A site for sore tastebuds and a woeful wallet

Potatoes Au Gratin from Dehydrated Potatoes

We’ve been dehydrating food for over a year now, and have a good amount in storage.  There might be times when food is scarce, whether from a loss of power for an extended period, or a job loss, or some other disaster that could befall us.  Just knowing that we have food gives us peace of mind that we won’t starve if things get so bad.  If you read the news on any given day you can see that ice storms, floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes shut down power over wide areas for days on end.  If you are lucky enough to have another place to live, great!  If you need to stay for the recovery it helps to have food stored.  I live in St. Louis so the hurricanes won’t  be a concern, but tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes have happened here.  I’ve never had to pack up and leave and hope I never will.  I like to think we will be able to stay put so we don’t incur the expense of living somewhere else.  Also, staying and guarding our worldly possessions from thieves  and looters has its appeal.  Even if you do have to clear the scene, dehydrated foods can be compact and travel well especially if they are stored in sealed plastic bags. 

Many stews and soups can be blended out of  dehydrated foods and packaged so that all you have to do is boil them in water.  This Potatoes Au Gratin is my rendition of the pre-made ones you buy from a Betty Crocker boxed mix.  The potatoes themselves come back when cooked in liquid, to about the same as before dehydrating.   And sorry Betty, but these were made with a little more love than yours…they were a little cheaper too.  I bought a whole bag of potatoes for the cost of one boxed mix.  A handful of cheese, a bit of milk, half a cup of flour, and a few dashes of spice were still not much of a cost to make a side dish for five.

To make these, I preheated the oven to 350°.  I put half a quart of dehydrated potato slices in a pie plate.  In a mixing bowl I added 2/3 cup water, 1/3 cup milk,  a half cup of flour,  a teaspoon of salt, a sprinkle or two of garlic powder, onion powder and a pinch of pepper.  I shredded about 2/3 cup Cheddar cheese and mixed in with the milk mixture. Then I poured it over the potatoes in the pie plate.  I dotted the top with about 4 tbsp of butter and baked for about 45 minutes or until the potatoes were tender and the top nicely browned.  To finish it I sprinkled a handful of shredded Jack cheese on top and let that melt before serving. 

When the tougher times come I want to be well rehearsed on how to live off of my dehydrated stores.  I’d say I’m off to an OK start.  These were scrumptious!

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