Tomorrow, first thing in the morning, I'm getting all four of my wisdom teeth yanked out of my skull.
Fortunately, I have arranged to be on another planet during the procedure, but I'm dreading what follows. After scouring the Internet and polling those amongst my family and acquaintances that have suffered through this before, I have come to the conclusion that there is a wide range of post-operative possibilities, from "Let's go roller skating!" to "I wish I was dead. But just this week." We'll see. I'll let you know, believe me.
Anthony, my thoughtful husband, decided that it would be a good idea if I cooked something soft and easy-to-eat, to provide me (and him) with nourishment for the coming week. And beyond, if things don't go so well. So we (he) decided on pasta fazool, which I cooked this afternoon. I'd be lying if I said it didn't feel like digging my own grave.
But pasta fazool was NOT the meal I chose to eat today, my final day with molars. No, I wanted to put those babies to work, one last time. Today I ate an enormous steak, with some crunchy broccoli, and - my favorite thing in the whole world - crispy French fries, baked in the oven.
The recipe for pasta fazool, I'll give you another time. Right now, I'm all about the French fries. Or "Freedom fries" as some raging nutbar of a politician, looking for a few votes, renamed them. To show everybody what a great patriot he was. I can't remember the circumstances, or the name of the politician, but I do remember that he (it had to be a "he"; women are not that goofy, with the possible exception of Sarah Palin) decided that the French had dissed us somehow, so he wanted to replace "French" with "Freedom" in all the American phrases that had the word "French" in them. So, French bread became Freedom bread, French toast became Freedom toast, French dressing became Freedom dressing, a French kiss became a Freedom kiss, etc.
And French fries became Freedom fries. How's that for clever? What a chooch. But I always say "Freedom fries" because a) I get a good laugh out of it; and b) when you cook them yourself in the oven, they're not fattening. So you're free from having a fat ass.
Here's how you make them:
Get some big baking potatoes. One potato serves two people, so however many you need, but prep them one at a time and then bake them all together. Scrub them, or peel them. I scrub. Take your potato and cut it in half lengthwise, so now you have two long halves of potato. Take each half and cut them in half lengthwise again. You get four long pieces of potato. Now cut the four pieces horizontally into slices about 1/4 - 1/2 inch wide, and you should have a bunch of potato pieces that sort of look like French fries.
Put the potato pieces in a gallon-size plastic bag. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil. Now twist the top of the bag closed tight, leaving some air in it so it looks like a balloon with pieces of potatoes in it. Shake the bag real good. Pour the potatoes onto a big, flat baking pan. I line my pan with foil and spray some non-stick stuff on the foil because I don't have a dish washer (other than Anthony). The potatoes should lie in the pan in a single layer, so if you're making a lot of them, you'll need more than one pan. Whatever works for you. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper, throw the pans into a 350 degree oven, and when they're brown and a little crispy (maybe about 45 minutes to an hour), you got Freedom fries.
And you can eat as many as you want. It's patriotic.