Posted on | October 10, 2010 | 5 Comments
Weekends around this time of the semester are extremely contradictory. I’d like to say that they’re calm and relaxing, and in a way, they are. We stay in our pajamas all day and quietly do our homework (when we’re not being distracted from said homework by our computers or each other). The only sound is the thrumming of the washer and dryer as Jennifer finished the last of laundry. On the outside, yes, everything is soothingly calm. That’s where our brains come in. Halfway through the semester, comes the point where we start to freak out, at least internally. We fret over homework, midterms, boys, menstrual cycles, the inevitable illnesses that come with living in a college dorm, and whatever else happens to be going on in our lives at the moment.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s time for comfort food. Now, there are many different types of comfort food. My personal favorite is chocolate and potato chips. The sweet with the salty really does the trick. But today, I wanted to cook something. I wanted to put time and effort into what I was going to eat. I wanted that satisfied feeling of knowing that I was enjoying something that I had created by my own hands. I didn’t want to just plop down on the couch with a bag of chips and a Hershey bar. So I opened up my newest cook book:
Yeah. I know I’m late posting about this. It’s been sitting on my shelf since my pre-ordered copy arrived at Rider University’s mail room. I mean, I’ve read it over and over, but I hadn’t had the chance to actually cook anything from it. In fact, I hadn’t had the chance to cook anything in a couple of weeks. Between being sick, doctors’ appointments, class, work, homework and internship stuff, I’d only had time to make rice pasta for dinner a couple of nights. My microwave has sadly gotten quite the workout this past week.
I immediately knew which recipe I wanted to make. You see, my roommate, Jennifer, just loves potatoes. And why not? Potatoes are another great comfort food, no matter how they’re cooked. So when I saw the recipe for the Potato Puree, I knew it was a winner. Warm, smooth, happy potatoes with the perfect amount of cream, olive oil, salt and pepper. Yum!
There are a couple of things that I learned while making these potatoes. First, I found that peeling potatoes offers a really good chance to do some good thinking. It’s such a monotonous sort of chore, but I enjoyed it because I did some of my best thinking all day while peeling those Yukon gold potatoes. I thought about how I wanted to write this post and upcoming doctor’s appointments (still trying to figure out what’s wrong with me). I thought about the fact that my younger sister is going off to college next week and that I’m graduating in May. Pretty serious stuff for peeling potatoes, huh? Maybe I was just having a nostalgic day.
The second thing I learned is that it’s much easier to peel potatoes with a knife than an actual potato peeler.
The third thing I learned is that I can cook. There were moments where I did something wrong and thought that I’d ruined the whole thing. I couldn’t cut the potatoes so all of the pieces were even. Then I was scared because I wanted them to cook evenly. And then I wasn’t sure how long they should cook because they were all different sizes. But like I mentioned in past posts, instinct takes over and everything turns out just fine. The potatoes came out just great. They were smooth and creamy. They were the best potatoes I’d had in a long time. And the roomies approved as well!
Really, these potatoes were the best. The three of us felt just a little less stressed while devouring them. The first thing my other roommate, Heather, said was, “I do feel a little bit better now.” I had joked earlier that the potato puree would be the best part of her day. We had a great lunch together and it was a perfect break from doing homework and worrying about everything going on.
So thank you, Shauna and Daniel, for yet another amazing recipe and for an amazing book. Reading about your relationship and your lives has given me hope for my own future. Besides having a plethora of tasty recipes, your book has taught me so much about food and love and real life. When I read your story, I know that I’m reading something real. There’s no fabrication or exaggeration. There’s just honesty. And lots of delicious food and gorgeous pictures of delicious food.
And I want to thank food bloggers in general. I realized today just how much I’ve learned from all of you. Everyday I’m getting healthier and happier. And I’m growing more confident in my own cooking. I know it was just mashed potatoes. Maybe I’m getting a little too excited over it. But like I said, peeling potatoes really gets you thinking. A couple of months ago I would have been terrified to open a cook book and make something new without my mother looking over my shoulder or assisting me. I was also really scared of ovens. Now I’m becoming more adventurous. I’m open to so much more than I was before reading food blogs and learning how to be gluten free and healthy. I am eternally grateful to all of you.