Fat-free crispy and fluffy potato wedges and farewell to lockdown - hopefully!


Fat-free crispy and fluffy potato wedges

Husband returned to work today. I was late for my first Teams call because getting him out the door proved to be a two man job. I made him some healthy warming porridge for breakfast to keep him going, then helped him get dressed (he just needed some assistance with the cuff-links to be fair), prepared a takeaway coffee, gently rushed him so he wouldn't be late, which he took really well being up 4-5 hours earlier than during the past 14 months, and finally ordered him a taxi to the office where he could pick up his company car. 

Even our cat (our neighbour's cat really, but both we and the cat have our doubts about that arrangement) was shocked to see husband up at that hour. He came to the kitchen window (the cat) to tell it was time to serve him some brekkies, but when he saw husband he jumped back thinking there must have been some sort of a disaster or that he'd accidentally entered an alternate universe,

I am of course really happy that we are getting back to normal little by little. We saw a friend over the weekend for the first time since the start of the lockdown for a coffee and a walk in a park, which was really lovely. I even dressed up especially in a nice flowery dress. Husband commented that finally wife looks nice referring to my uniform of jeans and a black long-sleeved t-shirt of the last 7 months and the jeans and a black short-sleeved t-shirt the 7 months before. And it is nice to think that soon we can see the loved ones we haven't been able to see for over a year. We are going to Liverpool to visit husband's oldest son in a couple of weeks and we are possibly more excited than before our American road trip some years ago. I feel the flowery dress making another appearance.

And of course there are no words for the suffering and grief that this pandemic has caused so many families.

But I am also a bit sad, because I will see husband so much less now. Normally (=pandemic-abnormally) he would be sitting here with me in his leopard fleece onesie and red woolly socks watching football, but instead I'm alone with just James Martin on Food Network to keep me company, We also won't have time to have proper dinner together every night, particularly when I start to go back to the office and travel more. We won't do our daily walk 2-3 times around the local park every night. And I will miss our Friday afternoon cleaning sessions, he used to put the Lambada album on in the living room and we would clean to the happy latin sounds. He'd do all the hoovering and mopping, I'd clean the bathroom and kitchen and dust etc, Afterwards we'd have a cuppa in the kitchen and then go for our daily walk twice around the local park before shower and dinner. 

It wasn't always this sunny and pretty, but sometimes it was.
Our little local park
But there you go. I am in no way hoping that the pandemic should continue, I'm just saying that we adapted to this smaller, quieter, simpler life and there were silver linings that we may find ourselves missing.

One thing I won't particularly miss is cooking together. We tried this a few times. Not a good idea. We are both very bossy in the kitchen, I can be a bit bossy in a variety of situations, so that was to be expected, but husband is a very chilled person. Although clearly not when he is cooking. Jesus. Anyway we did amazing pizzas last Saturday. In the end. Come to think of it, we don't get along that well when we are cleaning either, hence the choreography where he starts in the front room and I start back of the house in the kitchen and then we pass each other somewhere in the middle and again go our separate ways like two ships floating on peaceful waters.

But onwards and upwards towards freedom and return to society. I may not be able to cook for us every night, but I have identified two challenges that will liven up my cookery horizons for a while: healthy light dinners and make-ahead food that is easy for husband to heat up when I am not around. 

The reason for the healthy light dinners is that as a result of lockdown and middle-age, or maybe sloth (not enough proper exercise) and gluttony (too much homemade pizza) body is not as streamlined as it could be (understatement). And since at some point I have to squeeze into proper clothes, maybe even a suit of nonstretchy material, and people will see me also from neck down, something must be done.

The first recipe of a healthier kind is this excellent recipe for fat-free oven wedges I copied from my very talented Finnish blogger friend. I did tweak the spice mix a little just based on what I had in my cupboard, for instance I didn't have umami-powder, but I'm intrigued and I feel that I really should have, I love umami. But the key learning here was, that the fat-freeness doesn't take anything away from the experience. Why on earth have I splashed around with all that oil for years. These are just fantastic without a single drop of oil. 

These are great served as a side to any kind of protein or would make a nice snack with a light yoghurt and dijon sauce.

Fat-free potato wedges with a peppery venison and tomato stew

Lighter potato wedges

1kg of potatoes

Spice mix:
2 tsp smoked paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper 
2 tsp umami powder (optional)
2 tsp ground onion
2 tsp ground garlic
Pinch of white pepper
Salt (herb salt if you have) 

Pre-heat oven to 200-225 C.

Wash the potatoes and cut into wedges. Mix well with the spice mix making sure all of the wedges are well coated. Cover a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 30 minutes giving them a bit of a shuffle halfway through the baking. They are ready when nice and golden brown, fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside.

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  1. Am going to try those wedges. I have Umami paste rather than powder so that will have to do!