GingerSass

adding ginger to your sass

GingerSass - adding ginger to your sass

Potachos

I’m a Jersey girl, through and through. While I initially refused to consider attending Rutgers when I was in high school, I ultimately completed both my undergrad and graduate degrees there. With the New Brunswick Campus came some of the most memorable meals a Rutgers grad could ever experience: fat sandwiches at the Scott Hall bus stop at 1:30am (RIP to both the Grease Trucks and the Scott Hall bus stop!), fishbowls, and, of course, potachos at Stuff Yer Face.

A few weeks ago, I was craving potachos. Yet, despite living only half an hour or so away from New Brunswick, the idea of going out on a Saturday night, finding parking, and dealing with the college crowd (some of which are now my former students–yikes!) really didn’t appeal to me.

So, I Googled “potacho recipe.”

I couldn’t find the right recipe so I made up my own, borrowing bits and pieces from Busy-at-Home and Food.com and tweaking them where I saw fit.

A few of my friends asked for the recipe so here it is. Enjoy! 🙂

Potachos

What you need:

6 russet potatoes, sliced thin (you can use more if you’d like)

a large bowl of salt water (sea salt really adds to it!)

olive oil

8 oz of shredded cheddar cheese

2-3 chopped scallions (or 3 teaspoons of freeze dried chives)

1 small can of sliced black olives

some diced tomato (1 small tomato should be enough)

4-6 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled up

1/4-1/2 cup of sour cream, depending on your taste

ketchup, depending on your taste

salt & pepper for seasoning

You can also add onions, tomatoes, peppers, BBQ sauce, pulled pork, buffalo chicken, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Directions:

  1. After you have sliced the potatoes, put them in a large bowl of salt water to soak for at least 30 minutes. (The longer you soak them, the longer they absorb the salt taste and the crispier they get when you cook them. How much salt you put into the water is up to you.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Drain the slices and pat them dry.
  4. Toss the slices in olive oil. Then salt and pepper them to taste. (Don’t forget they’ve already been soaking in salt water!)
  5. Spread the slices evenly on a large baking sheet.
  6. Bake them for 10 minutes. Then flip them and bake another 10 minutes.
  7. Take them out of the oven. Top them with the cheese, scallions/ dried chives, tomatoes, black olives, and bacon. I find it turns out really well when you put about 2/3 of the cheese on the first layer, then put the rest of the cheese on top of everything else.
  8. Squeeze ketchup on top of all this. (Drizzling is better than glops of ketchup!)
  9. Put this back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so.
  10. Put the sour cream on top and serve.

This should be enough for 4-6 people if you are eating other things, but if you’re doing this in true Rutgers fashion, this will serve 2. 🙂

Here are some pics from a few weeks ago when I first made this. I’m making these again tonight so I’ll update with better pictures. (I didn’t have all the ingredients when I was craving them a few weeks back!)

If you make these, let me know how they turn out, and if you tweaked them at all!! 🙂

 

Hello, 17 year old me.

I’ve been awfully reflective lately. Perhaps it’s because I’m turning 24 in a few days, but, whatever the case may be, I keep thinking back to an experience I had in the fall. A former professor of mine sent me a message on Facebook, and I ended up attending “A Letter to Your Younger Self” Writing Workshop at the Tyler Clementi Center. The premise of the workshop was based off of the book “The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to their Younger Selves” , which James Lecesne, co-founder of the Trevor Project edited. We wrote letters to the past, reflecting on what lessons we would share with our younger selves.

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writing to 17 year old moi

I ended up reading my letter at a sculpture dedication to the Tyler Clementi center. It was really meaningful to be able to read a letter to myself, as I had just found a letter from my 18 year old self that was sent to me from a seminar I took my first semester of college. In an odd set of circumstances, I was able to answer my younger self.

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James Lecesne and I (photo courtesy of James Lecesne’s Facebook)

I also had the unexpected opportunity to speak with the family of Tyler Clementi, specifically his mother, Jane. She found me to talk to, and we had a really profound conversation about the coming out process for parents of lgbt children. The experience of speaking with Jane was so surreal, as I had actually avoided all news of her son during my undergraduate career. As a queer student leader on campus, following the death of her son, I came to resent the media the stalked and preyed on lgbt students on campus. Speaking with Jane– and receiving unexpected praise from her for being a queer writer and an educator– gave me unexpected closure to the tragedy that came to define by Rutgers career as “Before Tyler” and “After Tyler.” That afternoon truly changed my life.

As I currently look at the words I read a few months ago, I smile at the final words of advice I had for 17 year old me.

Be happy. Smile. Be you. Wear what you’re comfortable in. Read poetry– yes, poetry. Blast Melissa Etheridge if you want to. And, for the love of chocolate, wax your eyebrows and invest in a ceramic straightener. This will change your life.

The words of wisdom I had for 17 year old me are still applicable for the almost-24 year old me. For 24, I’m going to listen to these words of wisdom, smile, and be happy.