Wednesday Night Dinner this week was a cookout potluck and Aaron and Amber’s place. There was a better than usual showing owing to the draw of ribs and the coincident celebrations. The cookout coincided with Amber’s complementation of Harvard law school and with Paul’s annual departing to Tallahassee. The cookout lasted much longer than a usual dinner. I wasn’t the last one to go and I left at 11. It was a good time. I didn’t manage to get a picture of the ribs, they didn’t last that long. But I did snap some shots some of the other food:
The French fries were my contribution. They are an old standby for potlucks for me. They are good because the unique, eliminating the primary problem with potlucks being duplicated dishes. I start with potatoes and just use a large pot and cheap-o vegetable oil to fry them. They are, however, not easy to make and offer a very short shelf life. They are best eaten within an hour or two of being made, and they don’t reheat well so you have to make them immediately before leaving. They are also very difficult to cook properly. The primary cause here is the difficult of judging the temperature of the oil and wide variance in the size of fries. I would prefer to make large or normal sized fires, but make smaller Steak and Shake style fires is much more reliable. Of course like actual Steak and Shake fries their small size contributes to the short shelf life.
Also, you must be careful to not allow the oil to boil over the side of the pot as you dump in fries. If this occurs you instantly have a large oil fire on your hands. I have made French fries 4 times (including this one) and this is the first time I’ve managed to avoid an oil fire. The irremovable black charing on my stainless steel pot is an ever present reminder of my past attempts. Avoiding oil fires significantly reduces the time required for preparation, and is therefore recommended. I’m sure my former room mates can attest to other reasons to avoid such fires.