Vlorbik's Diner

son of owen's cooking show

Archive for the ‘Taters’ Category

taters & toast: “before” and “during”

Posted by vlorbik on August 29, 2015

Photo on 8-29-15 at 9.55 AM

first i had the egg, fried over easy in butter,
and the bread, toasted & buttered. in the form
of a sandwich half, with mixed-in-the-package
“greek” seasoning. the pan was plenty hot and
there was plenty of butter, so the egg came up
perfect: hard white, runny yolk.

that was for me. as meanwhile i was peeling the taters.
four slices of bacon… way fatty at one end but meaty
enough overall… go in the pan while i cut up the taters.
i quarter ’em the long way and then slowly slide ’em under
the big knife as i roll it up-&-down “slicer” style.
my hands are much surer at this task then they were
even a few months ago, but there’s a long way to go
before i’ve ever *really* got that knife under control:
quickness and uniformity are both slow to develop.
the main thing of course is not to slice off any part
of any fingers while you’re about it.

and it all goes in the baconfat.
now chop up the onion. as you can see,
i had a “northern hemisphere” onion-half.
i halved this again & threw away the skin.
(& ate some of the outer layer). then bisected
the resulting quarter-onion wedge the long way
(along its wedge-edge). each narrower-wedge
so created, i then split again the same way.

so you throw the onion-sixteenth wedges into
the pan with the taters. where the separate
layers making them up fall apart quite nicely.
maybe throw in some butter, too. why not.

last are the peppers. i just cut up along their
“latitudes”; they form nice rings this way easily.
the seeds are all at the top. i eat the tops raw
myself, possibly dipped in ranch. the bottoms too.
the rings mostly go in the pan.

meanwhile.
when the burntest tater-slice is getting dark, eat it
and stir everything up. spread around the mixed-in-
-package “taco” seasoning. fuss around with the heat
more or less randomly. when the fattest slice is soft
enough, and all the other ingredients are in, put in
some bacon-bits. (edit the fattiest bits out altogether
and eat the most questionable remaining bits for yourself;
the rest in the pan.)

serve with ketchup & buttered toast.
& ice tea. and a manky-teethed smile.

today’s lemonade isn’t made yet.
getting back to work.

Photo on 8-29-15 at 10.25 AM

Posted in DAADD, Taters | Leave a Comment »

half a lemon per entire pitcher of powdered ‘nade. arnoldize to taste. leftover pizza dipped in ranch.

Posted by vlorbik on May 5, 2014

Photo on 2014-05-04 at 10.00

Photo on 2014-05-04 at 21.37

some more fruits of my latest shelving binge
and probably the last dishes i’ll wash tonight.
i improved a bunch of the movie-and-theatre
section today. madeline liked the homefries.
yay, me.

if there’s bacon trimmings set aside,
heat ’em up in the small steel pan.
wipe out the cast-iron pan & melt
some butter in it.

cut four potatoes in half the long way
with the big knife on a wooden cutting
board. slide each potato-half gradually
under the knife with your left hand as
you raise and lower the knife with your
right in a sort of “rolling” motion (so
that the blade never leaves the board);
the ideal here is uniformly thin “chip”-
-like slices.

this’ll take longer than you anticipate
and the butter’s getting hot, so get
some of the easy stuff started: break
out the peppers (four colors of green
pepper, already cleaned & partly sliced
as of, what, a couple days now i guess);
finish cutting up a couple strips in
each color & put ’em in the butter.

get out the thousand island while you’re
at it and quality-control a few pepper-
-slices. finish cutting up the potatoes
& put ’em in the pigfat. go get an
onion-half; knock off a corner & slice
it up. merge the taters in with the
peppers; cover it up and lower the heat.
cook the sting out of the onions in
the little pan and add those in. now
do the dishload seen here: this will
take a while. whenever you think about
stirring stuff up, try the thickest
slice you see: still too crunchy.
halfheartedly cut a few other thick
slices with the turner; re-cover &
get back to cleaning up. somewhere
along the line, add in some taco
seasoning (from a pre-mix package
but stored in a no-label bottle
[seen here at the back of the
“spicerack” shelf with the easily-
-missed brown lid next to the no-
-label bottle with the green lid,
right behind the greek seasoning])
and some “greek” seasoning. heat
up a coffee and have some of that.
when the homefries are good and ready,
put most of it into a small glass bowl
and add a goodly dollop of sour cream.
sprinkle a token few dried parsley
flakes on top of the sour-cream dollop
so it’ll look all classy and stuff.
serves one hungry clean-plater.
yay, me.

Posted in Comics, DAADD, Recipes, Taters | Leave a Comment »

two guys named ray, long ago. also potatoes.

Posted by vlorbik on February 13, 2013

ray bunnage was my best friend for most of the 60’s:
from our late single-digit years up to our early teens.
the bunnages weren’t as well-off financially as we thomases
(his dad was a methodist preacher & mine an english prof);
probably this does much to account for the fact that ray
was generally *much more practical* than i was (he began
earning his own money by the then-usual paper routes and
lawn-mowing jobs quite a bit before i did, for example).

we ran around together everywhere and hung out quite a bit
at each other’s houses… sleepovers and all the usual
kid stuff. but it occurs to me now that we *never*…
or almost never… spent much time in *my* familiy’s kitchen
but we spent *many*many hours cooking… and of course eating…
in *his*.

and i’ll’ve forgotten most of it. but i remember the
already-old-fashioned stand-up mixer we’d use for cakes
(from a premix box). and, get this, a hand-cranked
*ice-cream* maker (i’ll’ve only participated in making
it maybe one or two times… they made pretty big batches
and there was always a grownup involved; it was something
of an event… and the like-no-other batches lasted weeks).
another thing that comes up in my memory quite often:
cooking burgers out. ray liked to knead an enormous amount
of “seasoning salt” into the burger patties… enough that
they were almost falling apart… before grilling ’em.
and i copied his style as i did in most culinary matters.

anyhow, i suppose i’m bringing this up now as evidence
that even in childhood i enjoyed at least glimpses
of the cooking-is-fun-and-easy vibe… but mostly
down the street.

at home with just the family? not so much.
i can barely remember “helping” my mother
in the kitchen (by getting in the way and
licking the batter off the beaters and such).
my *clearest* memory of suchlike matters is
proudly peeling and mashing potatoes for
thanksgiving day. i must’ve done this
for a few years in a row. i seem to have
been influenced in this choice-of-specialty
by the comics: “sad sack” would sometimes
be shown peeling potatoes as a punishment
(“K.P.” stood for “kitchen patrol” or
“kitchen police” or somesuch thing, but
to me it was “keep peeling” [probably i got
this deliberate-misreading from my sister])
and for some reason i got a kick out of
identifying with this character.

but for the most part, i picked up pretty early
on the “housewifery is a trap for the less-fortunate”
vibe loud and clear from both parents (and the
culture at large… n^th wave feminism and
“do your own thing” and whatnot) and wanted
nothing to do with *anything* as “useful” as
cooking. once you let it be known that you’re
*good* at that stuff, they’ll keep making you
*do* it over and over. what’s next, *cleaning*?
**************************************************
then a bunch of years passed. ray moved away.
i got another best friend, chris mc-garry.
then mc-garry moved away. a year-and-change
later, he set up an interview for me at the
hotel he was working at and i got my first
full-time job and moved out of my dad’s place.
another year passed. and chris moved back
to bloomington. and the hotel fired me
and i got a bunch of temp jobs.
**************************************************
ray young was my employer first… but then,
and in pretty short order, my room-mate and
bachelor-life mentor. ray ran a carpet-cleaning
business and first hired me… i answered a want-ad…
as a phone solicitor (approximately the world’s worst
job). i was no good at getting him leads so he decided
to take me out on the jobs instead and hired somebody
else to work the phone.

business dried up in thousand oaks, so ray decided
to move back to vegas and set up there for a while.
he’d done this dosie-doh before and knew a few people
there. anyhow, he invited me to come along.
which is how we became room-mates.

back to the cooking show. one of the first things
we did on moving in was go get several pounds of
hamburger. which he showed me how to patty up
and shove in the freezer. the idea was to always
have *something* on hand. if the patty stack
started getting low, why then, we’d go and get
some more meat.

but ray wasn’t *much* into cooking. and eating out
in vegas was *cheap*. hell, drinks were “free” if
you were gambling. fifty-cent buffet breakfasts
were common and we sampled quite a few.

so, besides the burgers, i can only remember one
cooking tip from living with ray young: fried potatoes.
the classic recipe: cut ’em up, fry ’em in fat, salt
to taste, serve. we had this several times to soak
up the beer we’d drink lots of almost every night.
it was great.

and now i do ’em all the time.
a couple months ago, i even made madeline
a breakfast of “fried potatoes three ways”.
french-fry cut, disks (the way ray showed me),
and hash-browns. fried in butter, oil,
and pigfat in some order (i forget).
i myself had “fried potatoes four ways”
that morning since i’d peeled at least one
potato (and won’t serve the peels unless
done right with onions & cheese).

i still love mashing ’em too.
here’s something you probably haven’t tried:
put in some cream cheese (and a little less
butter). yum.

okay. starving. time for some hash-browns!

Posted in 60s, 70s, DAADD, Taters | Leave a Comment »