Baked potatoes remind me of Sunday dinners at our family table in Vermont. My mother used to bake potatoes with a large nail stuck in each one to help them cook faster. When it came to actually eating a baked potato, our parents always had some good natured banter about the best way to do it.
My mother, an elementary school teacher from the South, wanted us to learn to slice the potato open, add our butter or gravy, and then eat the potato in bite sized pieces with fork and knife, cutting each piece just before taking a bite. The skin was to be eaten at the same time as the potato.
My father on the other hand, approached a baked potato as if it were a construction project, and there was only one way to do that as far as he was concerned. Cut the potato into two pieces, right down the middle. Take one half in the palm of your hand and scoop out the white part using a fork with your other hand, being sure to clean every morsel of potato out of the skin. That skin needed to be dry and clean…no clinging bits left inside! Repeat with the other half. Mash up the potato on your plate with a fork, leaving some crevices or a nicely rounded crater for a puddle of gravy. There had to be gravy. After all the potato on your plate is gone, spread butter on the skins and eat them with your fingers like little sandwiches.
Can you guess which baked potato method we liked the best? All of our own children know about “Grandpa’s way to eat potato”…but we made sure they knew Grammy’s way as well! (Our kids discovered the potato ricer and used to pass one around the table to make “mashed potatoes” …go figure.)
I always make sure we have more baked potatoes than we need for one meal. Here’s a quick and easy way to turn leftover baked potatoes into a healthy lunch or snack:
Warm up the potato in the microwave. Slice the potato across the top. Scoop out the inside of the potato and mix in some salsa, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and pepper. Put the mixture back into the potato skin and top with grated carrots, steamed broccoli florets, plus a little more cheese.
Thank you to the Idaho Potato Commission for sharing this recipe on their site. Check it out here.
I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.