Friday 12 April 2019

The Domestic Goddess Bakes a Potato

DammitKaren: The Domestic Goddess Bakes a Potato The Domestic Goddess has been quiet for a while.  The DG still (sometimes) cooks lots of delicious food, and, in fact, made lasagna for Fis for the First Time Ever last week.  She just hasn't been bragging about it.

About the lasagna: it's been a bit of a sore point for him for the last, oh, fourteen years or so, as I often tell the story about the time a coworker actually got down on one knee and proposed to me after having a bite of the lasagna I had made for myself. In 1998. We've had lasagna often, though -- every time it went on sale for less than $12 at the grocery store -- even though it wasn't made by me.  But yeah, we'll have been married for twelve years next week, and I had never made lasagna, though he proposed to me anyway.  (Two separate boxes of increasingly-heirloom lasagna noodles have moved with us four times, however.)  

So, last Friday, it was time.

I made lasagna; it was good.  Not quite proposal-good, but good enough to quiet him down for another fourteen years or so.

But that's not what this is about.

Tonight, I made baked potatoes -- nay, jacket potatoes -- properly, for the first time in my life.  And they were AMAZING.
The only thing missing from this photo by Lars Blankers on Unsplash is
me, rolling around in the potatoes with a stick of butter in my teeth.

I love potatoes.  I have always loved them, and really should be at least twice my weight, considering how much I love them.  I love them steamed, boiled, roasted, mashed, smashed... I do my Irish heritage proud.  I don't skimp on the butter-and-milk part of mashed potatoes, and when I fully load my baked potato, it is Fully Loaded.  When Fis buys "light" butter and "low fat" sour cream, I just put twice as much on.

So, tonight, with three starving kids coming home from sports camp (and no vegetables in the house except for a sad-looking courgette*), I decided to make sausages and jacket potatoes, hoping that they'd be delicious enough to compensate for something green on the plate.

Usually/often, we have baked potatoes... well, nuked potatoes.  You know, you wash them, wrap them loosely in paper towel, and either stab them with a fork (if Fis is watching) or don't (if you're staging a passive-aggressive campaign against Fis), and pop them in the microwave for 5-7 minutes.  But tonight, oh, tonight was different.

Extraordinary Jacket Potatoes Extraordinaire 

(so good, it needs saying twice)

First, I preheated the oven to 200 degrees Celsius**.  I washed five "British jacket potatoes" and patted them dry with kitchen towel.***  Next, I rubbed them with olive oil and sea salt, and popped them into the oven.  Twenty minutes later, I lowered the oven temperature to 170 and let them bake for another full hour, then turned off the oven while I cooked the sausages.

Oh.  My.

Crispy skin, soft and fluffy interior.  So flavourful, so perfect.  We added (full fat) butter, (full fat) sour cream, grated mature cheddar, and "homemade" spring onions**** -- aha! Something Green! -- and man, were they amazing.

The DG tonight proved that simple can be good, and that vegetables are not even missed, even when the kids have had them as part of their meals every single day for their entire lives (humble brag!). If there's anything else you take away from this post, it's this: if I can't have hummus as my desert island food, it would be potatoes, jacket potatoes, from the recipe I've recorded here.

SO good.

Glossary of Terms/Fun British Facts for those not in Britain

* courgette = zucchini
** everything here is in Celsius, grams, and mL for baking.  Body weight is in kilograms.  It's all very metric, except for distances, which are measured in miles.  It is pretty much the opposite of Canada, which I think they're doing on purpose.
*** kitchen towel = paper towel
**** spring onions = green onions, which we grow in our windowsill herb garden, alongside (as the song goes) parsley, sage and the withered corpses of so many basil and cilantro ("coriander") plants.

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