I personally know no one named Tillie. I grew up with four aunts. Genevieve and Betty did not actually require the use of the title in front of their names. Aunt Kathy and Aunt Babe always – even to this day – have the title added. As far as I know, all my aunts were good cooks. The two non-Aunt Aunts were farm wives and probably were better known for good, solid food. The farm provided well for these types of meals.

Aunt Kathy and Aunt Babe were not farm wives. And they did entertaining. They probably did Entertaining with the capital E in place. The recipe here is from Aunt Kathy – if I have my story straight. I have no idea since they have been called something different for so many years, it is hard for me to remember exactly.

I do know how the recipe acquired its current name. My baby sister worked at a bank and they had potluck lunches. She brought some of the Aunt’s potatoes. They are good and work well with a potluck. They also go really great with ham, but aren’t quite as good with turkey because they don’t go well with gravy. For the potluck, they were excellent.

The next time there was a lunch, a coworker asked my sister to bring “that dish” and when Cheri didn’t know what dish the woman was talking about, she said, “You know, Aunt Tillie’s Potatoes.” And so they were named Aunt Tillie’s Potatoes and remained so ever since.

Aunt Tillie’s Potatoes

2# frozen hash browns, thawed ½ to 1 hour (I prefer the shredded to the cubed and those without peppers)
1 cup chopped onions
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
1 stick margarine
8 ounces grated cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients in a 9 x 13 pan. Cook 45 minutes to 1 hour at 375⁰

That is the recipe as written. Hash browns no longer come in two pound bags and so I just use the 1 pound 10 ounce bag. But if there were more of us eating, I would get two one pound bags. I’ve made this with cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup because I didn’t have the cream of chicken. Chicken is the best and celery is okay. I don’t like the mushroom. I stopped adding the stick of margarine about ten or fifteen years ago. We have never missed it.

Mix everything but the potatoes in the biggest bowl you have and get it all mixed well before adding the potatoes and blend together while still tossing bits and pieces over the sides of the bowl to ensure the countertop is as dirty as possible. This recipe was devised prior to the days of Pam cooking spray, but since it is available today, I always spray the pan because clean up is easier that way.

They can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until it is time to cook them. Just keep them well covered so they don’t dry out.

The grandchildren know these simply as Aunt Tillie potatoes and probably don’t have a clue about their origins or the way they were named. But they do like the taste. So the legacy lives on.

I’ve read that Greek yogurt can be used instead of sour cream. I was too scared to use the whole thing like that, but I used ½ and ½ sour cream and Greek yogurt. I doubt if there will be any noticeable difference, but they will have a little more protein in them. I like the top browned, but I also wonder what they would be like with some fried onions sprinkled over the top before baking. It sounds good, but I’ve never tried it. I don’t know if Tillie, whoever she is, would approve.

Random picture from the internet = but this is what Aunt Tillie's Potatoes look like

Random picture from the internet – but this is what Aunt Tillie’s Potatoes look like