Since our children are no longer home, and as we have gotten older, I try to prevent the weight gain that happens with the slower metabolism by just not making or serving carbs at dinnertime. I try with all my might to keep in shape, (except for the couple of chocolates after dinner on weekends) but you know, I don’t consider myself too successful. I never really lost all the weight from having my boys. And you’re now talking 25 years ago.
Did I tell you I hate to shop for clothes? Seriously, I hate it. I always have. I love it when my husband buys me outfits and he does the work and lately, I guess because I haven’t shopped in so long, he went out and bought me two! The first was one of my Christmas gifts. A pair of really skinny, hip hugger jeans (that’s what we used to call them) and a beautiful navy shirt with sheer sleeves. Honestly, I was afraid to try the jeans on. I waited a few weeks. But miraculously, they fit! And they’re even a size 8 – but I think they’re making all the sizes more generous now – and they really should be a 10. Whatever, I was just so happy they fit and I didn’t have to tell him I had to take them back for a larger size.
I was reminded of a lunch I had some months ago with my friend Sharon, who is just a couple of years younger than me. Sharon is in good shape – don’t get me wrong – but she said she was with another friend who was helping her clean out her closets and her friend told her to throw out all the clothes that were too small because she thought they would constantly depress her. So Sharon decided right then and there that she didn’t have to strive for still being in her twenties. She said she gave it up!
Me? I’d like to think that I’m still nineteen – hell – forget the twenties – I want to be nineteen again! And I’m not giving up – and still striving for the body – not that I’m there – but you know what I mean?
So recently I had lunch with my friend Marie who is a few years older than me and she said she understood me. She was in that frame of mind in the past, but she thought she had moved to Sharon’s camp now. I was wearing the new outfit at that lunch and the jeans are not all that comfortable – but I’ll suffer for fashion every once in a while.
Who’s camp are you in?
We have been entertaining a lot and when we entertain, we do always serve a carb. Lately I’ve been making these potatoes – similar to Potatoes Anna but not done in the oven and not nearly with the amount of butter James Beard would call for. So let’s call these Potatoes Mary. They’re easy to do as long as you have a hand mandoline. Cook them slowly while you’re having cocktails, flip carefully and you’ll turn out a delicious and impressive looking dish for your guests.
POTATOES MARY – serves 6 – 8
6 – 7 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and sliced thin on a mandoline (you can peel these but I don’t if they’re really fresh – my mother always said the skin was good for you – made your own skin pretty!)
1 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. unsalted butter, divided
1 tbs. chopped fresh thyme leaves
Slice your potatoes right before using. Warm the olive oil with 1 tbs. of butter on medium heat in a non-stick skillet. When butter is melted, swirl together and start laying the potatoes in the skillet, overlapping them in a round fashion, making sure the overall thickness is even and using 1/2 – 2/3 of them. Then stop and salt and pepper over the top. Sprinkle the thyme leaves evenly over the surface and dot with the remaining tbs. of butter. Layer in evenly the rest of the potatoes, and salt and pepper the final top surface.
Cover the skillet for 15 – 20 minutes. The potatoes will sweat and cook. Check the bottom carefully with a spatula to make sure the bottom is not browning too much. Uncover the skillet after the 15 – 20 minutes to let some of the accumulated moisture dry up as you’re aiming for a crispy bottom, yet all the potatoes must be tender and creamy so check them with a fork in the center, cooking them for 10 – 15 minutes longer on this side, uncovered. When they’re pretty dry on top as the photo shows, slide them out of the skillet onto a plate. Then cover the plate with an unrimmed cookie sheet and flip them over. Now slide the whole potato gallette back into the skillet to brown the other side. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes more to slowly brown the other side. Keep checking with a fork. If they are not getting tender, cover them for a bit but you want to end up with your last 10 minutes or so uncovered to get them crispy. Carefully slide the whole shebang out of the skillet and onto a serving plate.
Cut like a pie into wedges. Serve with LOVE.