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Voyageur's Best Features of 2006

Potatoes au rotten

Potatoes au rotten
A lack of motivation leads to an interesting side dish
by Nickole Caspersen  |  February 28, 2006

In the spectrum of things I enjoy, cooking falls into somewhat of a grey area. Some days the mood will hit, and I just love to cook. Baking is what I’m best at, but it’s also fun to branch out. Other days I have no patience for cooking whatsoever. The mere thought of it is an irritant.  Still other times, everything starts out great, but then gradually works toward not so fun any more. That is the scenario last weekend falls into.

Last week’s paper had some space to fill in the Good Taste  section, so I volunteered to try out a recipe, pear and apple pie, and take a picture of it.  I figured this would serve two purposes. First, the picture would fill in the scary white space in the paper. Second, I would have yummy pie to munch down on, sharing with my family of course. By Saturday I was feeling the urge to bake, and set to work.

The pie baking went off without any trouble, and I enjoyed myself. However, by the time it was done and cooled and I had taken all the pictures I needed, I was ready to be out of the kitchen. But before I could free myself from its grasp, there was one more kitchen chore I was asked to take care of. It was a simple matter of scrubbing and wrapping a few potatoes and throwing them in the oven. Not a hard job, but not one I felt like doing, so I did it as quickly as possible.

While speed wrapping the potatoes, I noticed one had a spot that looked kind of funny. It occurred to me I should cut the potentially bad piece out, but the lure of a speedy exit from the kitchen won, and I decided whoever got that potato could cut it out later if it turned out to be unsavory.  I finished wrapping the potatoes and promptly forgot all about them.

Fast forward to supper time, and we are all sitting at the table. I noticed my baked potato was all caved in. Trying to hide the worry in my voice, I asked if my potato had been dropped, or if there was something funky going on with it. I was assured my potato was fine, it had been dropped on the edge of the oven rack, thereby creating a large, somewhat disturbing dent. But my brother, liking the alternative better, jeeringly said “No, Nik. Your potato is rotten all the way through.” Funny he should say that.

After the prayer was said, we all dug in. A few moments later a loud “Aaawww!” was heard from Jimmy’s place at the table.

The responses from my dad, my step-mom and me were all the same, one right after another. A mystified “What?” as we turned to see what could induce such a sound of horror, followed by an “Aaawww!” of our own.

There, on his plate, was a split open potato, grey and “rotten all the way through.” Apparently he got the one with the bad spot.

The moral of the story is, if you don’t feel like working in the kitchen, pay a younger sibling, or some other handy family member, to do it. If you don’t, you may be serving up potatoes au rotten.

This article first appeared in the February 28 issue of the Voyageur Press.