Listening: Bob White Collector's Series (1979?/2008). I grew up with my parents' LP of this, but thank goodness it's been issued on CD.
Yesterday was my mother's birthday. Instead of going out, she wanted Dad to grill some steak, and she wanted salad and scalloped potatoes.
I have a dodgy history with scalloped potatoes. In general, I love potatoes. Baked, boiled, roasted, mashed, you name it. However, I never liked scalloped potatoes.
I didn't realize until recently--this past Thanksgiving, actually, when my brother requested scalloped potatoes and Mom got out the cookbook that had the recipe she used--that they had cheese in them. They always tasted like potatoes in plain béchamel sauce: Starch over bland starch. I don't know what cheese Mom used but I suspect now it may have been mozzarella. She's always been partial to mozzarella. I like mozzarella but it's pretty useless in a dish like this.
My advice here is:
1) Use the sharpest Cheddar you can find.
2) Don't peel the potatoes. They'll taste more potato-y and have better texture with the peels on them.
3) Grate a little extra cheese to sprinkle on top.
4) Medium potatoes. Don't use huge ones or there won't be enough sauce.
The recipe is from Heavenly Dishes, published by the Mothers' Club of the Memorial United Church of Christ in Easton, Pennsylvania, in 1981. The Transues were friends of my parents'.
The results, in a 9 x 13 Pyrex, should look about like this: