Mr. Potato Head and His Friends — May 25, 2019

Mr. Potato Head and His Friends

When you mention the word potato, most of us automatically think of McDonald’s French fries that have been fried in tons of oil or a great big baked potato stuffed with butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon, the kitchen sink, and so on and so forth.
Yeah, I do realize that these are bad for you….But potato chips that have been baked with one of the healthier cooking oils can actually be both good for you and a great treat,
(Note…Don’t worry, I do realize that deep frying is definitely not the healthiest way to make homemade potato chips, so eventually we are going to learn how to make them in both the microwave and the oven….)
Potatoes actually contain many nutrients and minerals —such as potassium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and  copper. A potato actually contains more potassium than a banana…half of the RDV of vitamin C…no fat, sodium, or cholesterol…
Potatoes contain very little to no fat.
One medium-sized, unadorned, skin-on potato contains just 110 calories per serving.
But for right now, let’s take a quick look at a few of the estimated two hundred varieties of potatoes sold in the United States…
These potatoes vary in texture and act differently when cooked. For example when you are making a pot of soup, your potato chunks will either remain intact, or disintegrate…depending on the type of starch and the amount of moisture in the flesh.not bless with too many ”
Because the result that you get depends on the amount of the starch contained in the potato, these varieties are typically broken down into three basic categories—:starchy, all-purpose and waxy.
In the next few posts we will be look at each of these different categories, but here are a few things to remember regardless which type of potato you are looking for…
Shopping…When you are shopping for potatoes, look for ones that are…
not green tinged
very firm
void of soft spots, cracks or cuts
without sprouts
Storing…Potatoes will last a few weeks when properly stored, but don’t refrigerate potatoes because this causes some of the starches to convert to sugars, giving them an odd flavor.
photo of pile of potatoes
Photo by Marco Antonio Victorino on
A Chip Off the Old Block —

A Chip Off the Old Block

Now that we’ve basically covered every single use for baking soda known to man, let’s finally get back to cooking.

Our detour on the many uses for baking soda began as an ADHD tangent on the fact that baking soda can be used to make a batter for the cooking method that we’re focusing on now—deep frying.

And as soon as I hear the word “deep-frying,” my mind automatically thinks about potatoes—potato chips…and French fries…

So let’s talk potato chips…

Potato chips are obviously one of the most popular snack foods around the world…but I honestly have gotten where I hate store-bought chips. To me they often taste soggy and greasy, instead of crispy and crunchy.

Also most of the chips available at your local grocery store either contain all sorts of words that none of us can pronounce…or cost too much and have so few chips in the bag that you can’t justify spending that much.

So instead we are going to make our own potato chips that are crispy, easy to make, and a good-for-you snack your whole family will devour. 

But before we can ever expect to make the best potato chips…and French fries possible, we must first learn to select the ideal potatoes for frying…

After all, as a musician we are taught that there are only two really important parts of a performance.  It is important that you start well, and that you end well…

So let’s start well!!!


Just Like Grandma and Her Grandma Before Her —

Just Like Grandma and Her Grandma Before Her

For decades our mothers and grandmothers have all taught us to keep an open box of  baking soda in the fridge, but baking soda also can be used in many other ways to help whatever “junk” causes the “funk” around your home.




Home Odors

Baking soda works by actually interacting with the odor particles, naturally neutralizing the pH balance, and totally eliminating these odors.

Basing soda works so much better than any “multipurpose odor remover” that you could ever buy at Walmart…or for those of us who don’t shop at Walmart, at Target or Tom Thumb that simply release fragrance molecules and temporarily mask the smell.

    1. Cat Box…Sprinkle baking soda all over the bottom of your cat box before filling it with kitty litter.
    2. Dishwasher…Toss it into the bottom of your dishwasher.
    3. Trashcan…Sprinkle it over the layers of garbage in your trash can. Research shows that putting baking soda at the bottom of your trashcans can get ride of  70% of the bad odor in the typical kitchen trashcan..





Baking soda produces carbon dioxide when heated, which can smother and extinguish small oil, grease and electrical fires. So assuming you don’t panic and try to beat the fire out with a towel like I did once, throw some baking soda over the fire instead.






Cleaning with baking soda is a much safer, natural, and cost-effective option than most of the commericial cleaners that contain chemicals that can be harmful to pets and children.

Not only can baking soda remove tough stains, but it also eliminates foul odors, whitens and disinfects

Here are a few of the things around your house that you could clean with baking soda.

  1. Carpets…Sprinkle your carpet with baking soda. Wait twenty minutes. Vacuum.
  2. Coffee Pot Cleaner…To remove tough coffee stains and funky tastes from your coffee pot, combine 1/4C baking soda with one quart warm water. Rub the mixture on and in your pots. Wait a few hours. Rinse.
  3. Dish Washing…Add baking soda to your regular dishwashing cycle to help eliminate unwanted grease and grime that builds up on your dishes.
  4. Drain Cleaner…Pour baking soda and then vinegar down your drain to create your own drain cleaner. Wait 15min. Rinse with hot water.
  5. Oven Cleaner…Add 1tsp baking soda to a damp sponge or rag and wipe away food and grease.
  6. Scorched Pots and Pans…To save a scorch pot, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the bottom of the pot. Add enough water to cover the burnt areas. Bring the mixture to a boil and empty the pan as usual. Scour with dishwashing liquid if needed.
  7. Scouring Powder...Sprinkle baking soda on the surfaces in your kitchen and use a sponge or rag to scrub. Make a paste using baking soda and a bit of water. Then clean away.
  8. Silverware Create a paste that is three parts baking soda and one part water. Rub the paste onto your silverware. Let it sit in a large tray or bowl. After twenty minutes, rinse the silverware.
  9. Silver Polish..Silver undergoes a chemical reaction when it comes into contact with aluminum pan and baking soda that transfers the tarnish from the silverware onto the aluminum pan. .To do this, add 1tsp baking soda to an aluminum baking pan. Slowly pour in 1/2C white vinegar. Next, pour in 1C boiling water. Place the silver in the baking pan. This should work in less than a minute.





Baking soda is often used as a detergent booster and fabric softener.

Adding 1/2C baking soda to your regular amount of laundry detergent in each load is a great and inexpensive method for removing odors from clothes, whitening them, and cleaning them.


Baking Soda and Your Health —

Baking Soda and Your Health

Before moving on, let’s take a look at the other benefits that baking soda can offer as far as health.



1.Cancer..Research shows that baking soda may help alleviate chemotherapy side effects and help chemotherapy medicines work more effectively by making th4e aread around the tumors less acidic.

Suggestions are to rinse your mouth three times per day with a mixture of 1C warm water, 1/4tsp baking soda, and 1/8tsp salt,..followed by a rinse with plain water




2.Heartburn and Other Digestive Problems…Most heartburn medicines available at your local drug store—including Tums and Rolaids—contain baking soda,

This is because baking soda has been proven to neutralize the acid in your stomach that can cause such problems as acid reflux, ulcers, heartburn, and indigestion…and get your body’s pH back in order after overeating acidic foods, stress and eating greasy or spicy foods.

To do this, add 1/2tsp baking soda to 2C water, Drink this an hour after eating to gain some relief.




3, Kidneys…The kidneys help remove excess waste and water from the blood….as well as help balance important minerals—such as potassium, sodium and calcium.

But often people slowly lose function of their kidneys, and their kidneys are no longer able to remove enough acid from their blood.

We’ve already seen that baking soda buffers acids in the body and helps keep pH levels in balance.

Taking baking soda or some sort of bicarbonate as an oral supplement can replace the bicarbonate typically made by the kidneys that acts as an acid buffer in the body.




4. Muscle Fatigue and Physical Fitness…Baking soda has become a popular supplement among athletes because supposedly it can help you perform at your peak for longer periods of time,while doing high-intensity exercise…especially during anaerobic exercises—such as high-intensity training and sprinting.

Baking soda has a high pH, which may help delay fatigue by slowing down the rate that your body starts producing lactic acid.

This lactic acid is what causes the burning sensation that you may get when you exercise and that lowers the pH inside your cells, possibly causing your muscles to get tired.

After your workout, you may want to reduce fatigue post-workout by soaking in a warm warm with a 1/2C baking soda to help neutralize lactic acid build up in the muscles.




5. Urinary Tract Infections…Urinary tract infections are one of the most common infections, especially among women.

Research has shown that after four weeks of taking sodium carbonate orally is an easy, inexpensive way to improve these symptoms with little to no unwanted side effects.