Baking potatoes in an oven also takes about an hour+ and I always have something else to do and think it is too much bother to make them.
Nuking a potato is out seeing that they cook unevenly and are tasteless.
Evviva la "slow cooker". I make potatoes (sweet and regular), onions, fennel and bell peppers in there using this recipe as a guideline. In 3.5 hours I have "roasted" veggies and I didn't even have to sweat. Nor did I have to get a loan to pay the energy
company seeing that they cook at night when electricity costs less.
Now let's back up to my last post where I went and spent 10 days or so trampling around the world not getting glutined but left out the part where I came home and found out that a storm had knocked out our electricity and had to throw away the entire contents
of my fridge and freezer.
I walked into the house after an 11 hour drive from Belgium -through inexplicably stupid Swiss traffic-finally arriving home at 10pm to find my lights out and thinking: "wait-and the fridge?". Oh how nice...not.
Seeing that with school being out and the girls here one day and gone the next, hubby and me in and out as well, I've decided not to purchase any food unless I know we will eat it within 48 hours.
Good plan? Nope. Because, then one Sunday you wake up and the girls say "there are no eggs, no milk, no meat, no tomatoes...MOM-there's no food in the house!!!" Hmmm... this time they are right.
It is Sunday. Saturday's minimalist shopping session forgot many staples in a modern home-I bought bananas and potatoes yesterday. That is all.
Potatoes, I have potatoes.
I thought a nice way to doctor them up would be to introduce my kids to twice baked potatoes. Yesterday I made slow cooker baked potatoes and bell peppers and decided to use the spuds for this venture.
Open the fridge - imagine hearing those ghoulish noises and squeaky doors opening like on Halloween cds and envision cobwebs and a black cat leaping out at you and as it squeals by - air looms at me. The light actually flickered. It's like the fridge
knew it was empty and was saying "Why work? It's Sunday. Like the neurone in your brain- I'm all alone!!".
I could blame my location. No cheddar cheese in Italy, sour cream is at the big grocery store in town and not open on Sunday anyway, no bacon, no chives or green onions, no milk, no butter. I'm skewered. But, alas, it is me and my summer fridge theory
that left us worse off than the old lady in the shoe.
Inventory was easy. One quick eye sweep of the fridge and I got 2 slices of prosciutto cotto and a half mini size ziploc of shredded parmigiano reggiano. In the cupboard was some gluten free bread crumbs about to turn to dust. Then I looked down and
remembered that I'd bought some powdered milk a while back when trying to bake GF bread and reading that it helped in the raising process. Still had some of that. Oh look, there's milk. I can make a tea now. I wonder if I could tell the girls that this is
real milk...would they fall for it?
Read the instructions: 230 ml water + 25 grams of powdered milk = one glass of milk. Made that. Set aside. Looks gross. I moved it away from my line of sight thinking that if I didn't look at it for a while maybe I would forget that it was homemade
Making a tea while contemplating my spud boats I preferred to dump some milk powder straight into my tea to lighten it instead of the watery version I'd just conjured up. The girls complained the other day that my mashed potatoes were too liquidy. Ding
Ding Light bulb flickering and buzzing. No, not the one in the fridge - that one was still blinking- but the one above my head when I get one of my dumb ideas.
I took my baked potatoes, scooped out the innards, added powdered milk and olive oil (a trick taught to me by a nutritionalist when I took Ashley in for being underweight. She suggested using olive oil instead of butter in mashed potatoes due that Ash
has a slight lactose intolerance but would benefit from the weight gaining powers of the potato anyway.) I diced up the ham and mixed it all together.
Note to self: Mix the potatoes, milk powder, cheese and olive oil before adding ham. Diced prosciutto slices are now bits and pieces.
Put that mixture back into the boats and sprinkled gluten free bread crumbs and some olive oil on top. I did turn on the oven for that one. 15-20 minutes and they were golden brown and the girls are enjoying them now. Saved the evening.
They are actually quite tasty. They have a certain Italian flare to them. The prosciutto has heated and let its flavour meld into the potato as did the parmigiano reggiano. The bread crumb thing on top also lends a bit of crunch and the skins, having
cooked the baked potatoes only partially (about 7/8s done), the skins crunch too.
Next time I'll add some sliced tomatoes on top then add the bread crumbs, that would be tasty too.
Note to self: set alarm to go to grocery store at opening time tomorrow and purchase light bulb for the fridge.
"Oh look girls, I found the milk. It was in the back of the fridge. It must have gotten moved around and shoved to the back with all this stuff in the way." Slide the empty butter dish to the side...
Next blog: how to try and fool your kids into thinking powdered milk is real...