Today is National Potato Day. Potatoes can be fried, baked or boiled to create some amazingly delicious dished. But did you know that potatoes are environmentally friendly and easy to grow? Yet we rarely give our starchy friend a second thought.
I can remember growing our own red potatoes. Potatoes are cheap, requiring very little fertilizer in order to thrive. If you don’t heap on things like butter, or eat them fried every time, potatoes are actually good for you. I can remember as a kid we carved potatoes and used them to create stamp art.
Potatoes flew with the space shuttle, Columbia, in 1995. It marked the first time any food was grown in space. While potatoes may be synonymous with the Irish, the truth is potatoes were grown in the Andes mountains for centuries before Europeans ever set foot in the new world.
My favorite “dip” for French Fries is a blend of mayonnaise and ketchup. I’ve even been known to dip potato chips in mayonnaise. Oh hells bells, I like mayonnaise. Where others will use ketchup (such as on a burger) I’ll reach for the mayo. So potatoes rubbed in mayonnaise were right up my alley – perfect for National Potato Day.
Ranch Potato Wedges
3 large Baking Potatoes
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Cider Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Ranch Dressing Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
Heat oven to 375-degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, spray foil with cooking spray and set aside.
Wash and dry potatoes. Cut each potato into 6 wedges and pat dry with paper towel.
In a bowl, mix mayonnaise, vinegar, garlic powder, ranch powder, salt, and black pepper well.
Roll up your sleeves and use your hands to coat all sides of the potato wedges with the mayonnaise mixture.
Place potato wedges into the heated oven to bake. Roast for about 45 minutes, shaking the pan for even browning about half-way through.
Transfer potatoes to a serving platter. Sprinkle with parsley flakes for a bit of color. Serve with a small bowl of ranch dressing as a dip.
Today is also America Beer Day. While I’m not a fan of beer, American or otherwise, I can get behind serving up a big, juicy burger, these awesome fries and a tall, cold draft. Enjoy!
For the record, today also happens to be the unofficially US Navy Day. Officially, the Navy celebrates its birthday on October 13. In our Catholic house, that creates a conflict since October 13 is also the Miracle of the Spinning Sun. Choosing is not up to debate. However; the unofficial celebration of Navy Day works just fine with National Potato Day and American Beer Day – almost fitting in a way.
Navy Day was traditionally celebrated with pomp and circumstance between 1922 and 1949. The U.S. Navy participated each year by dispatching ships to various U.S. ports where public celebrations were held. The 1945 celebration was particularly grand and memorable when sitting President Harry S. Truman arrived to review the fleet in New York Harbor.
Navy Day was last officially observed in 1949 when the first Secretary of Defense, Louis A. Johnson, announced that Armed Forces Day would officially replace Navy Day commencing the following year. Johnson designated the third Saturday in May as Armed Forces Day, a joint celebration recognizing all six traditional branches of the U.S. military: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, and now the newly created Space Force. Yet the Navy League continues to organize events celebrating the original Navy Day on October 27. As a civilian organization, they were not affected by the change.
Here’s to those who serve in the US Navy, and all those who support them in their call to duty!