The Perfect Storm! Given the temperatures are reaching record lows, I had some leftover ham and I actually took a snow day today I thought I’d make some heartwarming comfort food. This is another one of my mother’s recipes and I’m getting closer to getting it to taste almost as good as hers! I thought this would not only warm up our tummies, but warm up our hearts and souls. I miss my mother more and more each day. In the beginning I certainly missed her, however the flurry of activity surrounding a loved one’s death and the number of people who surround you kind of eases the pain. In recent weeks I’ve noticed her absence more and more. Every time I turn around I think that I have to remember to tell her something. It really pisses me off when I want to ask her how to make something or have her remind me that I have to remember to do something!! I also miss her when I’m watching one of her favorite shows and look over to see if she’s enjoying it as much as I am. Damn it! However, she keeps showing up in various places. Say what you will, but I believe our loved ones come back for a visit.
Ham and scalloped potatoes is probably a retro dish. I love to find new recipes, but I also love to make the dishes I grew up eating. Although my mother probably grew up eating and learning how to make a lot of Italian dishes she made quite a variety for us when we were kids. Every single night we all sat at the table without failure eating together. No one told us that this was a must – it was the American way back in the 60’s! And most certainly the Italian way! Today I get a kick out of the family experts who have to tell us eating together is what builds strong families. Really? Geez, thanks for letting us know!
So here is how you make this creamy and darn near succulent ham and scalloped potatoes! Cream sauce can sometimes be a challenge. It may come out too thick or kind of gritty or too runny. Typically for a cream sauce you put equal amounts of butter, flour and liquid (in this case half & half). The heat you cook it over can also determine how thick and how fast. I use medium heat. With this dish I like it looser because it will thicken as it cooks. I really believe you have to experiment with it. Many times I am disappointed the way dinner turns out and apologize as the family tells me over and over the food is great! I am a perfectionist when it comes to food and I try to tell myself just to have fun with it! So give it a try!