Fat Potato Fat Fat, or, What to Bring to a Neighbor in Need

Today we have a guest post from one of our favorite novelists, Joshilyn Jackson. We love an old family recipe and we can’t wait to try this one! Joshilyn’s latest novel, The Almost Sisters, is available now in paperback. There’s a scene in the book where Leia and her family instigate a community picnic to smooth over a dispute with a neighbor. That scene inspired the sharing of this recipe, since clearly it’s the perfect thing to bring to win someone over (especially if they aren’t lactose-intolerant)!

Fat Potato Fat Fat

Fat Potato Fat Fat gets its name from the three kinds of fat you pile into it to make it extra cheerful: butter, cream cheese, and sour cream. This is artery clogging special occasion food, best saved for the highest celebration or the lowest days when your mouth needs a little velvety soft comfort. It’s the perfect thing to take to a family in crisis, but if you add it to your weekly rotation, it will probably take five years off your life. Or at least cost you the money you will spend on larger pants.

My mother taught me how to make it when I was a kid, and I’ve never seen this recipe written down—no need, it is so easy to remember. Once you learn it, you can make it forever.

  • 1 5 lb bag of Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 8 ounce tub of sour cream
  • 1 8 ounce brick of cream cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra Butter (to taste)
  • Parmesan Cheese (to taste)
  • Snipped Chives (optional)

Wash the potatoes with a scrub brush, then boil them (skins on) until a fork slides in easily.

Drain and place in a large bowl.

Bury the butter and cream cheese in the hot potatoes until they melt, then add the sour cream

Mash, adding salt, pepper, and fresh chives to taste as you go. Be careful not to overmash; you want some nice, rustic lumps. They, along with the thin, delicious skins, add a lot of texture.

Spread evenly in a baking dish and top with more pats of butter (I use another half stick, usually), and then sprinkle with parmesan cheese to taste.

When making for others, I drop it off right at this stage with instructions for them to bake it at 350 degrees for around half an hour, or until hot through and the cheese and butter on top has formed a lovely golden-brown crust.

Variation: Fat Potato Fat Fat Fat. Fry up six slices of bacon, crumble, and add when you add the sour cream. My sister-in-law swears by it, but honestly, it feels a little bit gratuitous. It’s one fat too far for me.

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