I love french fries. Salty, crispy and yummy with some ketchup on the side! In my effort to eat healthier and do more cooking from scratch, I decided to try something this year. I have said that I don’t want to eat from a specific fast food chain with my favorite salty, crispy fries. My husband laughed at me a little bit because I do like junk food. But I am going to try. So far, so good!
Growing up, I got my french fry fascination from my Grandma’s Cafe. I could go there and have grilled cheese with fries anytime I wanted! We didn’t have them at home, and we didn’t eat out. My other grandma made potatoes but they were baked, mashed or sliced. She didn’t make fries. After I was married, I discovered that my mother-in-law made homemade fries. Not the thick steak cut type (which always seem mushy and often uncooked to me) but nice regular-sized fries. They weren’t soggy or greasy. They were light and just salty and crispy enough. She only made them every once in a while because french fries really aren’t the healthiest of foods. But when she did make them, it was an event that we didn’t miss!
My husband learned how to make his mom’s homemade fries. Over the years, he has done it about once a year. It is one of the things that he loves to do in the kitchen! I am happy to standby and help when needed. He decided to make some the other day.
Washington State is well known for its potatoes. So, it’s kind of funny that it is hard to find Washington potatoes in our stores. Many of the potatoes sold here come from California. It just so happens that we have one store that sells Washington and Idaho spuds. We were able to get some big Russet potatoes that were grown in Washington. I washed them up while my husband gathered all the supplies he needed. While the oil was heating up, I got the potatoes peeled, washed and set out to dry off. He cuts them up carefully, making sure to get them all fairly equal in size. Then he drops them into the hot oil. The oil sizzles and the raw fries bounce and float around. As they start to get a bit of color to them, he turns them and watches them carefully. When they are “just right,” my husband fishes them out of the oil and places them onto a plate covered with paper towels to soak up the excess oil. It is best to sprinkle them with salt when they are hot. So I turn them on the paper towels then salt them. Of course the first fry is always the one that burns my tongue a little bit because I just can’t wait for it to cool! Then the process starts again and is repeated until all the potatoes are cooked.
There is just something wonderful and rustic about making french fries at home! We can use potatoes that we know where they came from. This year I will be planting more Russets in the garden so that we can have homegrown ones! We can pick which oil we use and how much salt we add. French fries still may not be the healthiest of foods, but at least this way we know what we are eating. With homemade fries, I may just be able to stay away from fast food ones. We just have to make them more than once a year!