Sunday, October 24, 2010


My first Mother-in Law made the most wonderful home-cooked meals---she was up before dawn, turning out the bacon-and-eggs-and-biscuits for her farmer husband, and there was no “lunch” in her lexicon, unless it was packed into a lunchbox for the children.

Noon meals were a hot, down-home dinner of peas and cornbread and whatever other hearty side dishes she decided on, with fried chicken or pork chops or spaghetti and meatballs. Meat was a MUST.

And supper was also a hot, hearty meal, tapering off on the number of dishes, but to me, rising in the level of trouble-it-took-to-make. FIL would not think of eating the same meal twice in one day, and so another batch of heavy fried fare, plus a pan of risin’ rolls or biscuits and some form of fried side dish were his cup of tea.

And Maw made the absolutely best French fries in the history of frites. They were just plain old potatoes, cut into fries, soaked in cold water “to remove the starch” and then drained in a colander.

Into a big bowl, then perhaps a half-cup of self-rising flour dumped on top, then sprinkles of salt and pepper and perhaps powdered garlic and some paprika or chili powder for color.

The whole thing was tossed and tossed, with that seasoned flour meeting those wet potato sticks, tossing over and over until the entire bowl was a mass of pinkish goo coating the potatoes.

A quick dip out into a couple of inches of sizzling oil in the trusty old WearEver dutch oven, a while to get the bottom good and crisp, and then a turn and several swirls to separate the fries into those incomparable golden strands of potato perfection, salty and crispy and enhanced exponentially by the thousands of little savory crispins attached.

I cannot tell you as good as it is. Those platters of potatoes---those still-hissing, salty-rich morsels of nirvana---you just don’t know til you’ve tried them.

Ore-Ida and McDonalds---take a place below the salt.


Patsy said...

My mother-in-law cooked like that and worked so hard to make a lovely home for her three boys.
Thanks Racheld for the encouragement on your comment

Debby@Just Breathe said...

These sound delicious. My parents always made french fries from scatch but not like these! Do you think they would bake in the oven?

Kat said...

Oh.My.Word! Wish I could reach through my screen and pluck one of those fries! I do so love french fries. I never ever ever fry anything anymore, except bacon, but this makes me "think" about it. Since I'm trying hard to be better with my diet though, I'd better not.


Kim Shook said...

Well, I know what I'm making with the Sloppy Joe's tonight!

Southern Lady said...

This brought back fond memories of my grandmother's fries ... and IF there were any left over, they were put on a plate and left on the stovetop until they were gone. And you know what, they were ALMOST as good cold as they were hot. Yours look wonderful, Rachel.

Lisa Balazs (Seshat Moon Willow) said...

Oh YUM!! If it wasn't so late, I'd get in the kitchen and try to make these. They sound so mouthwatering good. Thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Seshat

Cape Coop said...

When my doctors discuss my seemingly dichotomous diet- so healthy yet with french fries so often present, I say that life is too short to avoid a decent french fry! I so wish to taste these- I'll have them with a side of your biscuits, Rachel- that would be carbohydrate joy.

Bev said...

oh a cruel photo..I loves me some chips!

Mrs. G. said...

Bev is right. That is one hard hearted photo without my face in it. The look so good. Fries are my weakness.