When ever our family gets together we all bring a dish to pass, so all of the cooking doesn’t fall on whoever is hosting the party. Many years ago, I don’t remember how many but it’s probably going on twenty, for our Christmas brunch celebration I began making a potato dish, it became a hit, and I think I have made it every year since. I’m going to share the recipe with you.
Ruth’s Potato Stuff has become it’s name, because after years of referring to it as Ruth’s potato stuff, my sister told me that I had to give it a name. I said “you already did. It’s Ruth’s Potato Stuff because that is how everyone knows it.” (I know, I’m revealing my quirkiness)
Usually I make it on Christmas Eve so that we can have it when we all get together on Christmas morning, but this year we will be having our family Christmas brunch tomorrow, so I will make the potato stuff today, Christmas Day.
I start fairly early. It takes along time to make, since everything gets cooked separately before being put together. Remember this is a party recipe, so the proportions are large because it is meant to feed many.
I start by boiling about 8-10 lbs. of potatoes and hard boiling about a dozen eggs. I then let them cool. Later in the day I cut 2 lbs. of bacon. Into about 1 inch pieces and fry them up. While the bacon is cooking I peel the potatoes and slice them (around 1/2 inch thick), peel the eggs and cut them in small(crumble-like) pieces, and shred about 16 oz. of sharp cheddar cheese. When the bacon is crispy I drain it on paper towel. I pull my large electric frying pan out of the back of the cupboard, where it has been stored since the last time I used it (last Christmas). I melt two sticks of butter in the frying pan and add the potatoes. I sprinkle them generously with Lawrly’s Seasoning Salt and turn them as the begin to get crispy. After I figure they have a decent amount of crispy and seasoning salt throughout, I turn the frying pan down and top the potatoes with the egg crumbles, the bacon pieces and lastly the shredded cheese. I leave the frying pan on low and cover just long enough to melt the cheese.
Fortunately this time of year the nights are cold, so I can (with the cover on it) store the whole pan in my vehicle overnight. (I would never be able to fit it in the fridge.) At this time I also take the plug for electric frying pan so I don’t forget it in the morning. The hardest part about this process is the drive to our brunch destination makes us really hungry because the potato stuff smells so good.
Once at our destination I take the frying pan in and plug it in. It will probably take at least 20 minutes for this to heat through and once people start digging into it, the ingredients get mixed together well.
This has never been a secret recipe, and I believe one of my sisters has made it before, but one of the reason I am sharing this is because it has become part of our family tradition, and I want my daughters to know how to make it. Even though they now have written instructions, I can’t imagine any one of my daughters making this. While they have varying degrees of cooking skills, they all seem to lack a love of cooking. What I can imagine is a future where their Christmas Eve is spent with the four of them together making potato stuff or perhaps their husbands making potato stuff.
Now I must say Merry Christmas and get back to making Potato Stuff.