My grandma, Mary Uilani Kaumeheiwa Sodetani was always in the kitchen or in her garden. Even now, over 10 years after her death, my grandfather sits in this same kitchen in the mornings and he talks to his wife. Before she died, they had been married for 60 years. I think when I go into my kitchen, I carry her with me still. I think I always will.
I found this picture of her in the kitchen, but when I looked closer, I realized that each plate contains one ginormous steak. No wonder we are so big. Still, for grandma, we decided to celebrate the steak in all its glory. So here's our version, with mine and Ahi's practically raw. Rare is not even the word. It's the texture of soft, silky rare meat with the juices still intact that makes this huge slab of beef so delicious. Pono also likes baked potatoes, but I must admit I pretty much bite at anything potato. My family won't let me live down the whole grey glue dish that was supposed to be my contribution of mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. Did you know that the more you stir potatoes once they've totally broken down into gluten, the grayer it gets? It's true. I am the witness.
My husband said to prick the skin and wrap it in foil before I put it in the oven, but I decided to stop fooling around and go to my Joy of Cooking book (I don't have the original hard cover book with the green cover - but I wish I did). According to The Joy of Cooking, potatoes need to be scrubbed, dried, greased with butter, then put into a 425 degree oven WITHOUT foil. Foil will keep too much moisture in and the potato will be mushy. Prick the skin first and too much moisture escapes leaving the baked potato dry and burnt on the edges(that's how my baked potato usually comes out).
The unwrapped, unpoked potatoes go into the oven for 40-60 minutes. Halfway through, poke a fork in it to release the steam. Return to the oven. The cool thing is when you prick the skin on the hot potato you can hear the hisss of steam escaping. Serve immediately. I must say that true to The Joy of Cooking, our potatoes came out flaky and buttery even without the condiments.
Now if only mashed potatoes were this easy and foolproof. I need secret insider tips for mashed potatoes because I think there's a conspiracy by mashed potato recipe writers to keep me out of the loop.