Date Night Dinner: I Can’t Believe It’s a Potato!

Photo by Jenna Chapman

What tastes like dirt, looks like dirt, and sounds like dirt? Here’s a hint — the answer isn’t dirt.

The answer is potatoes. Everyone has eaten a badly baked potato, and they just taste like starchy dirt; they’re not even the good Joe Dirt kind of dirt, but the bad, nasty kind.

Oh, what’s this?

You want me to tell you how to properly cook a potato so you will say such resplendent things as my good friend William said, “It was as if a curse on my tongue had been lifted after many years,” after eating this potato?

I guess it is time for me to tell you about how you can also have that curse on your tongue placed by a bad cook many years ago removed, in a decent amount of steps!

We all know that you’re poor, it has become a fact of your, and our, lives. Therefore, the ingredient list here will be sparse yet beautiful.



4 large russet potatoes (four potatoes will get you two potatoes in the end, don’t question it)

4 tablespoons of butter

A bit of salt

A bit of pepper

Olive oil


Optional Toppings:

1 bundle of green onions

A goodly amount of sour cream

As many bacon bits as you can handle

About half a cup of cheddar cheese


Will yield two awe-inspiring baked potatoes. Cook so they are ready to be eaten immediately.



  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Scrub all four of the potatoes with water … like you mean it.
  3. Poke holes in the potatoes so that they don’t explode.
  4. Once the oven is done preheating, chuck the potatoes into the oven gently, and let them cook for an hour, or until a fork will slide into the potatoes nice and easy.
  5. (Optional) While you are waiting for the potatoes to finish cooking, chop those green onions into quarter-inch sized pieces.
  6. Whip out that pair of tongs you keep hanging on your belt, and carefully take the potatoes out of the oven. Potatoes can slip right out of the tongs, or you might squish them if you grip too tightly. Moral of the story is, “be careful.”
  7. Now, cut two of the potatoes (these will be the presentation potatoes) straight in half. You can cut the other two potatoes as haphazardly as you want, you heathen.
  8. Scoop out the innards of the potatoes. Make sure you are more careful with the presentation potatoes. The other two can be scooped out with unnecessary roughness and then you can just throw away their skins. Proceed to throw all the potato innards into a bowl along with the 4 tablespoons of butter, and however much salt and pepper you find appropriate.
  9. Mash it.
  10. Remember the presentation potatoes? Rub olive oil onto the empty skins; this will make them nice and crispy in the next step.
  11. Equally stuff the mashed potato goodness into the two presentation potatoes. Kinda smash it in here and there so that it looks just gorgeous. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on both of them and put them back in the oven until the cheese melts over the potatoes: about 5-10 minutes. Keep checking them and take them out once they look good to you.
  12. Pull out those beauties, place the two of them on separate plates, and then use the optional sour cream, chopped green onions and bacon bits to decorate and make them look beautiful.
  13. Eat them, and feel sad as you realize that your life could have had these amazing baked potatoes in it the entire time. However, fret no more, because your life now has them in it. Hallelujah!


Do you feel prepared now to face your date? If you don’t, you probably need to read the recipe again. Baked potatoes go along perfectly with a beautiful salad; just don’t forget the salad dressing.

Perfect Pairing: Take your date to a performance of “The Addams Family Musical.”

Story by
Matthew House for SUU News