|Nothin' beats or eats Lovestead Tater Treats|
Somebody posted a recipe yesterday for home-cooked microwave potato chips. With three boxes of garden potatoes just outside the kitchen door in the garage, I thought I'd give it a try.
I've always wanted to know how to make my own chips because I'm guessing that if there's a food that gets eaten more than any other around our house, it's chips----all kinds of chips---standard potato chips, Mesquite barbecue chips, sour cream and onion chips, cheddar chips and those wonderful Juanitas Brand gluten-free tortilla chips.
Oh, Juanitas, I love you so, and I don't even care if I have gluten or trans fats or any of that bad stuff we're not supposed to eat.
Juanitas have actually entered into the realm of my shopping-cart habits where if it's good, grab two.
I'm sure the checkers wonder about me as I put my stuff on the counter----two chunks of Tillamook medium cheddar, two packages of mint Oreo cookies, two packages of Lays Mesquite barbecue chips, two boxes of Meadow Gold French vanilla ice cream, two bottles of moderately cheap chardonnay and, always, two sacks of Juanitas.
I love my Juanitas lots of ways: straight out of the bag while driving home from the grocery store or preparing dinner, in a bowl with a hefty slice of Tillamook medium cheddar on the side, i.e. three chips, on bite-sized chunk of Tillamook into the mouth at the same time.
I also like to melt that cheese all over the Juanitas. Often two helpings of that combination suffices as dinner for me.
Not healthy, I know, but as long as the food Nazis stay away from my kitchen, I'll eat what I damn well please. And, if I die because too many chips went down my throat, sobeit!
I'll die happy.
I've rarely met a chip I didn't like clear back from the day when only one flavor of Nalleys potato chips existed and many of those went down our throats before Mother found the half-empty sack to put out on the table for hamburger night.
About the only chips that would go stale around our house would be those with vinegar and salt or jalapeno-flavored.
Even though we still have a few bags in the storage room that have remained unopened for almost a week, I went about my day yesterday, thinking about how fun it would be if my attempt at cooking up some real chips would meet with success, ya know the kind that snap, crackle and pop when you bite into them---not the kind that feel like rubber bands or hard taffy, keeping you chewing for minutes on end and discouraging you from grabbing any more and eventually leading you to dump them in the dogfood dish.
Most of my past attempts have turned out like the latter. No big thrill in chewing away forever at rubbery chips, and I've done that a few times in my life.
Once yesterday's activities of transporting dogs to and from the Pooch Parlor and riding Lefty down the road with a neighbor and weeding a flower bed and finishing an editing job, I was ready to try that recipe.
So, I pulled out the mesquite barbecue chips for munching while following the recipe.
Cut the slices really thin, it said. That's the key to avoiding chewy chips.
Soak in cold water to get the starch out, and even soak a little longer if you like. Well, I was in too much of a hurry to soak much longer than a minute or so.
Lay them out on paper towels and let 'em dry. The recipe even suggested a salad spinner for drying. I don't have a salad spinner, but it occurred to me overnight that maybe my hairdryer would do.
I don't think my chips had too much time to dry before I started seasoning them and laying them on some more paper towel on a plate.
Then, I put them in the microwave, and when the first batch came out, I realized a sharper knife might be in order as a few of them had that leathery consistency, but some actually did SNAP and CRACK when I bit into them.
Yesterday's attempt at homemade chips turned out moderately successful, but I think some fine tuning is in order.
First clue: that original bag of 16 chips still had about 10 left for the photo shoot this morning.
In addition, I did not see Bill reach into the bag for a second one last night after he returned home from his Presbyterian church meeting where they were learning about Buddhism.
Maybe he learned something in the Buddhist discipline code that suggests moderation in unhealthy chip consumption.
Who knows, but I don't think Juanitas or Lays or Tim's is gonna have to worry about Lovestead Tater Treats taking over the market.
In my case, when someone sez, "Bet ya can't eat just one," they lose!
Still, it was fun, and my chip-making learning curve has taken a slight dive.