Au Gratin Potatoes

Oh, how I’m enjoying these older recipes. Today’s is from a 1894 cookbook . Something I’ve noticed all these recipes have in common is how few ingredients they have, and how easy they are to make. It makes sense when you think about it though. Women back then were doing everything by hand: laundry, dishes, making soap, making clothing, doing all the baking, cooking, and preserving food, milking the cow, raising chickens, collecting eggs, and keeping the fire going in the cook stove – all while raising 5, 6, or 10 kids. Who had time for complicated, time-consuming cooking?

I don’t think it was thought of as a hobby, but probably, “I need to get dinner on the table fast for these 10 hooligan precious angelic children of mine before they revolt and tear the house down.”

Or something along those lines. Anyway, here’s the recipe:

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  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Peeled and sliced boiled potatoes*
  • salt and pepper to taste

*The recipe calls for “boiled potatoes”, but doesn’t specify an amount. So I just started peeling and slicing potatoes until I filled my casserole dish.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Once you have your potatoes peeled and sliced, put them in a large pot or saucepan, cover with water, and boil until tender. Drain off water, cover pot, and set aside. In a medium saucepan melt the butter,

and then add the flour.

Stir over low heat until it just bubbly. Add milk.

Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute, or until slightly thickened.  Remove from heat. Grease your 2 quart casserole dish, and then add 1/2 of the boiled potatoes.

Sprinkle with 1/2 of the chopped onion,

pour 1/2 of the sauce evenly,

and then add salt and pepper to taste. Add the rest of the potatoes,


and more salt and pepper. Then cover with the cheddar cheese,

and pour the remaining sauce evenly over the top.

Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. You can switch up this recipe if you like. Use a different cheese, omit the onion, or add cooked cubed ham.

Now, what to have with the potatoes? How about fried chicken from a 1921 recipe?


——-> UP NEXT: Fried Chicken from a 1921 recipe. It’s so good that the chicken willingly gave up his life for it.

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Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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16 Responses

  1. Cassandra says:

    These look lovely. I never made Au Gratin Potatoes yet and these look pretty easy. I will add to my stack of recipes. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Joani says:

    Oh, makes me hungry. Thanks 4 the recipe

  3. Andrea says:

    Hi Suzanne, I’m a fairly new reader to your blog (a couple of months now) and I wanted to say that I am lovin’ the old recipes you have been posting lately! I look forward to more of those!
    I’m not sure exactly where in Kansas you live, but I’m in the Kansas City area (hi neighbor!).
    I really enjoy reading your calm and informative posts about nature and your farm happenings.
    Keep up the good work, Suzanne, you are doing a fine job!
    Have a great day, Andrea

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Andrea,
      Welcome! And Thank You very much for your kind words. We live in the northeast corner of the state not too far from the Nebraska border.
      Thanks for visiting,

  4. Patty says:

    Hi Suzanne,
    I have one question, how do you stay so skinny making all of these wonderful dishes? They look scrumptious. I have been reading your blog for a while now and really enjoy your gardening post along with all of the happenings of your kitty. I too grew up in MO but not in the country (St. Joe) and moved to Kansas for my husband and have lived in the country for 16 years. We also live in north east kansas but I believe you are just a little further north. I’m probably between you and Andrea:-)
    Thanks for your heartwarming posts.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Patty,
      I can’t really take too much credit for my weight. Both my parents have skinny genes too. 🙂
      So glad you enjoy my silly ramblings. Glad to hear from a fellow former Missourian!
      Take care,

  5. Sally Bishop says:

    I love au gratin potatoes and these look great!

  6. Glenda says:

    Suzanne, the question has been raised about how you stay so skinny making all this wonderful food. I personally think it is genetics and if you ever find someone who can transplant some of those genes into me, I’d be eternally grateful!!!!!!

  7. Oh, I can tell you I will definitely try this recipe. Just looking at the photos is making my mouth water..I can just taste it! Luckily I just went grocery shopping last night and I have all the ingredients! Yay! I’m looking forward to the chicken recipe too!

  8. shelljo says:

    I’m guessing that this dish was probably one to use up leftover potatoes–since it calls for “pre-cooked” sliced potatoes. Just my speculation. They do look good. I might have to try some–even if I have to Cook up some taters first!

  9. Eliza says:

    Hi Suzanne-
    I wanted to drop a note to let you know I made your honey wheat bread recipe on Wednesday 🙂 It was AWSOME!!! The bread didn’t take as long to bake (it took less than 20 minutes), but it’s probably my oven. Thank you so much for a great recipe – it’s a keeper!

  10. I’m not sure how I’m going to prevent myself from gaining weight if you keep this up. Just wanted you to know. 😉

  11. Teresa says:

    I am definitely going to try this recipe.

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