Saturday, February 7, 2015

You say "collops," and I say "scallops"...

Returning to the BCC for a classic family home-cooked dish today, we made Scalloped Potatoes and Ham. The recipe on p. 299 says to follow the recipe on p. 435 to make scalloped potatoes or creamy scalloped potatoes, and then you add cooked ham between the layers of potatoes.

We opted for the scalloped (not creamy) potatoes, because that's the way my mom's mother made it. In Mom's words: "You just layer the sliced potatoes with flour, butter, salt and pepper, and then pour milk over it, and cook it!" And she had some ham left over from Christmas that she put into the mix.

For a bit of culinary history, you may be interested to learn that the term "scallop" is typically used in reference to the seafood, or to the rounded edges of pie crusts and things... neither of which is relevant in scalloped potatoes. The term "scalloped potatoes" actually came from the old English word "collops," which meant sliced foods. In Ireland, this particular dish was called "Potato Collops." So, it seems that some silly American must have just gotten confused or tongue-twisted, and mispronounced it at some point, and now we have a delightful little meal that has nothing to do with scallops and everything to do with collops! Oh well, potayto, potahto... collops, scallops... let's call the whole thing off and just enjoy eating this tasty food!

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