Every now and then I start to think, “Maybe I’m getting the hang of this…”
Recipes will turn out edible. I’ll try something new and discover it’s not as hard as it sounds. I’ll innovate on my own to household accolades.
And I start to think that I’m becoming not such a bad home cook after all.
But then things like mashed sweet potatoes and kale with bacon happen. And I am reminded of who I am all over again.
In the last post, we learned that I don’t care for kale. Really dislike it, in fact. But this recipe from the delicious Sarah Gim stopped me in my tracks: Mashed Sweet Potatoes with kale and bacon. With this photo, taken by Sarah herself.
Go on — look at it….soak it in…tell me this doesn’t look like heaven…
Can’t you just taste the fluffy, warm sweetness of the potatoes and butter? Feel the crunch of that bacon in your mouth? Even kale must taste divine with all that butter and bacon. Admit it: you want to bury your face in this. And it sounds so simple to make!
So I thought I’d try this myself. The recipe sounded simple:
About 3 pounds of sweet potatoes (I bought one 3-pound bag of nice looking specimens from, where else, Trader Joe’s.) Scrub and cut into big old chunks.
1/2 cup olive oil. Ish
Salt and pepper
1 bag of kale. Yes, damnit from Trader Joe’s.
Scrub and chop your potatoes into big chunks. Bring to a boil in a pot with water to cover by two inches, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until done, about 15 minutes. At this point the skins should come off easily.
Meanwhile, boil the kale, about 10 minutes. Drain and reserve.
Mash the potatoes with the oil, season expertly. Stir in kale, add a pad of butter and bacon if using.
Sounds straightforward, right?
Here’s what mine looked like:
So much for simple recipes.
The Drama Teen even laughed at me. “You suck,” she said. And it’s true.
But at least I’m getting better enough to suspect what I did wrong.
I over-cooked the sweet potatoes. They started out too soggy, and things went from bad to worse when I added the oil, and not even the whole 1/2 cup either. And why the hell am I adding olive oil and not butter and milk? Is this some sort of weight loss thing? I don’t need to lose any weight. Not one single pound. But if I keep making soupy, gloppy, tasteless crap like this, I’ll be losing plenty of weight indeed.
At that point it just became a science experiment. I stirred in the kale, which tasted like kale. I crumbled my fake veggie bacon on top.
Nothing mattered. I could have deep fried the whole thing and covered it in chocolate, although that sounds even grosser than the photo above looks.
The bottom line: I am still a very bad home cook and I need to start paying more attention. To everything. I’m sure this is a delicious recipe, but one of you guys will have to try it and let me know how it came out.
With grave apologies to Sarah!