For Easter this year, I’ve partnered with Ore-Ida and Collective Bias to create this
Southern Hash Brown Casserole. Easter Brunch just wouldn’t be the same without this classic casserole! #OreIdaHashbrown #CollectiveBias
What are your favorite Easter traditions? Do you have a big family gathering or just lay low for the weekend? As a kid, we’d always load up the family car and make the 4 1/2 hour drive from Charleston, SC to visit my grandparents in upstate South Carolina. I remember feeling like that trip took forever! I’d pack a duffle bag full of books, comics, games, and even a map. (I liked to watch the exit names on the highway and then try to follow along on the map. Hey, I was a weird kid.)
In hindsight, I think the trip always felt like it took forever simply because I knew the weekend would be full of good food and fun times with the family. I have a bunch of cousins on that side of the family, and we’d all gather at our grandparents house for Easter. For a kid in elementary school, that meant instant fun from early in the morning until late at night!
Easter was always one of my favorite holidays. It marked the return of warmer weather, fresh flowers, and of course the annual Easter Egg Hunt! On Easter morning, my grandmother along with my aunts and uncles would head out to the yard and hide Easter eggs all over the place. My grandparents lived on several acres, so the annual Easter Egg Hunt was kind-of a big deal. The younger kids would go to the frontyard where the Easter eggs would be laying on the sidewalk while the older kids (and other non-scaredy cats) would go the backyard.
I’m not gonna lie…some of those eggs were hard to find. In fact, I bet some of them are still there. So if you happen to now live on West Road in Belton, SC, you might want to feel around in the rafters of the old hen house. You might find a good surprise. (That is, if a 25-year old Easter egg full of jelly beans is your kinda thing.) While that old Easter candy might not be so good anymore, what is delicious is this recipe for my grandmother’s Southern Hash Brown Casserole!
My grandma was a great cook. She was a wonderful Southern lady who could whip up a mean batch of buttermilk biscuits or a fresh peach cobbler. In fact, I called her “Sweet,” and I’d guess that name came from all of the delicious foods that she’d make for us. I still recreate many of her classic recipes, and one of my all-time favorites is this Southern Hash Brown Casserole. After the Easter Egg Hunt, we’d all file inside for Easter brunch, and I knew I could count on this casserole making an appearance. As far as I’m concerned, this casserole is the ultimate comfort food. It’s loaded with potatoes, cheese, and all sorts of delicious seasonings. And it’s topped with a crust made out of crispy rice cereal. (As a kid, I was always in awe of using cereal in an actual recipe!)
The other day, I was doing my weekly grocery store run at Walmart and I walked past the Ore-Ida Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes. Since Easter is just around the corner, I thought of my grandma’s Southern Hash Brown Casserole. I haven’t made this casserole in years, and I immediately knew that it needed to make an appearance in my kitchen! Woah, I’d forgotten how delicious this casserole is, too. It brings back some wonderful childhood memories, and I suspect that this casserole will begin making yearly appearances at Easter again.
I may live a long way away from upstate South Carolina now, but this casserole still channels those delicious “down-home Southern cookin'” flavors. It’s a staple on my Easter brunch menu, and I hope it becomes a favorite of yours, too!
Speaking of Easter brunch food, I noticed that my buddy Chris over at Shared Appetite whipped up an amazing looking Gluten-Free Spinach and Bacon Quiche with Hashbrowns Crust. I think that quiche may show up in my kitchen in the near future! Now it’s your turn. What are your favorite Easter Brunch traditions?