Monday, January 11, 2010

How to Bake Sweet Potatoes

Right after I moved to my current residence, my mother suggested that I microwave or bake sweet potatoes for a snack. They weren't very exciting. They were kind of dry and hard work to finish. Usually I'd buy two sweet potatoes at a time and bake one of them right away. The other would often end its life wilting on the window sill.

But then my eyes were opened.

I went to my grandfather's house, and there I saw how to bake a sweet potato. Here's the recipe I have learned from my grandather's wife:
Slice the sweet potato in half. (I usually slice them into thirds, because I'm impatient.)
Put the sweet potatoes in a pan sliced-side down.
Here's the crucial part: Put a little oil in the pan
Bake until very soft.
Enjoy!

I bake them on 500° because I want them to bake quickly. Perhaps a lower temperature would be better. I know not.

50 comments:

  1. I'm too poor to afford restaurants, and Uncle Same gives me food stamps. So I cook.

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  2. Nemo: you seem to have a lot of time on your hands in Japan.

    e: how was that comment a respose to Nemo's comment?

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  3. So, baking things in a pan is better than microwaving. That’s takeh a chiddush.

    I don’t know if they have Japanese (possibly Korean) sweet potato in Brooklyn. It’s sold in Korean stores. It’s long, about as long as a carrot, although probably twice thicker. If you cut it in half and put it in foil and then in toaster oven for a few minutes, it tastes very sweet and Japanese. (You can probably also bake it on a pan; maybe our Japanese post-doc did it that way out of necessity.)

    Nemo: cooking is very manly. Men eat more than women and need better quality food. Being able to do something yourself rather than ordering from a cockroach-infested restaurant sounds much smarter for me (money or no money). Now, if e’s post was about baking, that would be gay.

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  4. Men eat more bread too and home baked bread tastes good. If he claimed that it was fun, then that would be gay.

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  5. I barely eat any bread. Bread was a big thing in the countries, where meat and vegetables were hard to get by. And in France, which is, well...

    But by “baking” I mean baking sweet things.

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  6. Err... sweet things made of flour.

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  7. You're all crazy. Making or baking or sort of food is not homosexual in any way-heck, who did the baking in the holy temple in Jerusalem?

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  8. As I told you before, there is a difference between going to mikveh and banya. First is not gay. Second is.

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  9. If a man and a woman fornicate in "banya"...

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  10. Then, I suppose, it’s not gay. But I think managers of Brooklyn banyas frown upon that.

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  11. See? Blanket statements are never ever ever correct!

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  12. Whoa, Wikipedia is takeh a dangerous thing. Especially when sitting in the middle of a University library.

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  13. There are no blankets in a banya. It’s too hot.

    When referring to something, I usually refer to its most common usage. When talking about banya, I mean people going to a communal steam bath in order to wash themselves around people of the same gender, and then sit draped in towels, drink beer, and play durak, with leaves stuck on one’s shoulder.

    Very rarely it involves getting really drunk, getting on a plane, flying to a wrong city, getting into an apartment building that looks exactly like yours and into an apartment which looks exactly like yours (and since both apartments are new, they have standard locks, which neither you nor the owners of the other apartment had time to change) and falling asleep on somebody else’s sofa, to be discovered by her, when she comes home, about half an hour before a date with her boyfriend, who is planning to propose exactly tonight.

    This is not a necessary component of going to banya, however. More of a bonus.

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  14. It’s not a product of my imagination. Watch this scene.

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  15. Nu, someone else has a very active imagination.

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  16. My friend's father once woke up in some foreign city in the USSR. While drunk, his friends thought it would be funny to send him on a flight.

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  17. I'm impressed that being drunk is no impediment to commercial flight in Russia.

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  18. they always have their passports on them anyways...

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  19. Actually, in Siberia, it’s enough to have a bottle of vodka to travel. The distances are so big, that the best way to travel is by plane. So, sometimes, in the 90s, people would just give a bottle of vodka to the pilot and instead of getting a seat, just stand between the seats, in the walkway, for an hour. Like in a bus.

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  20. e, were his friends drunk, or was he drunk? Anyway, maybe they were fans of Ryazanov.

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  21. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eldar_Ryazanov ?

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  22. Ita vero. Irony of Fate (not the crappy 2, but the original) is his famous movie, traditionally watched around the New Year by all Soviet families. Its plot is the one discussed (with the drunk guy flying to a wrong city after getting drunk with his friends in a banya).

    By the way, in the movie, the guy is a doctor, a member of intelligentsia. So, normally, he doesn’t get drunk. The things is: they ran out of beer in banya, and after a few beers, the decided to drink in favor of the guy’s incoming engagement to his girlfriend, so one guy pulled out a vodka bottle out of his briefcase. Vodka + beer = you’re not in Moscow proposing to your girlfriend, but in Leningrad in somebody else’s apartment.

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  23. Oh.

    Classy.

    The intelligentsia don't drink vodka, only beer? Why not? In Lubavitch it's the opposite.

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  24. No-no. Intelligentsia drink both vodka and beer. They don’t get drunk.

    In Lubavitch behaving like intelligentsia is not always the most prized thing.

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  25. Oh, I see. OK. So why'd they get drunk this time?

    True. Still.

    I've seen plenty of Jews swear and spit on the street.

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  26. Well, the guy explains why he got drunk to the woman in the Leningrad apartment, to her chassan (and later in the movie, ex-chassan), to his own kallah (later in the movie, ex-kallah), and to his mother. Oh, and I think to some guy on the street. The point is: he went to banya with his friends, he was getting engaged, they ran out of beer, so celebrated with vodka, mixing vodka and beer. One of them had to fly to Leningrad, but two friends who were only 95% drunk could not remember who.

    <a href = "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDzKsyvAgzI>This</a> is actually the scene where they decide whom to sent.

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  27. TRS, former-Soviet-Union Jews who were physics professors? Maybe after they came to America...

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  28. trs+CA: seriously, try gchat.

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  29. That's the kind of negativity which breeds racism.

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  30. It's not gay to cook (or bake) your meals, it's gay to post recipes.

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  31. (ok, the guy has a point)

    [speaking of recipes, where's Mottel?)

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  32. This is how you cook salmon:
    Defrost by putting frozen fish in a plastic bag and putting that plastic bag in another plastic bag of hot water. Let sit for 20-30 minutes. (This way you don't have to let it sit under running water.)
    Take out defrosted salmon and place on pan.
    Spray salmon with Pam Spray olive oil.
    Sprinkle salt, pepper, and dill.
    Bake at whatever setting the toaster oven is on for roughly 25-30 minutes. I would guess 350-450.
    Prod with fork.
    Put on plate. Say brocha. Devour.

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  33. You disagree? You disagree with a recipe? You can't disagree with a recipe- that's like disagreeing that the grass is green or that New York city is dirty!

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  34. He can disagree that that’s the best way to cook something, to bring out its best qualities.

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  35. She never claimed either of those two things.

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  36. I am only making a general statement.

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  37. I went to my grandfather's house again last night, and I saw that I have perverted the sweet goodness which is my grandfather's wife's sweet potatoes.

    She doesn't slice the sweet potatoes into halves or thirds. She slices them into triangular slabs, and she's generous with the oil.

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  38. For those of you legally minded, I learned this morning (not in school) that you cannot copyright a recipe. Just so you know that your Grandpappy's Sweet Potatoes are not safe ...

    Sara is going to use the recipe when she writes her cookbook.

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  39. Why the heck would I write a cook book? My recipes come from the products labels.

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  40. Although the recipe I just posted came from Roommate II.

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  41. Cookbooks of stolen recipes = easy money.

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Forth shall ye all hold.