If you ain't sure... drop a single drop of cold water into it and see if it sizzles good or not].

Here... let Grandma tell you how to fix this dish!

"Next take a dish pan full of peeled taters with 3 or 4 good sized peeled yeller onyuns. Now make shur you warshed 'em good in the crick water first, elstwise ya might get gunks o' dirt in yer taters!

Slice 'em all right into the skillet. By the time you get the last of 'em sliced and in the skillet, the first will be ready to be turned. So take yer best long handled pancake turner and turn 'em over. Ya want to turn 'em real frequent like, else they'll get burnt up.

Make shur you use plenty o' salt 'n pepper to give 'em good flavor! Ain't nuthin' worst than eatin' taters 'n onyuns wiffout salt 'n pepper!

Fry 'em till they're dun to yer liken. If ya like 'em crunchy and crisp... then ya got to make shur they all get browned and crisp. If not... then just cook 'em till they are soft.

Remove 'em from the skillet and drain 'em good on a old tea towel. [Remember... back in the day there wasn't anything like paper towels!] Let 'em drain gud.

Serve 'em while they's still hot. Sum like 'em served with hot biscuits 'n butter. Others with a slice of fried pork jowl on the side. Still others like to take 'em 'n make a samwitch outta 'em by sticking 'em between two slices of homemade light bread.

Most importan' of 'em ever chance ya get! The onyun will hep keep ya from gettin' colds, newmonie, and consumpshun and the like!"

[Don't laugh.... I know people today who still talk like that! You would think they'd never been to school at all! Oh well, come to think of it... I know some older folks who never did attend school! They were all born in the 30's and 40's!]

I can promise you... fried potatoes and onions are just as tasty when cooked in canola/ vegetable oil, in a cast iron skillet on an electric stove! And they are still a staple in most of the Appalachian culture today!

Well... at least in our household!


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