Wednesday, April 24, 2013

slice of life

For the first time in many months, we had our very first full week of school.  March Break, Easter, PA days and storm days have given us many short weeks.

Admittedly, I was starting to enjoy these short weeks.  They were like little less school lunch/homework/commute to prepare for.  And I love the days when my kids participate in the school's "hot lunch" program.  I almost feel like I'm on vacation the night before "hot lunch" day...not having to prepare a packed lunch gives me the feeling of freedom, like I've won the lottery!  (ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but it's a chore that's almost as mundane as laundry).

I guess doing mundane things is a good thing.  As much as it pains me to actually do it, it is a part of life that is predictable, regular and a normal part of every day routine.  And it is this predictability that makes me feel safe.  This past week, if there is any feeling that I (and many of us) wanted to feel, is safe.  Safe in knowing that we still live in a world of good people.  Knowing that we can still enjoy going to the  movies, going to school, cheering for friends in a marathon because this is part of our everyday life that we know.  The freedom to be able to do these things because we worked so hard for that freedom, working and doing all those "mundane" chores of life, so we can experience a slice of enjoyment.

So when I prepared my kids for their full week back at school, it felt like it was my first day back from a vacation.  Rested, grateful and ready to go back to the normal routine.  And I know that after a week of doing all those mundane chores, everything will feel normal again...and at the end of the week, my kids will kick off their shoes and enjoy the (hopefully) warm spring weather, and I will once again, feel a little slice of freedom on the weekend.  

Hasselback Potatoes
(serves 4-5 people)

The trick to slicing these potatoes almost right through, while still keeping them intact is using a pair of chopsticks.  It's an easy and quick way to slice the potatoes.

  • 5 large baking potatoes
  • 3 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. parmesan
  • Salt, pepper to taste 
  • Chopped herbs to taste (dried is fine)
  • Shredded cheddar (optional)
  • Sour Cream with or without chives (optional)
  • Preheat the oven to 425F.
  • Place a potato between two chopsticks.

  • Thinly slice the potatoes (about 1 cm each slice), cutting almost all the way though, but leaving the whole potato intact.
  • Dizzle with olive oil and melted butter
  • Sprinkle with minced garlic, parmesan, seasonings and chopped herbs.
  • Place the sliced potatoes on a cast iron skillet.
  • Bake for approximately 1 hour to 90 minutes until the potato skin is brown and crisp, and the inside of the potato is tender.
Top with shredded cheddar or sour cream. Serve with any BBQ meal.

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