A Square Meal

Hmm....I was going to write about how square my dinner tonight was; how it was a nice balance of starch and vegetable, with a little meat. Then I was reminded of that scene in The Phantom Tollbooth.

You remember the one I'm talking about. They are all making speeches before the banquet and Milo says something about a “square meal” and something else about a “light meal.” He is then served a plate of squares and a bowl of light. Milo went hungry. If you don't remember, I suggest you get the book; it's worth a good meal.

Anyway, for dinner tonight I fried a potato with an onion, sliced carrots and mushrooms, and I threw in some sandwich meat at the end. I seasoned it with salt, pepper, nutmeg and sage, and I cooked it in a substatial amount of butter. I would recommend you use less butter than I did—I'm still feeding The Amazing Flying Child, and I'm underweight for that, so I try to eat more butter, carbs and the like. I was a little unsure of how the nutmeg and sage would taste together, but it turned out well. Either that or I didn't add enough sage. The nutmeg was good with the potatoes and butter. On the whole it ended up tasting a little like a roast beef with potatoes and vegetables.

A small hint on cooking potatoes. Raw potatoes do not fry well. I've learned this the hard way. No matter how small you slice them, raw potatoes take forever to cook, and tend to burn before they get soft. Even french fries and frozen shoestring potatoes come half-cooked. So I'll share with you my favorite shortcut: I keep a few baked potatoes in the fridge. I bake about eight at a time; that gives me enough to serve some baked, and have enough for a breakfast. And then some for dinner, like tonight. I have not tried to mash baked potatoes; somehow I don't think it would work too well.

Happy Cooking!