Today I’d Like to Talk About Potatoes
Why potatoes, you ask?
Great question. And since “because they’re ridiculously, amazingly good” isn’t quite going to cut it here, I’ll offer up a bit more.
Potatoes: because we survived Monday.
Potatoes: because the Broncos won on Sunday. Did I mention that recently? Whoops.
Potatoes: because they go great with grass-fed beef burgers topped with buttery, blue cheese and a pile of leafy greens.
But, here’s the really real reason for potatoes: I’m teaching my tiny little obnoxious freshmen how to write – how to really, really write an essay. We’ve been writing like maniacs all year. Right now we’re in a revision unit: we’re taking the last essay we wrote – about The Great Gatsby – and we’re breaking things down to an even finer level. One aspect of essay writing a day. We’re digging deep. My students are revising their essays, one little bit at a time. It’s working. They’re growing as writers. But they haaaaate it. They hate having to focus, they hate having to write, they hate having to be critical. Although it’s been a bit rough, I’m sticking to my guns and to my expectations. They’re going to write. And they’re going to get ridiculously, amazingly good at it, whether they “like” it or not.
After a difficult day of non-stop instruction, nothing makes me feel better than coming home. Changing out of my heels into my slippers. Pulling on my apron. Writing in sentence fragments. And cooking. At school, there are a million things I cannot control. A student getting angry five minutes into the class period and storming out of the classroom? Can’t control it. A student guessing my age with wild, reckless inaccuracy? No control. A tornado drill on a bright, sunny day? Not even an ounce of control.
But when I come home and get into my apron there is a lot that I can control. I can control thick slices of baby gold potatoes, drizzled with olive oil and dusted with smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. I can toast those wedges of potato in the oven, at 450 degrees for 30 minutes, until they are crisp and golden. I can dunk those ridiculous, amazing little potatoes into a delicious pile of Whole Foods-brand ketchup (seriously the best ketchup ever) and enjoy them alongside the aforementioned meal.
So, why potatoes? Because I wanted to. And because they worked out exactly as I’d planned, which can be a rare and glorious thing to come by in my day. Whether you need a bit of control over something in your life, or you just need a delicious and easy side dish for tomorrow night’s dinner, I hope you’ll consider these potatoes.