Scalloped Potatoes with Ham, the question

Scalloped potatoes.

It’s an old-fashioned dish that is as much winter comfort food as the current favorite of Mac & Cheese.

My mother used to make it in a large roaster, the same one she used for the Thanksgiving Turkey.

She layered sliced potatoes, sliced onions, and sliced Spam.

Yes, you read that correctly.


The final layer was bacon. Not one or two slices, but a solid layer totally covering the potatoes.

It was baked, covered, for several hours in a slow oven, then uncovered and the heat turned up to crisp the bacon.


I can’t get Spam….

This is my version.

Scalloped Potatoes with Ham

Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes


  • 3 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 8oz (240gr) baked ham, sliced and cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 cups (10oz, 300ml) milk
  • 2 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup (4oz, 120gr) shredded cheese

Scalloped Potatoes with Ham


  • Put the potatoes, onions and ham into a large bowl.  
  • Add flour and toss to coat as evenly as possible.
  • Put it all into a large baking dish.
  • Whisk the milk and mustard together and pour over the top.
  • Sprinkle with the cheese.
  • Cover and bake at 400F (200C) for an hour or until the potatoes are done.
  • Uncover for the last 10 minutes to brown the cheese.  Serve.

Print Recipe

Remember last week when I was commenting on my fractured English?

I seem to be having a hard time making myself understood lately.

I try to be brief, succinct, to the point and clear when I ask a question, but so often the answer totally ignores everything but one or two perceived keywords.

Since I am on my own regarding all things technical (computer, site design, blogging, etc.) when I have a question I try to find the answer online.

Sometimes I get an answer to my question.

More often I get an answer but not to the question I asked.

Let me give you a simple example – imaginary and food related:

Pretend question: The recipe says to bake the cake until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. If it’s not done how much longer should I bake it before testing again? Is five minutes too long?

Answer: You can use a toothpick to test your cake.

I want to respond with something like…..


But that would be rude.

So I thank the person for their response and try again, somewhere else.

I rephrase the question, trying to make it more clear with fewer words to confuse.

I always find the answer.


I just need to figure out how to get it on the first try.

Maybe I should try asking my questions in French….

8 thoughts on “Scalloped Potatoes with Ham, the question”

  1. It’s not you. I see those kinds of responses all the time. People don’t bother to read the question, that takes too long. They skim it and just toss an answer out there.

    And I go in 2-1/2 minute increments 🙂

    I love scalloped potatoes, but I’ve never used Spam. Or bacon. I usually don’t use ham either unless I’m using up leftovers. I make Green Bean Soup with my leftover ham bone so it’s not often I have enough to toss into the potatoes.

  2. A whole layer of bacon on top?! My heart just stopped but because I think I have fallen in love. I am trying this next time I make scalloped potatoes. I can get Spam but I think I’ll stick with your version anyway.

    As for your question, you asked it very succinctly and I knew exactly what you meant. Problem is, too many people are reading these things on tiny screens on phones and don’t bother, or can’t, read carefully. The problem is not you.

    My answer would have been similar to nightsmusic. Set the timer for five minutes, but check halfway through.

  3. I think the problem is that your question is not being read by a human being, but rather scanned by a computer which is programmed to pick up key words and send a pre-written answer. It sees “cake test” and sends answer number 11.

  4. My Mother too was a lover of Spam. She dipped the slices in beaten eggs, rolled it in cracker crumbs and then fried it. It was actually quite good, but I don’t think it will be on my table any time soon. Your potatoes sound like my cup of tea. On the other subject, I am always confused by blogging and sometimes half the battle is knowing what question needs to be asked.

  5. I think you are using too many “keywords” and confusing the computers giving the answers.
    For me the answer would depend on how not done the item was but 2-5 minutes is my policy

  6. Kate, believe it or not, I can buy it here…. but only in tiny cans. And no, I don’t buy it….

    nightsmusic, love green bean soup…. Can’t get ham with bones, though LOL

    Stacy, I’m sure it’s just everybody skimming…. I’m probably guilty myself, but I try to pay attention. Yes, lots of bacon, but even with all that, and the Spam it wasn’t a lot of meat per person

    Zoomie, you’re right – probably all automated

    Penny, she never did that – but I loved Spam and Miracle Whip sandwiches…. Asking the right questions is the key….

    Gayle, life is getting both simpler and more complicated LOL

  7. My mom made this with spam too!! One of the few things she made. She loved spam…and bologna 😛 I make this with ham now and still love it. I know it is not really good for me, but sometimes you just gotta have that comfort food!

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