keeping it all in perspective

Not so great things:

1. The weather: it’s still too erratic to plant anything. It’s gone from 60 degrees to freezing overnight and we just don’t want to take the chance that planting something prematurely will result in dead plants. I need my veggies in the ground. Plus, there’s more snow in the forecast. ::Shakes fist::

2. Maple Syrup Drama: so the people from whom we have purchased our Vermont maple syrup since 2008 are generally great people to work with. Until this year. I placed my usual order on February 8th. It is now May 16th and I have not seen that syrup yet. They won’t respond to email and I even called a month or so ago to find out where it was and they assured me it would be out to us a month ago. Again, May 16th – no syrup. I just broke down and ordered it from somewhere else but damn it, I’m mad now. So I’m going to have to call them again and cancel the order and I don’t want to because I like them, but 3 months and no word whatsoever? That’s really, really bad customer service, ya’ll.

3. My attitude: I’ve had some not so nice moments lately. I call them my “but daddy I want an oompa loompa NOW” moments because often it means I am being bratty. Sometimes I am a spoiled, irritating child-like creature, I admit it. It’s not a good thing, but at least I can admit it.

Better things:

1. Finishing the new Sookie Stackhouse book in two days. It’s lots better than the last two which were lackluster at best, downright boring at worst.

2. Feeling smug because I have two new books in my possession that friends of mine wrote who have asked me to read/proof them and offer an educated opinion on their contents. ::feels smart and useful::

3. Easy side dishes. Specifically, of the potato variety. See also: Cook’s Country magazine is straight up awesome. I ran across this delightful potato dish in the last issue and though it’s simply panko crusted potato wedges, that kind of hot, salty, crusty and fluffy all at the same time is fun no matter what good and bad things are colliding in your life.

Jojo Potatoes
recipe from Cook’s Country Magazine

You need:
russet potatoes, washed, cut into wedges
vegetable or canola oil
panko crumbs
grated parmesan
dry mustard
salt
pepper
garlic powder
cayenne

Slide a rimmed baking sheet in the oven. Heat the oven to 400. Place your potato wedges in  a large bowl. Wrap with plastic wrap and microwave until the edges are barely translucent but the middles are a bit firm. I did mine for 8 minutes, but everyone’s microwave is different so check after 5 to 6 minutes. Halfway through cooking, shake the bowl to move the potatoes around. Drain whatever liquid has accumulated off the potatoes and place them back in the bowl. Drizzle a few tablespoons of oil onto the potatoes and stir them with a spoon for a minute or two. The recipe says the potatoes will develop a kind of starchy film after so much stirring. Mine kind of did, but it wasn’t a totally obvious film. Still my panko stuck to them, so I think I did it right. But I get ahead of myself. Next, combine the panko, parmesan, dry mustard, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Dredge the potato wedges in the panko mixture and transfer to a plate. Let them sit for about 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and brush with oil (carefully). Lay the potatoes, cut side down in layers on the sheet. Bake until crisp and golden browned, flipping the wedges halfway through baking. Serve hot.

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