lord of the fries

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I’ve learned that all fries are not the same; here in the Pacific Northwest the local brew pubs serve “Jojo’s”, which are often baked, not fried. From the plate of Jojo’s you could assemble whole potatoes Jenga game style and dip them in a special sauce as you eat the, ahem, game pieces. I’ve discovered that I like the Jojo’s much better than the limp, soggy with grease, loaded with salt, fries I remember from the past.

I’ve even tried cooking Jojo’s at home several times and had success! It was so easy to make I didn’t even do my usual kitchen sketchbook notes about the dish: briefly boil medium size unpeeled potatoes (one per person), let them cool. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut each cool potato in half and then into thick strips. (The potatoes are still firm). Lay parchment paper on a baking sheet with a lip. (Or if only serving 2 people grease a casserole dish) Pile the cut potatoes on the pan, drizzle olive oil, garlic, and/or salt and/or pepper, and/or cheese and mix with hands. Spread out into a layer and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Watch carefully and at the end of baking, broil to make the potatoes crispy to suit. Here’s a photo of one of my efforts (in a casserole dish, potatoes with garlic and cheese)

My growing awareness of methods of cooking potatos tumbled into current politics, as the news has been about behavior in the American White House that reminded me of William Golding’s book “Lord Of The Flies”. I checked the book out from my public library and reread sections of it. I read this book back in high school but I’ve slept since then. Yes, I was remembering the book well; the way the book depicts the conflict between savagery and civilization. I didn’t reread the whole book. Current events mirror the books conflict well enough. Let’s just say I’m in favor of civilization, rule-of-law and basic human decency. (And also in favor of good quality hot chocolate)

Anyway, my mind kept contrasting the extremely unhealthy fries from my past with the still indulgent but healthier Jojo’s here in the PNW; contrasting the horrifyingly savage qualities of the current American administration with the ideals of Democracy, civilization, human rights – and hoping things will end better than they did in Golding’s book.

Here’s the painting I did with all of these thoughts – titled “Lord Of The Fries” – I’m sure you’ll see that I made artistic use of looking closely at my homecooked Jojo’s.

“Lord Of The Fries” by Clancy – 11 x 8 inches – ink and gouache on board

4 thoughts on “lord of the fries

  1. The potatoes look delicious. I grew up with chunky chips (as we call fries in the UK) so I have not really adapted to the skinny fries here, still having a preference for the kind that are fluffy in the middle and crisp on the outside. I often make mini roast potatoes or wedges if we are having potatoes (which we actually don’t very often) but I will have to try your approach and see how it goes.

    As we discussed over on Instagram, ‘Lord of the Flies’ is one of my favourite novels and I have read it several times. I have also made my older three boys read the novel (and the youngest will too in time) and they all engaged with it. I partly made them read it so they could understand the references I made to curtailing their wildest behaviour and mentions of “pass the conch” when one of them is hogging the conversation. Certainly the themes of the novel are pertinent to these troubling times we find ourselves in.

    1. Thanks!! Friends who have traveled in the UK (I’ve not been…yet. Emphasis on *yet*) tell me that here in the PNW the pub fare, including the fries, is more like what they had in the UK. These fries are like what you describe: crispy outside and fluffy inside. The way I did them was that way too mostly.

      Glad you’re sharing Golding’s book with your boys! It’s essential reading, I think, to help remind oneself of the value of civilization. I’m glad I reread it again. I was amazed at how vividly I recalled the book having read it as a young teen. I confess that my reread was bittersweet because of the themes relevant to current times.

      Love your phrase “pass the conch” will have to remember that and quote you at relevant moments!! 😉

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