*Note: Photo of Potatoes Unavailable Until Tomorrow. July 4th. I can’t take photos of the future, you know. Until then enjoy looking at Penny in her gnome costume*
**Update: You are stuck with the adorable-dog-in-gnome-costume picture because I didn’t get a good shot of the Fourth of July Potatoes. Its not that I didn’t try, I really did. They just weren’t photogenic. But they were delicious. And that is all that really matters.**
Every year my family celebrates the Fourth of July in true summer style: backyard pool party with water volleyball, lots of food, beer and music. There were years where so many people showed up, we would lose count. At one point, I know we had over 200 people eating, drinking, playing water volleyball and lounging around the pool. Things have since calmed down and downsized to “just family” and maybe a couple neighbors but two things remain the same: My Dad and The Food.
1. My Dad will set up speakers all around the pool and when the lyrics “Pour Some Sugar On Me” hit the sound system, he will pour a beer over his head. He will also insist he has only had “three beers,” yet he will be goofy enough to jump into the pool doing the splits. It is awesome.
2.The food stays the same. Every. Single. Year. Burgers, hot dogs and various side dishes including – most importantly – the Fourth of July Potatoes. Someone at one of those raucous parties introduced my family to this delectable hash brown casserole years and years ago. Before Pinterest. Before the Internet. So, its quite possible that this person invented hash brown casserole! Yes, I’m certain. The inventor of hash brown casserole shared their recipe with my family on that glorious Independence Day and ever since we have called them Fourth of July Potatoes. It could be Christmas Eve and we would call them Fourth of July Potatoes. (But let’s be realistic, we wouldn’t eat Fourth of July Potatoes on Christmas Eve. We would eat lasagna because that is what I insist on every year.)
Most people probably have their standard go-to-recipe for “hash brown casserole” and through the internet there are many variations out there. But I’m here to share the Famous Original Recipe of Fourth of July Potatoes.
Package of Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes (thawed – this is a crucial step!)
Can of Cream of Chicken Soup
8oz Sour Cream
8oz Cheese Whiz
1/4 cup Butter or Margarine divided
1 Onion diced
Salt & Pepper to taste
Shredded Cheddar Cheese (mild or sharp)
Mix together Cream of Chicken Soup, Sour Cream, Cheese Whiz, 2 Tablespoons of Melted Butter and Diced Onion. Stir in Shredded Potatoes. Add a handful of Shredded Cheese and stir into mix. Salt & Pepper to Taste. Spread cheesy potato mixture into a 9×13 pan. Top with cornflake crumbs & slices of the remaining butter. Cover & Bake at 350 for an hour and a half – then lower temp to 250 and top with shredded cheddar cheese — bake for 30min uncovered or until cheese is bubbly & melted. Enjoy!
My mom would like to throw her two cents in with the following comment:
“And spray that 9×13 Pyrex with cooking spray so you aren’t still trying to scrape it clean when you want to make your Christmas Eve lasagna.”
Notice she didn’t correct me about my dad pouring beer over his head or jumping into the pool doing the splits. Because it’s true.