Monday, October 24, 2011

Farmhouse Cooking: Baking 'Taters on the Go

   Life can be crazy; teens and their schedules, a farm and garden to upkeep..don't make me talk about the laundry- don't. Weird thing, the kids want to eat no matter what the chaos may be. One family favorite fun meal is baked potatoes, but, they have a down side; the oven. More often than not, it is way too hot to turn that oven up to 400 and keep it there for an hour- no way! So, we found a simple solution; the crock pot.
   Here we go. I use:
   potatoes, scrubbed clean and pierced all over with a fork
  a piece of foil large enough to wrap around each potato
  oil and seasonings (such as salt & pepper)

   I lay each potato on their piece of foil, drizzle it with oil and season it generously before wrapping it tight in a foil blanket. Setting my crock on low heat, the potatoes cook for four hours while we run errands, pull weeds or take a gym class. Easy, right?

   A few notes: No, no water is added. Yes, skins are tasty and quite edible. Is that a sweet potato, yes. I use sweet or russet potatoes with great success. Seasonings? Often just salt and pepper, but sometimes Cajun spice, steak seasoning, lemon pepper or even an Italian mix..change it's awesome. How many in a crock? Depends on the size; my crock cooks up to ten or a few as four.
   The only thing left to do: set out your families' favorite 'tater toppings- butter, sour cream, cheeses, seasonings, shredded beef; let your taste buds run wild. What better (and quite frugal) way to feed a pack of hungry teens than a fuss free (no sweating around the oven) baked potato dinner- especially if you have to spend your day on the go.

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