Monday, May 22, 2017

Random Tater Pic of the Day #269

This random tater pic comes from my bro-in-law Bruce, who took this photo of his favorite brunch made by my enabling but loving big sister Bobbie. Bruce added to me in a text, "Here are the home fries and ham brunch your sister makes. Eat your heart out!" Mmmm...

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

French Fry Diary 733: The Fries of the Camden Comic Con

Now I've talked before about how French fries and comic cons don't go together, the idea of collectible paper and grease mixing, even though they entail two things I love - comics and fries - are simply not compatible.

Now at this year's Camden Comic Con things were a bit different.  This year outside the con there was an awesome assemblage of food trucks, and it should be noted that as a podcaster at a table, it's not as easy to mix the two elements as it is for a attendee walking around with a bag full of comics.  We were free to sample the wares of the food trucks and record our reactions for both French Fry Diary and The GAR! Podcast

Outside the Convention there were three food trucks serving the needs of the event - My Four Sons, Wahlburgers, and family friends The Pop Shop in their new food truck, The Pop Shop aGoGo!, I love that name.  My co-host Ray Cornwall and I had planned ahead of time to have lunch 'on air' in a special FFD segment to try each of their fries. 

Wahlburgers was a major disappointment.  First because I was looking forward to trying their stuff, as they had already escaped me once, opening in Philadelphia a mere week after we had moved to Florida.  And now at the con, their food truck came only prepared to deliver tater tots, and not fries.  When one of the other two food truck choices has some of the best fries in the South Jersey area - Pop Fries - we skipped Wahlburgers completely, their loss. 

While I chatted comics with my friend Robert Repici, Ray went to lunch, and The Bride got my lunch from The Pop Shop aGoGo.  For herself, she got the buffalo chicken fries, and for me a burger and those great Pop Fries.  Now here's the difference between Wahlburgers and The Pop Shop - burgers weren't on the menu, but family friend Stink Fisher, who was running the truck, made me one special anyway.  That's why The Pop Shop rocks.  Thanks, Stink, you rule!

Friends Jeff Milliman and Jessy Lukens, who sat in with the recording, also happily partook from The Pop Shop aGoGo.  Ray on the other hand, got his lunch from the My Four Sons, including kimchi fries.  I did not try them.  I'm not sure if it was how they looked, whether I was already full from The Pop Shop, or if it was the conversation we'd had earlier about what the word kimchi really means - but I just wasn't brave enough. 

Looking at the My Four Sons menu however, I wish I had known about, and ordered their Tornado Potato, always wanted to try one of those.  Maybe next time, and maybe next time Wahlburgers will bring their fry game. 

For those not familiar, The GAR! Podcast is the Glenn Walker and Ray Cornwall weekly podcast where they talk unrehearsed about whatever happens to come to mind. It's an audio-zine for your mind, a nerd exploration of a nerd world, coming to you from the suburbs of New Jersey and the sunny lakes of Florida via Skype.

GAR!163: Lunch at the Camden Comic Con, the episode in question was recorded live at this year's Camden Comic Con and also features discussion with the mythical David Lisa, Janel Miller, Robert, Jeff, Jessy, The Bride, Ray, and myself talking comics, libraries, malls, and yes, the favorite fried food.

You can listen here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Random Tater Pic of the Day #267

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fighting over fries from issue #10 of their comic book series. Don't miss the season finale of the TV series tonight on ABC, and my review later in the week at Biff Bam Pop!. You can see all my reviews of the television series right here.

Monday, May 15, 2017

French Fry Diary 732: Jerry Mother's Day Breakfast

My good friend Jerry Whitworth, who's also one of my partners on the Nerdfect Strangers podcast, yesterday for Mother's Day made his mom breakfast. Now he's contributed to French Fry Diary before, but his step-by-step making of Mother's Day breakfast yesterday via Facebook was something else.

Here's some pics, and Jerry's own words, along with great advice for Mother's Day:

"Making breakfast for mom. Hand shredded potatoes for homemade hashbrowns."

"Was just telling mom it was easier using fresh potatoes for hashbrowns than bag potatoes or reconstituted ones. I could flip the fresh hashbrowns with a spatula without breaking while the other way I need to slide it onto a plate to flip it." 


"Mom's watching a show where they asked what was the most important thing your mother taught you. For me, it was to always remain a kid at heart."

Thanks, Jerry, and a belated Mother's Day to everyone out there!

Friday, May 12, 2017

French Fry Diary 731: Idaho Spud

On a recent trip to Rocket Fizz, the amazing nostalgia soda and candy store, I picked up a candy bar called Idaho Spud, thinking it would make a good entry for French Fry Diary.  I got rather concerned shortly after purchasing the candy bar on the ride home.  It was squishy.  Not surprising in the hot Florida sun, but I was hesitant about opening it when I got home.

Having never heard of the Idaho Spud candy bar before, I did a little research before opening what might be a melted mess when finally revealed.  Idaho Spud has been around since 1918, one of the most successful candy bars produced by a small company, and as promised on the wrapper, "The Candy Bar That Makes Idaho Famous." 

The Idaho Spud is a coconut flavored marshmallow, covered in chocolate, then covered again with coconut flakes.  It's odd shape resembling a potato is where the name came from... but should it be squishy?  Before I tear away the wrapper, I should mention I was unable to find the meaning of the word Owyhee on the packaging other than it's a river in Idaho.

The candy was squishy, but more of a spongy to match the marshmallow center, but the chocolate and coconut flakes were definitely crumbling apart. Now I'm not much of a coconut guy, but this was all right, better than meh, but not great.  No potatoes, and not really looking like any potato I've seen, but worth trying out. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

French Fry Diary 730: Lay's Wavy Hickory BBQ Potato Chips

I've talked about Lay's Wavy Potato Chips before, and was rather impressed, and whereas I've seen chocolate, truffle, and even mango salsa versions of the Wavy chips, I have never seen my favorite flavor, BBQ, until now.

I found a bag of Lay's Wavy Hickory BBQ Potato Chips and I was pretty happy. Hickory BBQ flavor is a bit tricky, it's smoky, one would suppose from hickory wood, but mostly it has a molasses and maybe honey taste. Sounds good. Before opening the bag, I checked out the ingredients, and that was no help - "Hickory BBQ Seasoning" - just like the mystery ingredients of the Do Us A Flavor chips.

When I opened the bag the aroma was rich and sweet, I couldn't wait to dig in. Like the other Wavy Lay's, they are thick cut and excellent for dipping, especially cold stuff because of the heat of the flavor. It's a sweetness with a bit of a kick, and addictive, like all good potato chips. Thumbs up.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Random Tater Pic of the Day #266

This one comes from dear friend Robin Renee, who had these fries and broccoli rabe at Gallery Pizza in Atco, NJ. And if you're so inclined, please check out her fantastic Blog March, the schedule is here.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Monday, May 08, 2017

French Fry Diary 729: Tater Tot Grilled Cheese

So, inspired by the ThreadBanger YouTube video seen here sent to me by good friend Amy I set off to the kitchen to try this immediately. I had tater tots, I had cheese, and I had an awesome Cuisinart waffle maker, so why not?

Here's the first layer of tater tots. Rather than cooking them, I microwaved them for a couple minutes, or you could just let them thaw for a bit.

 Here's the next layer, great individual slices of Kraft American cheese, the orange stuff is always best. If this works out the first time, I'll add bacon the next time and see what happens.

And another layer of tater tots. There's a learning curve here as they are hard to stack. If the first layer of tots are hot, they will melt the cheese which will act as a glue to hold the second layer of tots together.

Mmmm… look at that awesome cheesy potatoey overflow!

I learned a few more things. Lesson one: don't overfill on the tots. Lesson two: more cheese (always a good rule no matter what). Lesson three: spray waffle maker with oil so you can remove the monstrosity easier when it's done. I used a butter knife and it was still stubborn.

The brown spots are the cheese leaking through to the bottom, so again, more cheese. It cooks up in the cooking so you need lots more. And on this first try, I definitely cooked them too long. On the plus side, you can always put more cheese on them afterward.

Thanks, Amy, you rock, and thanks to ThreadBanger who is insane but oh so cool. Incidentally, ThreadBanger was inspired by the folks at Tip Hero and their take can be found here.