Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hash Brown Pizza

Hash Brown Pizza
Dorcas Annette Walker

Eric Hines, the oldest son of Mark and Cindy Hines, lives on a farm in the Northern part of Indiana. His family farms close to 1,200 acres of flatland each year. From early on, Eric learned the meaning of hard work involved in farming corn, soybeans, and wheat. The success of his family farm, aside from long hours of work, depends mainly on the fickleness of the weather, rising costs, inflation, and finding the right market to sell their crops. Today’s small farmer works hard to keep his farm afloat. Eric is a steady dependable fellow that is the joy of every parent’s heart. His serious demeanor hides a quick sense of humor and brilliant mind that is crammed full of facts. One night Eric was enlightening us on the merits of different combines. I was soon lost in the maze of company names as prices were flashed back and forth only to be informed that the reason one combine was not as efficient in harvest as another was due to the way the corn hit the rotor blades. Not only does Eric help out on the family farm but he also hires out to other farmers in the area as he is competent in handling any farm machinery. So it was quite interesting to observe Eric in the kitchen on a Saturday morning as he fixed a Hash Brown Pizza for brunch. He confessed up front that he didn’t know anything about cooking but was good at following directions. To his surprise browning hamburger in a cast iron skillet is a lot easier than handling a large combine during harvest season and spreading hash browns on a greased tray is a snap compared to planting acres of straight rows with a tractor and corn planter. The best part though, hands down, was eating up the results of one’s cooking.

Our ancestors made soup from various ingredients often having a soup pot sitting on the back of the stove where leftover broths and juices would be added daily until the cook decided it was time for soup. The last harvest of gardens would yield a large canner of vegetable soup that was canned in quart jars and stored in the cellar for winter days. Campbell Soup is credited with creating canned condensed soups that rapidly became a household staple saving hours of time in the kitchen. John Dorrance, who held a chemistry degree and Ph.D from the University of Gottengen in Germany, turned down prestigious positions to work for his Uncle, who was the company president of Campbell. He discovered that by removing water the soup could be condensed, packed into smaller cans, and sold at lower prices than other canned soups thus insuring Campbell’s success. By 1922 Campbell formally accepted Soup into its name. Condensed soups are prepared by adding water or milk and only needs to be heated up to be ready to serve. These soups also became popular as a base for homemade soups and casseroles.

Hash Brown Pizza is a quick, easy-to-make, breakfast recipe. It is ideal for a weekend breakfast or brunch and is filling. Sausage can be substituted for hamburger for a zestier taste. My Hash Brown Pizza takes around forty-five minutes (baking time included) to prepare and this recipe serves twelve. Leftovers can be frozen and reheated in a microwave for another morning.

Hash Brown Pizza

1 pkg (40 oz) frozen hash browns (thawed)
1 can mushroom condensed soup (undiluted)
2 lb browned hamburger
2 cans condensed tomato soup (undiluted)
¼ c chopped onion
1 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp garlic salt
2 c shredded cheddar cheese

Combine thawed hash browns and can of mushroom soup in a big bowl. Mix well and spread on a large greased cookie tray. Bake for thirty minutes at 350ยบ. Meanwhile brown hamburger in an iron skillet. Add tomato soup, onion, chili powder, and garlic salt and let simmer. Spread over hash brown crust and sprinkle on cheese. Bake for ten more minutes until cheese is melted. Serve hot!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a freelance writer, author, columnist, and photographer from Jamestown, TN. If you have any cooking tips or favorite recipes you are welcome to contact me by mail at: Dorcas Walker, 929 Wildwood Lane, Jamestown, TN 38556 or email me at: dorcaswalker@yahoo.com. For more information about the Walker family and Dorcas’ books check out her website at: www.dorcasannettewalker.com or htpp://dorcasannettewalker.blogspot.com for other Creative Mountain Cookin recipes.

No comments: