Sleep tight, potato head

Yesterday, when I finally got around to having my morning cuppa, I tripped across the Rachael Ray Show.

I loathe Rachael Ray. I have utterly no reason to do so. She may be wildly intelligent, scathingly witty, unbelievable fascinating, and an amazing cook to boot. But on TV, before I’ve had my morning cup, she is too bloody chipper. And all that good cheer first thing in the morning makes me want to react with equal, but opposite, fervor.

But TV pickings are slim in the mornings, so I watched a segment on healthy foods. And that’s where I got the potato idea.

Here’s what the guest said: After you eat a baked potato, your body creates insulin which releases the trytophane which, in turn, creates serotonin which calms you down. In other words, can’t sleep? Eat a potato.

Remembering that the husband mentioned something about having difficulty sleeping, I instantly thought of potatoes for dinner.

I didn’t want to make them baked because, hey, without a ton of butter what’s the point (yogurt, my ass, I can surely tell the difference). Ditto mashed. So I moved on to my famous wedges.

Famous, yes, but oh so easy and requiring zero frying. Yes folks, that’s zero frying. Skeptical? Hang on and I’ll show you how it is done.
My famous wedges
First, get some potatoes. I tend to use red bliss (the little red ones) for a terribly scientific reason (they are so pretty), but whatever will make good wedges will do.

Second, peel off any nasty bits (eyes, sprouts, green bits, whatever doesn’t look appetizing) and leave the rest (unless you don’t like the skin; in that case, peel it all, baby). Cut the potatoes into wedge shapes (for a medium potato, cut it in half, than cut each half into three wedges). Throw the wedges into in a bowl, splash with olive oil (we use about a scant tablespoon for about 2 pounds of potatoes), and sprinkle generously with whatever spices you want (there are countless combinations; here are two we like: salt / pepper / paprika and garlic / fresh rosemary / salt).

Then dump the potatoes in a single layer on a cookie sheet (line it with parchment paper if you don’t want to wash it later - I always do) and pop it in a preheated 400 oven for about 35 minutes. About halfway through, turn the potatoes over. You will know they are done when a fork goes right through without resistance. Although, to be sure, you should eat at least 5 or 6. Perhaps more.
Last night, I served these with fried egg for a traditional egg ‘n chip dinner. Oddly enough, I had never made fried eggs before. I tried to get instructions from Julia, but these were so far beneath her that all I got was a derisive snort. So I turn to the CIA The Professional Chef which I got for less than half price at Half Price Books and learned how horribly easy it all is (crack an egg into a bowl, slip the egg into a saute pan that is lightly, very lightly, sprinkled with oil, and neither too hot or too cold, and just wait for the whites to cook solid).

Then I dumped the eggs onto the potatoes, served it to the husband, and told him I made him potatoes to help him sleep. He said he was sleeping fine, now. In fact, he slept like a rock the night before. So I tried to take his potatoes back. He would not relinquish them.

Three hours later, he was sleeping like a baby.