Dear Potato, I Love You

No, I do not call my husband “Potato”. It would be funny if I did, one day just to see his reaction, (and I may even try it tonight, it’s making me giggle), but I digress.

Fast food and junk food are possibly 2/4 of my favorite food groups. BUT I know they are not good for me, so I don’t eat them every day. I have though, more recently, noticed that the older I get the more careful I need to be and try much harder to eat well-balanced meals. So today I ate a banana. I ate an apple. I had healthy bread. I ate lettuce. I was still hungry.

I craved chocolate and chips and ice cream and grilled cheese (my mind was wandering) and then I thought, man, I really want a burger and fries. PS – I generally do not crave burgers…my body was sending me a message…EAT SOME PROTEIN! I had none at work, well I did, but it seems as if SOMEone chose to throw my tuna out of the fridge, so I tried to keep my mind off food, as if.

I decided to clean up the desktop from pictures seeing if I could delete unnecessary clutter when I came across this photo I took a while back.  It may be hard to tell what it is, but it’s a STA-HOT warmer with a tray of a few fries left.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love fries from a burger place but when I see this machine…I aint buyin’.  I like fresh, deep-fried, leave your fingers oily fries. NOT reheated by a red-glow-light, who-knows-how-long-they’ve-been-sitting-there, stale-looking pathetic fries.  I am not kidding here. I love good fries just as seriously as I hate wiggly food.

Alas, not all fries are created equal. My top fry would definitely be the curly fry, or better yet, the spicy curly fry. You can get a mound of those in the kosher concession stand at Hershey Park, yuummmeh. Now, I keep kosher so I can’t possibly know the differences between Burger King, White Castle and McDonald’s fries, but the commercials sure make them look really delish.

The one thing that can ruin a good fry? Too potato-ey. Ew. I like a nice crunch or a soggy skinny, but under-cooked or overstuffed – ich. Reject. Veto. Nope. No Way. Return, please, can I have my money back, thank you very much.

As it happens I enjoy almost every form the potato takes. The Baked Potato being the least adored (well it’s just so boring, no matter what you plop on top of it). Mashed potatos with some fried onions and chopped chives…and a steak…OBVIOUSLY (also served on the eve of the first seder night of Passover with meatballs as is tradition in our home).

Next not so fave is the boiled. Also a Passover dish served in salty water. I have memories of my grandparents and dad eating them with Borscht and a dollop of sour cream. (ew).

Going back a jillion years, Chubby loved the smell of the fries at the Holmdel Swim and Tennis Center, though she was never allowed to eat them because they were not kosher. Watching the other kids pour gallons of ketchup and their fingers sticky and oily would make me crave them like any other portly kid might. I would beg my mom on those days to make tater tots when we got home.

Another amazing memory is the Sunday brunch (read heavy mid-day lunch) at Edna’s Glatt Kosher Delicatessen on Church Avenue in Brooklyn, N.Y. No matter if ordered the turkey on rye or the chopped liver (no, I’m not kidding) sandwich it was accompanied by a potato knish and of course a can of Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry or Cream Soda and of course a big fat juicy kosher dill pickle. But there was an art to eating the knish, and it varied, depending on my mood. Sometimes, I’d eat it like an Oreo, saving the middle for last. Sometimes I’d cut it in half and slowly work my way through and save the outer brown shell for the grand finale. Clearly, and my sister would agree, that the knish though was not what we remember most. It was the 80-year-old waiters serving us, with shaky hands, informing us, “hot soup”!  AS far as knishes go, if there was no option for Edna’s, I’d have taken Gabilas from the freezer aisle and often did as a newlywed.taken from Pinterest

The only time I took a break from eating chips was after eating an entire can of Pringles with my friend Melanie, as kids. We went to see the movie the Dark Chrystal…not sure why…and we got such belly aches from eating the whole can, but like the commercial says, “Once you pop, you can’t stop!”

Today though, as a thrifty mom, I try to be as creative as I can since potatoes are inexpensive and filling and generally liked by all my children.  We change it up from time to time making home fries, latkes, potato soup, mashed potatoes, kugel (which is like pie, but not) and rarely go for the baked…no one is really interested, except for this one holiday where the custom is to spear a potato wrapped in tin foil and bake it over a bonfire,  but they enjoy a good boiled (which I find amusing). We bake them with salt and sometimes oil and onion soup mix and sometimes even go crazy and add some chopped parsley…whoa, I know.

There are other aspects of the potato that I love. The couch potato, Mr. Potato, the game Hot Potato…the list can go on but I’ll spare you. It’s time for dinner and the natives are restless, 2 have pillow cases on their heads and are running through the house screaming “zombies, we’re zombies!!!”

You can’t make this stuff up folks.

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4 comments

  1. What a darling potato . . .

    I once read somewhere, an article about how we have taken God’s nutritious provisions and soiled them. God gave us the potato and we made french-fries. I cannot remember the whole list, but it stuck me as true. We have so much junk at our disposal, and our cravings say, “Go for it!” I suppose the only way to beat this game is to start early, such as what you are doing with your children — instilling healthy habits in them. I read on a blog the other day that the purple potatoes are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. I have been eating them ever since!

    Hoping you have since then wrangled the zombies. 😉

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