20 April 2005

Dangerous spuds

WHOOOOMMP! That’s the sound a russet potato makes when it blows up in your oven. It’s a dense, fast, surprising sound, a lot like the one a gas burner makes when it doesn’t ignite right away and then bangs out a fireball with all the wasting gas that collects around the stovetop. At first I couldn’t identify the alarming sound--thought perhaps it was a backfire of some sort--so I peeped into the oven and found that one of my four baking spuds had spewed its innards all over the interior. Its skin was almost perfectly cleaned out. Did I poke holes in it before it began to cook? Yes, I poked holes in all four potatoes. I remember, because I was doing it at an awkward angle and I was a little worried about accidentally stabbing my left hand while it held those russets still.

I called Rob in from the studio, and Gram in from her toob-watching room, so they could inspect the damage. “Did you poke holes?” “Yes! I poked holes!” Rob went back to work. Gram went back to watching the toob. I went back to cooking and moments later . . . FWHHOOOOOOOMMMPP!! Another pomme de terre blasted to smithereens, louder than the first. I placed a second intercom call to Rob. I told Gram, who fearfully insisted I should take the rest of the potatoes out of the oven. I was afraid to touch the others. I pictured myself catching a third explosion of hot starch right in the face, burns all over. I turned off the oven and waited till I thought it was safe. What a mess. Rob came in and ate the empty potato skins with olive oil and kosher salt and said they were perfect.

Nice that we have a self-cleaning oven.


Daniel Heath said...


suggestion: next time inject them with red food coloring. or green. hell, all the colors of the rainbow. oven art! I think you've hit on something here.

Geo said...

Yeah, come to think of it, those mashed potato molehills everywhere were reminiscent of Silly Sand. Artificial color really could make my kitchen fun complete. Thanks, monkey 0.