Everyone always talks about writing being like cooking.
Clarification: By everyone, I mean writers. Writers like to talk about themselves.
Anyways, there are a million blogs about how writing is like cooking, but not really anything about cooking like a writer. So, our new Thursday segment is now COOKING LIKE A WRITER.
What does this mean?
It means I’m going to share one recipe with you each Thursday and it’s not going to be shiny and pretty and slick. It’s going to be real, people, because writers of kidlit are authentic AF.
It’s also going to be vegetarian because I’m not about death of animals even though EVERYONE else in my family is about animals as food. So part of this is my quest to convince them to go the vegetarian way. Not the vegan way. They are so not ready for that.
I decided to start off easy with Crispy Potato Tacos. I found the recipe on shelikesfood.com, which is possibly the most authentic name of a website ever. I’m sort of jealous.
She said it was a ‘super and easy weeknight dinner that’s also really flavorful and delicious!’
She used an exclamation point. I was good to go. I’m a writer. I know all about punctuation and life and I want to live my life as an exclamation point. I changed the amounts of the ingredients, however, because we are a household that needs a lot of flavor. So. Much. Flavor. And also, I converted the instructions for ‘writers,’ because this is… um… about cooking with a writer.
Potato Tacos of Writer Awesomeness
This recipe is adapted from shelikesfood.com
- 2 large russet potatoes
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 12 corn tortillas
- optional toppings (lettuce, tomato, salsa, onion, peppers, cilantro, tears )
You need to find a knife. Do not think about suicidal confessional poets from the 1960s. Just find a knife.
Use the knife to cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Don’t ponder about what ‘bite-sized’ means. Don’t riff on how different people have different mouth sizes and therefore different bite sizes. Just cut the potatoes. Cut them on a cutting board!
Get a large pot. Put the cut-up potatoes in the pot. Fill the pot with water. Think about this. Are these the characters in your story, perculating under your subconscious? Ready to make something happen in your plot? Yes. Yes. They are.
Boil those characters for 15-20 minutes. They should be fork tender. What does that even mean fork tender? Aren’t we all fork tender, us humans? So easily hurt.
Drain the potatoes, those poor tender potatoes. Pause to write a poem. Make sure when you come back that those little sweet potatoes are pretty dry.
Cast aside your feelings. It’s time to get serious. Find a skillet. Do not comtemplate the last time you used a skillet as a prop device in your murder-mystery staring your ex boss. Instead, turn the stove burner on to medium heat. Put that skillet on the burner. Yes, the same burner that you’ve turned on.
In the skillet, put olive oil, potatoes, and spices. Double up the spices if you aren’t afraid. You want depth to your story. I mean recipe.
Stir it up like it’s a good plot.
Cook it for 3-5 minutes. Flip it. Cook it on that side for 3-5 more minutes. You want it crisp, but not burnt. Use your own judgement about what constitutes crisp. You can do it! I believe in you!
Find the corn tortillas. Put potatoes in them. Put the other toppings in them. Hope for good reviews on Amazon and GoodReads. I mean, hope your family likes them.
The Man’s Rating: This is not enough food for dinner but it is delicious. How many of these can I eat and not be a glutton.
My Rating: This is more than enough food for dinner, but I had to peel potatoes. I don’t like peeling potatoes.
The dogs were not impressed because there was no bacon involved. But look! Here it is! Note the giant man hand. Is it any wonder he was all, “NEED MORE FOOD?”