Ah Easter. The holiday of indulgence.
Easter was always the holiday in my house that was about dying easter eggs, eating candy and getting crazy swag from the Easter Bunny. Cadbury eggs, Peeps, and day-glo Easter baskets replaced what was probably a more somber affair in other more observant homes. But despite the commercial undertones, it was always a time to gather family and friends around my mother's gorgeously decorated table for a fantastic brunch. Her table was always resplendent with pastel linens, egg shaped place holders, gorgeously colored tulips and wahtever family and friends we could drag to the feast. Most times when I lived in LA that consisted of roommates, neighbors , and any "strays" that we managed to recruit. And while the table and the company were great, it was the food that really was the star attraction. OMGTHEFOOD.
One of the things that I loved MOST about my mother's Easter brunch was the Au Gratin Potatoes. Unlike any other that I have had, they had a gorgeously creamy texture, were thick, rich and oh so delicious. Do not think about the calories because like every other major holiday... they don't matter. Some years, when I would be counting calories (I don't waste my time with that anymore), I would liken the Au Gratin to arteriole glue... but holy mackeral... they are worth every saturated fat laden bite. And honestly people, it's once a year... lighten up.Or rather, don't lighten up, fatten up.
The other thing that I love is that the recipe came from one of my mom's dearest friends. She passed away a long time ago, but every year we have a little reminder of her when we make this. It's a recipe that has been passed around among the family and is being served now at different tables for new groups of people who are loving it.
That's the one thing about food. It can remind you of love and friends and great times past... and create more memories every time you eat it.
I hope that everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend!
Bub's Au Gratin Potatoes
1 pint half and half
4 oz of cheddar cheese
1 pound of velveeta - omg VELVEETA makes everything better... just try not to think about it
6 oz of butter
2 pounds of southern style frozen potatoes - you can get these in the frozen vegetable section - seems weird but they are the PERFECT size and consistency for this recipe
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large sauce pan, melt the half and half, cheddar cheese, velveeta and butter. Place the bag of potatoes in a 9x12 casserole and pour the sauce over the top. Stir together and let sit for an hour.
Bake for 1 hour and serve hot.
Easiest recipe ever and seriously, don't let the cheese/butter/DELICIOUSNESS be daunting. It is fabulous and easy to make ahead if you are bringing something to the parents/in-laws for Easter Brunch. I normally make everything ahead of time and then cook it wherever we are so it is hot and bubbly at serving time.