It's not what you think, but here it goes. Despite my strict ground rules for this past weekend's hot dog social (that all toppings aside from ketchup & mustard be lovingly homemade) ...early Saturday morning I found myself blankly staring into the freezer chest at my local grocery store. I was scanning for an acceptable, thinly-sliced french fry I could pass off as my own. ...As my own? I mean what was I thinking, did I really believe they wouldn't notice? The dishonesty gnawing away at my conscience, was only usurped by the panic and desperation I felt, having so much left to do. Our guests arriving at noon...I was in search of divine intervention!
As I stood there (frozen as the fries I coveted), fellow shoppers maneuvered their way around my cart. Like Bubba in Forrest Gump, I began reading aloud, "steak fries, wedge fries, waffle fries, curly fries, sweet fries, spicy fries, tater tots ..." I watched grocery dwellers come and go, grabbing various bags of fried potatoes. I don't know if it was the woman's cart bursting at the seams with sodium rich, children's frozen entrees... or the young, fit, girl donning sweatband, merely using the aisle as a pass through to get to her organic milk...but I snapped out of my trance and hot-footed it over to produce. There amongst a sea of fresh greens, reds and yellows, stood a huge display of beautiful, earthy, Idaho potatoes (seemingly awaiting my arrival). As I placed the spuds in my reusable bag, all seemed right with the world!
I've had a few days now to think about my actions. I'm not saying I'm too good for frozen fries (noted on this blog I love these) but it was the consideration and contemplation of lying to family and friends, that leads me to this post. On one end, I was the hostess Nazi, "only homemade toppings will do, oh and put some love into it would you....?" and on the other end, I was the hostess cheater, "they'll never, ever know!" It made me realize, the passion I have for the kitchen, eating, entertaining and "the party" sometimes compels me to do crazy things. My behavior becomes erratic (like mowing down the guy at Whole Foods or hiding avocado from my unsuspecting family) and I turn into a person I'm not even sure I like.
So, all I can say is I'm working on it...or at best trying to define, "it." In the meantime, I'll continue cooking, testing recipes, entertaining, planning parties and writing this blog - because it's what I love to do. Putting pen to paper (or keys to screen) is leading to some startling self-revelation. These words may just be the first step (in a process of many) that is "understanding my condition." And perhaps...just maybe... there are people out there reading, who think all of this sounds way.... WAY too familiar.
*signifies only do this step if time allows
Scrub potato clean - don't peel
Cut in half lengthwise
Cut your halves in 1/2 lengthwise
Take your 4 pieces and cut those all in half perpendicularly
Cut lengthwise into tiny strips (you'll have thin rectangular like potato strips)
Take a few of those strips and stack them on top of each other and cut into strips again lengthwise
Or someone buy me a nice mandolin because I desperately want one!
*Place a clean kitchen towel on counter and cover it with two paper towels
*Place potato strips on paper towel
*Cover with two more paper towels and another kitchen towel
*Weigh down with heavy pot for an hours to get potato strips as dry as
possible before frying
Heat a few inches oil in pan to 360 degrees.
Fry in batches until crispy and golden brown (about 3 minutes).
Carefully remove from oil with slotted or mesh frying spoon and place on
brown paper bag or paper towels to dry.
Sprinkle with kosher or sea salt while hot and serve.