Kitchen Mystic by Paulette Licitra

The Deconstruction by Karen Cantrell

Patisserie de Pakistan by Gregors Johnson

Meals of a Lifetime by Rebecca Keller

Ode to Risotto by Donald Newlove

Fully Committed by Doug Sovern

Biscuits and Gravy by William Blomstedt

Keeping It Tidy by Alan Linton

If I Knew You Were Coming by Alisha Lumea

On Your Only Day Off by Nicole Edwards

Bagpipes and Pan Fried Smelts by Ted Radakovic

Joseph Conrad’s Dark Linguini by Giovanni Berchtold

Missing Something by Jean-Luc Bouchard

We Love You, Mayonnaise! by Alona Martinez

Japanese Food by Esther Cohen

Raw Köfte by Hardy Griffin

Proust's Soup by Giovanni Berchtold

A Sacred Virgin by Paulette Licitra

on a friday evening by Keith Leidner

Ropa Vieja by Raul Palma

Deidre's Last Meal by Esther Cohen

Wired by Alan Linton

Chestnut by Katherine Gleason

The Moon is an Outdoor Sandwich by Patty Houston

Garlicky Greens by Lois Marie Harrod

First the Shell, Musical; Then the Custard, Irrevocable by Sarah Begley

Meals of Choice by Dorian Fox

A Low Table by Christian Aguiar

The Sylvian Fissure by Rosalie Loewen

Two Versions of Eating Potatoes by David Spiering

Conch Salad by Michele Ruby

Hopper by Michael Onofrey

Caution: Coffee is Hot by Gary Scott

The Fairy Part by Alberto Giuseppe

Foie Gras by Judith Edelman

Rosemary and Olive Oil by Gail Gauthier

Mario's Shoes by Natalie Parker-Lawrence

Cake by Marianne Villanueva

Retreat: October on Copper Mountain by M.E. Parker

The Sandwich Diaries by Angus Woodward

But There Was No Star Anise by Andrew Martell

Fruit Route by Susan King

Two Versions of Eating Potatoes

by David Spiering

July 2013    


Baked potatoes have been a bittersweet memory to me for the past ten years of my life, because once I accidently baked them well. I rolled them in sea salt and arranged them on an oven grate—I don’t even remember what temp the oven was set at. I forgot about them because they were an afterthought, I didn’t want them to rot; I’d have to throw them away, and list them on my wasted food “shame” list. When they came out the oven they were beyond my relevant daydreams of being posh.

Subsequently, I thought I had baked potatoes mastered. I made some for friends to go along with salmon and salad. When they came out of the oven they were lumpy and hard, the middles still uncooked. I returned them to the oven. After my guests went home I sat out in the late night cool, an oversized hooded sweatshirt pulled over my body, it was like a shield of warmth covering my chest. I lit a Churchill corona and looked up at the stars and watched the smoke tail off in the windless darkness. I thought I won’t make baked potatoes for a long time.


My blood sugar nosedived and I wanted potatoes; I imagine that was how Dracula felt when he spotted blood. I started sautéing onions and garlic, I cut a link of sausage-less sausage in with it, some fingerling heirloom potatoes were next. I used a wooden spoon to move them in the pan, keeping them from sticking. I deglazed with homemade veggie water. I ground black pepper in it, and soon, it looked like beige lava. It came out of the pan in large sticky globs that I imagined I heard ticking like a front hall clock while it started to cool down. I put some high fructose free catsup and an organic brand of Worcestershire sauce on it. Perhaps some pub malt vinegar might have been a good addition. I’m glad my friends were not around as I ate this meal because it would be tough to explain it to people with an artisan appetite; it lacked appearance-craftsmanship, it looked worse than lumpy oatmeal, a misuse of my normal good skills. Its taste was pure comfort that’s similar to porridge, raisins and maple syrup covered with fresh cow’s milk. After I’m done, my gut swelled slightly, I felt like a shipwreck in my armchair, I sipped a beer for almost two hours. My gut swelled even more. I should have made Spanish rice, and I could have avoided this terrible bout of gastro inflammation and being marooned in this armchair with no energy.

  David Spiering has worked as a cook, a co-op baker, a natural foods and produce clerk, and as a university English instructor. He is the author of the chapbook Crooked Litanies (Snark Press, 2005) and My Father's Gloves (Sol Books, Minneapolis MN, 2009).

Photo used under Creative Commons.