Friday, March 2, 2012

Trivia and Potato Problems

Today has been a good day.  We worked hard all week so we could have today off, and it was well worth it!  I slept in a bit, sorta started packing, went and got my hair trimmed and ran some other errands, and then went to the gym.  While I was running, the only half-way interesting show on the TVs that I could see was  "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?"  Here are some of the questions that I remember, see if you know the answers: 1) How many incisors are in an adults mouth?  2) What is the capitol of Texas?  3) 101 plus 4 and 98 equals what? 4) Halley's comet is named after the man who discovered it; what is his first name? 5) "of the people, by the people, for the people" is from what document?  I'll post the answers at the end, so you can see how many you get right!

Since I knew I was going to more or less have the evening at home, I planned on making something good for dinner.  Something besides my easy, go-to soup. scrambled eggs, or cereal.  I decided to try out a recipe I pinned on Pinterest a while back, Crash Hot Potatoes by the Pioneer Woman.  The general idea is that you take red potatoes and boil them, smash them, season them, and bake them.  Sounds easy enough right?  One would think...  Well it didn't say how long to boil them, it just said until they were fork tender.  They'd been boiling for what seemed like forever, so I took one out and put it on the cookie sheet that was covered with olive oil (like it said to do).  I don't have a potato masher, so I was going to use the bottom of a ladle.  I mashed down on the potato, and between the fact that it wasn't soft enough yet, and that the pan was oiled, it kept sliding all over the place and I couldn't mash it.  I put it back in the pot and let it boil for a little bit longer.  I knew that it would still probably slide all over the oiled pan, so I decided to mash it on a paper towel next time, which I figured would give it enough traction.  I mashed down hard on the potato and it flew off the counter, hit the cabinet under the sink, and landed on the rug.  Potato bits were all over the place.  

Potato on the rug.
  I rinsed it off and put it back in the pot to boil even longer.  My third attempt to mash it was just as unsuccessful, but by now I was frustrated and hungry, so I put the potatoes on the pan and basically beat them with the end of the ladle.  The Pioneer Woman seasoned hers with kosher salt, cracked black pepper, and rosemary.  She said to be generous with the kosher salt, so I was.  And unfortunately I didn't have rosemary, which is one of my favorite herbs, so I had to use oregano instead.  Even though they went into the oven looking messed up, they smelled amazing while they were baking!  

The aftermath of beating them...

 They ended up being a little too salty for my liking, but overall, they were good!  I definitely want to try making them again, and this time I'll make sure I let them boil long enough, and that I have a potato masher and rosemary, and that I don't go overboard with the salt.

This is a picture of hers'...  

And these were mine.  Hahaha!  This proves that I really am much better at baking than cooking!

And the answers to the Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader questions are:
              1) 8
              2) Austin
              3) 203
              4) Edmond
              5) Gettysburg Address

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