As I write to you tonight the wind is howling. I can hear it shrieking around corners and sending leaves and branches skittering across my terrace. It sounds very cold and stormy and I’m so glad to be safe and warm indoors. It makes me think of a snippet of poetry I read earlier this evening:
Brew me a cup for a winter’s night.
For the wind howls loud and the furies fight
– M.T. Antrim –
On nights like this it’s lovely to remember other winter days when the sun shone brilliantly, the sky was clear, and I got to walk through the sun-drenched countryside.
My neighbor was pottering in his garden next to the barn, preparing the soil for spring days hopefully not too far away. It makes me smile when I walk past and his cat is sitting in the driveway, gazing magisterially over the fields as if he owns the place.
I left the main road and ambled into the woods, delighted when I looked up and saw this splendid red barn through the trees. It made me think of barn dances and tables laden with pies and cakes, friends and neighbors gossiping happily as children run about underfoot. I took a deep breath of cold air, smiling at hints of woodsmoke and cedar.
As I walked back home I began craving comfort food, something warm and cozy and naughty. What better than Belgian-style French Fries tossed with minced garlic and parsley? I set the oil on to heat while I cut the potatoes, soaked them in salt water, and patted them dry. After a 6 minute dunking in sizzling hot oil, I drained them, salted them well, and cooled them before putting them in the oil for two more minutes to crisp and brown. While they were still hot I added a couple spoonfuls of finely minced garlic, a sprinkling of parsley, a bit more salt and pepper, then sat down with a dollop of mayonnaise for dipping.
They were everything I hoped for. Alas, I was so ravenous that I forgot to take a picture, and “had” to make them again the next day to rectify my mistake. Poor me. I highly recommend making this mistake. 😉
What’s your favorite thing to eat after a winter walk?
Belgian French Fries with Garlic
minced garlic to taste
- Heat oil in deep saucepan over medium-high heat about 5-7 minutes.
- Slice potatoes into finger-lengths, let soak in salt water a few minutes.
- Remove from salt water and pat dry.
- Place dry potatoes in oil and let cook for 5-6 minutes.
- Remove with slotted spoon and let drain and cool on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt right away.
- When cool, return potatoes to hot oil and cook for 1-2 minutes more until they are golden brown.
- Remove with slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels. Salt and pepper to taste.
- In bowl toss with minced garlic and parsley.
- Serve hot with mayonnaise.