Eating In (And a Recipe for Silver Dollar-Fried Potatoes)

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For some, dining out is an experience, a journey of exploration, a fun way to experience the local atmosphere. Mark and I tend to eat out only when we’re desperate, when schedules are crunched and food is frozen and we are both too exhausted to think. Restaurants, by association or otherwise, have simply become an occasional necessity for us. Mark gets annoyed by the service or the wait times and I grumble over paying for a recipe that I am pretty certain I could create myself.

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When we really want to indulge, when we really want to relax and de-stress, when we need time and space, conversation and some very good food, we cook at home. There is really nothing that quite compares to savoring a meal with wine or beer (or in my present state, juice) in the warmth of our dining room after we’ve gathered, chopped, combined, and watched with bated breath. For us, cooking is the best kind of magic.

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Poor Mark has also been essentially meat- deprived for weeks in the wake of my morning sickness*. So on Friday, we held a phone conference while I rattled off options from the seafood department of Costco. We settled on lobster tails and met at home promptly at 6:00, ready to tackle our dinner of lobster.

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I’ve been dying to try to make my grandfather’s dollar-fried potatoes for ages and they seemed like the perfect side-dish to pair with lobster. So I prepped the butter sauce and lobster while Mark worked on slicing the potatoes.

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I used red wine for the steaming instead of white and skipped the green onions and the meat was none the worse for the wear. Frying the potatoes was a process a bit more involved than I had bargained for, but the result was beyond worth it.

We happily munched our moist lobster dripping with garlic butter (I had approximately 4 bites of mine before handing it off to Mark…baby nausea is a beast) and thinly shaved, fried-and-lighty-salted-to-perfection potatoes (I stole most of Mark’s), paired with ice-cold Blue Moon (at least for the one of us who is not currently pregnant).

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For that little space of time on Friday night, it might as well have been a warm night in July. Summer is coming, friends. But since it’s taking it’s sweet time, might I encourage you to usher in some of your own warmth?

Go buy something that you would never buy at the grocery store, prepare some time-consuming colorful extravagant dish, and indulge for a little while. We spend far too much time tracking and counting and weighing and assessing and criticizing our food. Let’s spend some time rejoicing over our tables.

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Dollar-Fried Potatoes

Vegetable Oil

5 (or 10 or 15) Russet potatoes

Salt

Wash the potatoes and slice them as thinly as possible. Pour 1/3 a cup of vegetable oil into a frying pan and warm the pan. Fill the bottom of the pan with sliced potatoes and lightly salt. When the potatoes are a deep golden-brown and crispy on the bottom, flip them over. Remove the potatoes as they finish frying (potatoes may fry at different speeds) and stack on a plate. Continue to fry until all of the potatoes are done, adding oil as necessary and lightly salting each new batch. Potatoes may be kept warm in the oven as they cook. 

*Yes, you did read that correctly. We are so absolutely ecstatic to welcome a new member to our little family next summer. I have struggled with deciding exactly how to handle this delightful news in the sphere of  social media and am still figuring that out. But I felt that it was only fair to share the good news with my dear readers. More about this in posts to come.

9 Thoughts on “Eating In (And a Recipe for Silver Dollar-Fried Potatoes)

  1. YAYYYYYYY BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I also loved how you just casually mentioned it so we could all freak out a little.

    • emilyamccord on January 28, 2014 at 9:03 am said:

      Hannah, ha! Underpromise, overdeliver . . . ??? I’ll be honest – it was kind of the dramatic response I was hoping for.;-)

  2. haha, I like how you casually slipped this news into the post like we discussed. Very well done…nothing too overdone or TMI haha :)

    had fun yesterday, looking forward to trying these dollar potatoes.

    We are the opposite — we love a meal out, even if its just a local pizzaria or something mid range and not too pricy. I find it to be relazing. I think it helps us explore DC and gives me a chance to not cook ! But, we limit ourselves to doing this only once a week. I don’t want a huge part of our budget to go to eating out and I hate wasting money on eating out for lunch, etc…so usually we grab dinner somewhere on friday or saturday or do happy hour and apps (although many weekends we still just cook at home!)

    • emilyamccord on January 28, 2014 at 9:05 am said:

      Katy, right?? It was so much fun. I love cooking parties. Maybe we should have a party for silver-dollar fried potatoes!! I really do think a lot of it is personality. Eating out is a great way to explore the city and it’s definitely not like we never do it. I think we’re just getting lazy and when something needs to be chucked from the schedule, it’s easier and less stressful to go to the store and not battle with parking and reservations. Also, I HATE this cold, so I think that makes me just want to hibernate. We’re more extroverted in the summer.;-) Sometimes I wonder if later on we’ll regret not taking advantage of all of these babysitter-free days though.

  3. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! You will be such a great mother. And I love your thoughts on dining in vs. out…I tend to cook as a necessity and dine out when I want to relax, but I would like to reverse the two and enjoy cooking more often.

    • emilyamccord on January 28, 2014 at 9:00 am said:

      Gwen, thank you!:-) We’re so excited. I’m sure I’ll eat my words in a couple of years, but I think for now it’s this way because we both feel like we’re running around all day and so spending a few hours together at home with no other commitments is the luxury.

  4. Congratulations! I can’t wait for more baby stuff to creep into your posts! Even if it’s just a hint here and there. ;)

    We think the same way about dining out. It would be fun, sure, but baby-sitter for three boys, plus the price of a meal that I feel I could probably equal? And the wait? And the tip? Naah… just too much effort and money. When we do eat out, I always want to bring it home because it’s more relaxing to eat in our own dining room.

    • emilyamccord on January 28, 2014 at 8:58 am said:

      Monica,

      In theory, it’s easier for us because we don’t have to find a babysitter (yet!) but we *still* don’t . .. we’re either too lazy or too controlling or maybe both.;-) Also, especially in the winter, I would just rather be home in my warm house than out and about fighting for parking haha. Do you read Shauna Niequist’s blog? She talks about she and her husband have “dates” out on the front porch with coffee after their kiddos go to bed. Loved that.

  5. Marty and I are so unromantic. Our idea of a good gift is something related to our projects that we’ve been wanting, And our favorite thing to do is to spend the evening in the shop together, listening to music and working on our separate projects. If we wanted to go out, we’d go listen to one of our favorite music groups somewhere. Atlanta is a great place to find music. Unless you have three kids. ;)

    No I don’t, but I’ll look her up!

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