Lackluster potato leads to a lesson


My wife had to work late one night last week, so when I got off work I knew the dogs and I would be on our own for dinner. Luckily, they eat the same thing every night, so at least I didn’t have to worry about what to make them.

For myself, I considered ordering a pizza, but I knew I’d end up eating too much of it, so I decided to stop at the store. As I walked through the produce section, I spotted huge russet potatoes and I knew what I wanted to eat.

In my single days, I would microwave a potato and load it with as much cheese and sour cream as it could hold before covering it all with popcorn shrimp. It had been a few years since I’d made such a stuffed potato, but over the Christmas holidays my in-laws prepared that very meal for us and it was delicious. Of course, my mother-in-law used full-sized shrimp and fried them herself, but store-bought, shrimp cooked in the oven always worked for me in the past.

After selecting my potato — a one and quarter pounder — and the frozen shrimp, I went about getting the toppings. Since I am trying to lose weight I made sure to select the reduced fat sour cream and cheese, and grabbed some green onion and chopped tomatoes to add in — so I’d get some vegetables other than potato.

I prepared my toppings while I zapped the potato in the microwave and baked the shrimp — though now I suspect those last two may have been better reversed. Once my massive potato was ready, I mixed in some butter, cheese and sour cream, added my vegetables, put another layer of cheese and then loaded on the fried shrimp before adding a little more sour cream to the edges.

I tried to be sensible with the amount of toppings, but I knew I’d used too much cheese and sour cream for my diet, and a potato that big isn’t really going to do me any favors. However, I’d gone too far to turn back and I was sure it would all be worth it once I dug in.

The first two bites were good, but once the sour cream was gone the whole thing was kind of disappointing. I went ahead and ate the rest of it, but I felt like I’d missed an opportunity.

Next time my wife works late, I’ll just order pizza and save the effort for making her a great meal.

Happy birthday Sunday to Larry Vincent, Bobbie Dacus, Earl McKinney, Linda Bryant, Billy Malvern, Jerry Culpepper, Donna Gladen and Wilbert Malvern Sr., all of Denison; Daisey Mae Jackson, A’isha Riley, Linda Bryant and Tozorian Smith, all of Sherman; Brandy Walthall of Bells; Gayle Brown of Bonham; Maurice Malvern Jr. of Ft. Worth.

Happy anniversary Sunday to James and Jennie Shockley of Bonham, 53 years; Ed and Barbara Huckabee of Sherman.