Every person has their own way of fighting the blues. I cook. That’s right, I start chopping vegetables and making sauces. At the end, of course, I eat. I am no stranger to the concept of comfort food.
Buying a bag of potatoes late in the afternoon gave me all the inspiration I needed. Think of it – you put some music on, you peel potatoes, you munch on carrot sticks. Soon you’re not feeling blue, right?
Unpack the flowers, let’s add a little color to this place. Depressing thoughts vanish like high clouds on a sunny day. And we get to work as follows:
Peel a pound or so of potatoes. Boil them for about 20 minutes.
I used Tilsiter cheese for tonight’s au gratin potatoes, but you can use any tasty cheese that melts decently. (Tilsiter is a mountain cheese found in Swiss supermarkets.) Add 2 cups of ½” cubes of cheese to the sautée mixture and stir it around after a couple of minutes.
While the cheese is melting, start laying potato disks in the bottom of your baking dish, which you have greased with butter. (All this butter – that’s right, real butter! So crucify me! But have an ambulance waiting.)
I had some broccoli in the fridge, so I cut up broccoli pieces and added them to the potatoes. Broccoli haters not invited! Substitute any other vegetable. If you’re French, or some kind of purist, you would never contaminate au gratin potatoes with another vegetable, but I am not French. I like to mess around.
Once you have a complete layer, dribble some of the cheese mixture on it. You don’t have to slather it on. A little here and there goes a long way.
Lay mozzarella pieces on top of everything. This will net you a nice crispy crust.
Let it sit for a few minutes before serving.
Unless I missed something, I am feeling much better now. I am alone, which is the principal reason why people feel blue in the first place, but I have a little masterpiece on my table, and I know it’s going to taste good. I have to eat, don’t I?
Readers, you may have noticed that I did not add any salt or other spices to this recipe. This was not an oversight. The cheese tends to be very salty, so for some people the dish comes out salty enough. I like my pepper, but I’m quite happy to grind it right at the table.
Bring me a glass of Coke Zero with lots of ice, and we’ve got ourselves a meal. I could eat at the table, or since I’m alone I could sneak another peak at my WIP. You know (he whispers), work-in-progress? My WIP is the third installment in the Annie Ogden mystery series. I can’t resist.
Eating in front of the computer is not exactly my idea of paradise. But you can’t have everything, can you now. So till next time, bon appetit! I’m going to stop writing for a few minutes, now (mouth full, chewing). I can’t really eat and write at the same time. Your turn, folks, I wanna eat! How about leaving a comment and letting me know what you do to cure the blues?
A resident of Switzerland, Fred has worked as a teacher, language school manager and school owner. He has three boys and two cats and recently had to learn how to operate both washing machine and dryer. He makes frequent trips back to his native Chicago.
When not writing or doing the washing, Fred can be found walking along the banks of the Rhine River, sitting in a local cafe, or visiting all the local pubs in search of his lost umbrella.