Friday, November 05, 2010


I consider myself a pretty good cook. I can read, and therefore can follow a recipe. People who say they can’t cook or just don’t cook, are lying. If you can read, you can cook. If you say you can’t cook, it’s because you don’t want to. Which is fine. Not everyone likes or wants to cook. Restaurants stay in business because of people like that!

I love to try new recipes and techniques. I like all cuisines, and I’m lucky enough to have a husband who will eat pretty much anything, at least once. He gives me excellent feedback and suggestions. He’s also gotten to be pretty proficient at guessing what ingredients are in a new dish I present to him, spices included. It’s kind of a fun, albeit dorky, game we play.

I love food. All kinds. I often finish breakfast thinking about what I’ll have for lunch. And more often than not, I’m already dreaming about dessert before I’ve even started eating dinner.

There is, however, one food that eludes me. I have never in my life successfully made them. Never. They are one thing I think are always better at a restaurant than at home. Every fast food restaurant sells them for breakfast: hash browns.

Or as I call them, hash blacks. Because I burn them.

While we were at the Dells in May with the Greens, I was making burning them and apparently set off some secret inaudible smoke detector. The front desk called to see what was going on and told us to open windows and turn on fans. So we did. And then 5 minutes later we got a knock at the door from a worker to see if we really did, because the alarm was still going off.

Casey stepped in and saved the day and made us some edible hash browns.

Either they are too soggy, or too burned, or still frozen. They stick to the pan. I follow the package instructions exactly. What the heck am I doing wrong?

I like the cubed, not the shredded, unless I’m at Waffle House, and then I get those bad boys covered and smothered. Yum. Why can’t we have a Waffle House here in Milwaukee? Heaven knows they’d do great.

I hate to admit that I feel a little bit like a kitchen failure because I can’t seem to master this seemingly easy breakfast basic. It’s like not being able to boil water. Embarrassing!

Somebody help me! What are the tricks? Oil or butter? Covered or uncovered?

I can’t let my kids grow up never eating hash browns!!! Help a sister out!


DeAnn said...

Not too sure of the secret but now I want to go to the waffle house!

Jodee Luke said...

I'll be honest I'm not a lover of the hash brown so I've never made them. However coming from a potato farmin' family I would suggest you use real potatoes in place of the package. My mom always has more success with that.

Bushchicken said...

Use real potatoes and not packaged. If that's too much work, use the refrigerated packages instead of the frozen.

And then use a whole lot more oil than is necessary!

Lindsey said...

They WEREN'T that bad, and you didn't have a large enough pan to cook them in so there wasn't sufficient air flow to allow for even cooking... You make amazing food so it must be the potatoes' fault and not yours!

Melissa said...

I never succeed with hash browns either. I'll keep checking back to see if anyone gives you the answer we're both waiting for.

Lara said...

Oil, covered, on medium. turn every few minutes or so. It takes a while to do them right. We like 'em sorta crunchy. But I have never burned my hashbrowns! Yet I can't cook as well as you. Go figure.


Miriam said...

I was just saying to Ryan I can NEVER get hashbrowns right and I love them. I love the shredded ones and when I use fresh they end up as a mushy mess, when I do frozen they never have the right combination of softness and crispiness. sigh.

Courtney said...

I love the good 'ol hashbrown patties which are much easier to cook and get all crispy! We use oil. Do you own a griddle?