Pretty travel pictures, much as I love them, rarely paint the full story of a trip away. Our Maine recap didn’t tell you about the horrible migraine I had our first night, for example, nor about the day we drove a full two hours away from Portland, looking for lunch, only to find three different restaurants closed (all I can say is thank goodness for this coffee shop and its quiche!). The afternoon we flew home from Boston to Chicago, it was after a fast morning stuck in crazy Cambridge traffic during which I had to pee so bad I actually sat there imagining myself getting out of the car, right on the busy highway, to take care of business in the median that was noticeably lacking in bushes or general greenery. (We did finally find a Dunkin Donuts, and even though I had to buy something in order to get the manager to buzz me into the bathroom, I was so happy to enter it, I almost cried.) Sunday night, when we came home, it was after a combined total of 2,000+ miles of driving (most of that driving done by Tim) in the last few weeks, the kitchen had no fresh food but the murcotts we’d kept in our bags with us, and we had a car full of the goods I’m ever transporting, one trip at a time from my parents’ place to mine, to unpack.
So it probably makes sense when I tell you our fare this week, despite all the inspiring, innovative foods we’ve been exposed to lately, has been the simple kind. Tim whipped up some Thai noodle mixture Sunday night, I used our farmer’s turnip greens to do a new spin on this kale salad alongside grilled cheese on Monday, and, at around 7 p.m. last night after we’d sipped quick smoothies, I said to Tim, “What could you make with a sweet potato and a potato?” and we somehow ended up with this.
My favorite kind of recipe is the one where you make it once, and the ingredients list is simple enough to stay in your head, enough so that reciting it back to someone else or going to make it again is almost brainless. I feel that way about the flaky pie crust recipe I inherited from my mom. I feel that way about these pancakes. Listen, guys: You take a pound of potatoes, grate them and strain them, and go mix them with an egg, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, some flour, and salt and pepper. Easy easy! Saute heaps of this mixture in oil, and you’re done! Whatever your late October is looking like these days, I hope simple, flavorful, home-cooked meals like this one become a part of it.