The best kind of hand-me-down comes from the kitchen. And having been born into two families of great cooks, I’ve been graced with many including some I’ve had to grow into. Like certain elusive recipes of my mother’s that – she whipped up so effortlessly like magic—I could not recreate in my kitchen no matter what. Or like the countless times I refused cooking equipment cast offs –preferring brand new instead—when I now see them for the family heirlooms that they are, like my granny’s perfectly seasoned deep cast iron skillet that now sits on my cooktop. And this morning, the gift of this hand-me-down skillet and one of mom’s elusive recipes join forces in my kitchen to conjure up something good to eat.
Saturday morning in our household begins with breakfast. I use to favor going out–maybe to Classen Grill or Jimmy’s Egg–but these days, I prefer to eat what can be made by our own hands in our own kitchen in our old comfy nightclothes. Usually we break our fast with something simple. I’ll get out my copy of the Joy of Cooking and whip up some pancakes or my husband will make some of his ‘scratch’ biscuits that he wooed me with on his way to a marriage proposal. But this morning, we splurged, as my husband’s tender biscuits kept company with fried eggs, sausage and my mom’s golden hash browns that are really so easy to make – especially in granny’s cast iron skillet – that it causes me to wonder why we ever settled for frozen.
Mom’s Golden Hash Browns
For two servings, three medium peeled potatoes are best, as they ‘cook down’ while frying in the skillet. From start to finish, allow 20 to 30 minutes.
Using a box grater, grate the potatoes on a large plate
Lightly squeeze out the extra water with paper towels
Salt generously to taste – 1 teaspoon
Add to a lightly oiled hot skillet over medium high heat.
Dot with butter – no more than 2 tablespoons total
Then season top with black pepper.
Resist turning potatoes until a nice golden crust has formed.
Turn once and allow to brown on other side.
Taste and adjust seasonings before serving.