Baked Potatoes and Pixy Sticks.
Before I became a baker, I was a swimmer. I started at the tender age of 4, but I believe it was before then, that my parents used to cringe as the swim instructor plopped me into the water, off the springboard into the dark blue. The first twenty something years of my life were lived in water, or near water, taking shelter on deck at the various swim meets that consumed my life every weekend. In the early years, swim meets meant screwing off with your friends, flirting with your crush, drinking Fanta grape soda and eating Jello straight from the box. I can remember how red my fingers would get from sticking them into the colored sugar, and licking them clean. At the time, this was the trick to swimming fast. Sugar high. This and rubbing Vaseline all over to minimize the drag of the water were key to record times. Although the pixy sticks, nachos and bagels with cream cheese were all fine and good, my most fond food memories of swim meets were of the baked potatoes. They were always wrapped in foil and piping hot, slicked up with salty melted margarine…and lots of it. Of course, they had the fixings too. Who could resist a little sour cream..a handful of cheese? Not me.
So, when my produce arrived last week, with more than a few Russets, I admit that I felt a hankering to relive those days.
So, I put on my best racing suit and slicked up with Vaseline* and I had myself a piping hot baked potato…with all the fixings. **
If only there were a pool in sight, I just might have broken a record or two.*
(* no, not really)