The first time I ever baked something was with my mom. Hillary Clinton Chocolate Chip Cookies. They were full of chocolate, chewy, moist, and I still have the recipe memorized. It’s my go-to in times of junk food desperation.
I remember the first time I broke a bone, rode a bike, my first tooth-pulling, my first Barbie (and last), first smooch, first punch, and quite possibly hundreds of other life landmarks. Then again, I can’t remember my first piercing because I was just a month old living in the Philippines.
It’s 2011, and maybe it’s the two ones in the year, but I’ve got a massive underlying desire to rack up the firsts before the year’s out. Like carving pumpkins. And ice skating on a pond. And if I dare, skiing?!
Apple picking, check.
I’ve yet to decide what to do with a good 12 pounds of all sorts of apples. Maybe I’m avoiding them because we ate half a dozen apples to our faces before even picking any for the bag. Apples make my tummy do cartwheels.
I can tell you that last night marked the first time I successfully baked a potato.
I have issues with potatoes. I’m only slightly Irish and my starch of choice has always been rice, so when someone asks me to whip up home fries for breakfast, the kitchen explodes.
They look like caterpillars before you bake them. And after.
Swedish-style Baked Potatoes.
5 red potatoes
5-7 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 slivers butter
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
To slice the potatoes thin, you’ll need a super sharp knife. Begin at one end of the potato and slice almost all the way do the bottom, leaving about an eighth of an inch. Continue slicing slivers about a sixteenth of an inch all the way down the potato.
Stuff the gaps with thinly sliced garlic. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle each potato with olive oil. Top with a slice of butter and salt and pepper.
Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the potatoes are crisp.
Serves two hungry hippos or as 5 sides.