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0 min ous Yeong Min Adriana Kim / 2010 - Present [Vivere per Mangiare] [Published writings] [Blog stalkin'] APRIL 4, 2011

i just baked potatoes. lo and behold, i, min kim, the domestically challenged and culinarily disabled kitchen retard, BAKED POTATOES. eeeeek! <culinary stream-of-consciousness> oh lookey, five light-skinned baby potatoes in the veggie basket. MOMMM, are these taters still good? they look positively rotten. cancerous, even. okay, scrubbing the dirt off these yellow fuckers with a non-metal bristles scrubby thingy. hmmm, i’m seeing a massive build-up of dirt; am i supposed to use soap? hence commences some logical reasoning: do i use soap when i’m washing strawberries? no. therefore i am just sticking with water. also, i am an idiot. boy, this is kind of fun. scrubbing potatoes, i mean- not logical reasoning. it gives me an odd sense of satisfaction and relief. MOMMM, am i supposed to scoop out the eyes on the potatoes? okay, where’s the smallish knife? can’t find it. guess the really long bread knife will have to do. meanwhile i am going to be proactive and preheat the oven to 400 degrees farenheit. which, if converted to celsius, is…….? (i am ashamed to say that once upon a time i took advanced chemistry and was somewhat of a science geek in high school. how i ended up choosing an academic path of dissecting enigmatic poems instead of dissecting smelly cat fetuses is beyond me. like, lightyears beyond me.) oh well. it’s been more than half a decade since i took any kind of REAL science classes (apparently, learning about the difference between apes and monkeys do not count as REAL science), so i’m not gonna beat myself up for not knowing off the top of my head what 400 degrees F would convert to in C. let’s see, farenheit celsius converter. and voila. 400 degrees farenheit equals about 200 degrees celsius. we live in such a marvelous world. back to attacking the eyes. MOMMM, don’t we have a potato eye scooper? you know, like how they have melon scoopers for watermelons and honeydews and stuff? quickly realizing that using a bread knife to deftly tackle small baby potatoes isn’t such a bright idea. now where is the vegetable oil… great. we’re out of the most important of all kitchen staples. but i do see grape seed oil, evoo (extra virgin olive oil, duh), and canola oil. more logical reasoning commences: the canola oil bottle has a picture of a giant flower on it. vegetable? i think not. grape seeds… grapes are obviously more of a vegetable than a flower ever will be. i think. and olives olives olives… the extra virgin part, i have some doubts about. prolly has to do with a higher boiling point or whatever. or maybe not. errr, grape seed oil it is!

rubbing the grape seed oil on the now eyeless potatoes… and looking for some salt to season them with… and of course i find about seven million different varieties. i opt for the most normal looking kind; the one with a drawing of a little girl with an umbrella. why take crazy risks and go for the weird grayish korean product when one only has five smallish potatoes to spare? finally, stabbing them all over with a fork. not that easy when you have slippery oily hands and slippery oily potatoes. fortunately, i do not stab myself in the process. this is another act that i find quite satisfactory. stabbing the potaoes, i mean- not not stabbing myself. the oven isn’t yet heated, but what the hell, i just throw the lot in the oven, RIGHT ONTO THE RACK. apparently, this is important. don’t ask me why. it takes about 1 1/2 hrs to bake a normal sized potato… and these baby potatoes are about 1/3 the size of normal potatoes… and 90 minutes divided by 3 equals 30 minutes… but surely that cannot be right, so i add some 15 minutes for extra measure. methinks i did the world a favor by not pursuing a professional career in rocket science. who knew cooking could be such a cerebral feat? finally, after much agonizing and fretting about the prospect of burning the potatoes or under-baking them, i open the oven door (for the tenth time) to find five perfectly golden-brown earthen gems. sigh. mmmmmmmmmm, butter. loads and loads of warm, buttery butter. kinda wished for sour cream and chives, but had to do without. the skin, due to all that oil and salt, came out just perfectly crisp. the insides were so smooth and fluffy that you would think they came pre-mashed. so gorgeous. so yummy. if i do say so myself, i really baked the shit out of these potatoes. if i ever meet a guy i love more than buttery, sour creamy, bacon-bit-ridden potatoes, i will say to him, “you are the butter to my tater, you are the bacon to my life.” cooking is just like science!-i marveled, my mouth oozing with the creamy, buttery goodness. of course it is!-replied my mom, and added, with this meaningful LOOK, “so is doing the dishes.” ha. HA! i get it, i am a terrible person who hates doing the dishes and thinks that humankind’s greatest invention is the modern-day dishwasher. do you realize how ridiculously trying it is to wash butter off a dish? or peanut butter for that matter? but i digress. moral of the day: simple things like the act of sharing some fabulously baked potatoes can really bring a family together. it was such a nice, comforting feeling, sitting around the dinner table, each of us digging into a small potato and reveling in the beauty of something that is so simple, so basic, so honest- and yet so delicious. since i am too tired to come up with my own words to describe that feeling of elatedness that comes after a particularly successful culinary feat, i will have to resort to borrowing a quote from the movie, julie and julia: "You know what I love about cooking? I love that after a day when nothing is sure- and when I say nothing, I mean nothing- you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. That’s such a comfort." 2:59PM | URL:

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