Turning on the oven. It can be one of the greatest things ever and one of the worst. In Wisconsin where the current temperature is -4°, turning on the oven is the greatest. It warms up the kitchen and by default, you. In Arizona in the middle of August when it’s 112° outside, the oven is the absolute worst. The air conditioning is blasting, you’re wearing as few clothes as decently possible and you’re laying on the cold tiles of the kitchen floor to try and keep from dying.
I couldn’t have chosen two more drastically different places to live, but that was kind of the point. When I chose Arizona State, I wasn’t so much drawn to the lure of a party school as much as I was drawn to the allure of a different experience. I’m a firm believer of experiencing all sorts of things, so when it came to choosing colleges I didn’t apply to a single Wisconsin school. I wanted something else. Don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely a Wisconsinite at heart (you can tell by my sometimes accent, you betcha) and I will defend the Packers, cheese and calling it a bubbler with revere. I decided against Fordham, Minnesota, Ball State, Syracuse and Yale (because I got waitlisted, but shhhhh) and ultimately chose ASU because of its phenomenal broadcast journalism program and snow-less campus. I wanted to mix things up. By things, I do not mean cheap alcohol and cranberry juice cocktail. I guess it’s probably strange that I go to a huge party school and really don’t even party. Unless you count Just Dance for the Wii and delivery pizza. Heh.
Embracing things Wisconsin, this warm, bubbly dish uses a bunch of dairy products. Dairy products come from cows. We have so many cows here. And yes, Arizona friends and every other person not from the Midwest: All Wisconsinites live on farms (no we don’t). Warm up your house, your bellies and get your carby, cheesy fix. Don’t worry, I tried to lighten it up a little for you. Also please excuse the photo. I didn’t have the wonderful lighting of day and my wonderful camera. Vacation, people.
Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
3 pounds peeled Yukon gold potatoes
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon thyme
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheddar (I used a blend of Wisconsin, Vermont and sharp)
Preheat oven to 365°
1. Slice potatoes 1/8th of an inch thick, let soak in cold water. Drain and pat dry.
2. Toss potato slices with salt, oregano, parsley, thyme, black pepper and garlic powder.
3. Melt butter in saucepan.
4. Add onions and garlic, cook until translucent.
5. Add flour, cook until the flour turns a pale golden color.
6. Add cream and milk, simmer on medium heat for one minute, until slightly thickened but not so much that it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.
7. Spoon a little bit of cream mixture into the bottom of a large baking dish. Layer 1/2 the potatoes into the dish.
8. Sprinkle 1/2 the cheese over the potatoes, followed by half the remaining cream mixture.
9. Top with second half of potatoes, cream mixture and then cheese. Cover with foil and bake about 1 hour.
10. Remove foil 5 minutes before done to let cheese on top brown. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.