There comes a time in a person's life when they find themselves morphing into one (or both) of their parents. It may be in mannerisms, appearance, body shape, health (both good and bad), habits (yes, good and bad), or things that one thinks to themselves or (heaven forbid) speaks out aloud. It may be just one, or all, of the above (ouch, was that I shudder I heard coming from your direction?).
I would be less than truthful if I didn't own up to the fact that I could tick the boxes alongside a few of those things I've mentioned. Perhaps a little sadly, nowadays I have my father's pear shape and my mother's rounded belly. Oh, and I can thank my mother for tinnitus too. That said, I'm grateful to have mum's strength of character and resilience; and my father's quick wit and cheeky sense of humour. I'm also blessed to have their good European skin; together with the kind heartedness they shared. Health-wise, since that bout of pneumonia last year, I seem to be taking more after my mother, which is somewhat unfortunate. I can still remember when she stopped eating her favourite Arnott's Scotch Finger Biscuits, as even the smallest nibble gave her heartburn. Come to think of it, my father had to stop eating tomatoes, too. Both would take a spoonful of bicarbonate of soda, followed by a gulp of soda water, to counter the discomfort. I'm not sure that the remedy they used was all that good, particularly knowing that I use a dose of bicarbonate of soda followed by a slurp of vinegar to keep my drains nice and fresh! Hmmmm.
To my huge disappointment, last year my specialist told me I had to stop eating so much red capsicum (bell pepper), as it was causing issues with a hiatus hernia (apparently hereditary, thanks mum, *shakes fist*). Potatoes seem to do the same thing. So whenever I feel like a bucket of chippies, 'computer says no'. Thankfully, sweet potatoes agree with me. And I with them, especially when they are baked with a pinch of ground vanilla.
SWEET POTATO CHIPS BAKED WITH VANILLA
550g sweet potato
1/2-3/4 teaspoon ground vanilla bean
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more if needed
sea salt and white pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 210 degrees C. Peel the sweet potatoes. Wash them, dry them thoroughly with paper towelling and cut them into chips. Combine the chips in a bowl with the ground vanilla bean, pepper and extra virgin olive oil, and mix well with your hands (don't add the salt at this stage). Spread them onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper or aluminium foil. If using foil, give it a light brush or spray with oil, so that the chips do not stick. Bake for around 30-45 minutes, turning the chips in between baking time. They should be nicely golden and starting to crisp, but not burned. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately. Serves 2.
Go on, have a chippie, you know you want one...
Tell me dear readers, did you ever get the feeling that you are morphing into a likeness of your mother or father in any way? And do you enjoy the occasional serve of hot chippies?
Hello. I'm Liz, a writer, cook and traveller based in Canberra, Australia.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.