While contemplating the baked potato, I concluded that it was, in essence, a blank canvas. With a relatively neutral flavor, the bare and naked potato is no more than unrealized au gratin, or a French fry that has yet to reach its fullest potential. But, served with melted cheese, broccoli, butter, sour cream and bacon, the baked potato becomes the ideal vehicle for delicious flavor. This was the thought that entered my twelve year-old mind. And naturally, I extrapolated on this idea with the following logic – If a baked potato is only as good as its toppings, then it has the potential to be a vehicle for sugar. I was on the brink of inventing the dessert potato.
My logic was reinforced by my recent discovery of breakfast pizza. It follows the similar formula of a Neutral base + Flavorful Toppings = Culinary Success. And who wouldn’t want the excuse to eat pizza for breakfast? And if it was socially acceptable to eat pizza for breakfast, why couldn’t I eat a dessert potato for dinner? I was already getting away with eating frozen yogurt on my waffles in the morning and I had great ambitions of transforming every meal into some sweet reincarnation of its former, nutritious self.
I approached my dad and explained my theory. Remarkably, he was open to conducting some research. We cooked a baked potato in the microwave and got the chocolate sauce ready (and by that, I mean that I retrieved a bottle of Hershey’s syrup from the fridge). After eight long minutes of anticipation, the microwave beeped. We split the potato down the middle and I squirted syrup all over it. As far as condiments go, maybe, Hershey’s syrup wasn’t the best selection. Rather than coating the potato, it soaked right in, resulting in a mealy and wet, dark brown potato blunder. As it turns out, the potato was not as neutral and accepting of toppings as I’d hoped. Imagine letting an Oreo get soggy in a bowl of potato soup, or stirring mashed potatoes into a mug of hot chocolate, and you’ve got the basic idea of our dessert potato results.
I know, I know. You’re surprised that the dessert potato failed. I was too.
I was thinking about the potato experiment because I was thinking about my baby. Let me explain. For the love of all things delicious, I am going to do my very best not to turn this website into what is known as, “the Mommy Blog.” My focus and dedication here is, and will always be, the sweet, occasionally excessive, and sometimes disastrous discoveries of my eating, baking and traveling adventures. This being said, my brain is consumed with all things baby and my personal experiences are a big part of what I like to share here. So, how do I maintain my own voice and sense of self with the new role I’m about to play? How do I write about food and not complain about the current absence of blue cheese and beer in my life? Or how do I not bore you by rambling on about pineapple cravings? (we’re talking entire pineapples in a single sitting).
While the focus of the story might be the potato, I guess it had me thinking more about my dad and the weird things you do with your kids. It’s my hope that I do lots of weird things involving food with my kid when she’s old enough. Whether it’s eating chocolate on potatoes, deep-frying pancake batter and dipping it in ketchup, or trying to bake and consume homemade Playdoh (yup, I did all of those things), kids approach food from a strange and wonderful angle. While I won’t gripe about diapers or report on natural, baby-friendly meal plans on the blog, I can’t wait to have a co-conspirator in cookie-making, beater-licking and culinary creation and tell you all about it.