Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Linden's Panang Curry
If you go to www.oed.com - that would be the Oxford English Dictionary's website, for those of you not in the know - and search "potato effect", you will find three entries. The first is spelling-related, pertaining to the 'e' introduced when pluralizing the word. The second has to do with Ireland, and thus is of little interest here, as their cuisine is not predominantly what you would call photogenic. Our family has a historic, if tense, relationship with the third.
When Papa cooks plain baked potatoes, his thoughts go something like this: There are five of us, and these are big baking potatoes, so reckon 3/4 each (maybe a whole one for me), better make four and hope someone isn't hungry. There are usually two left.
When he roasts potatoes, he can cook the same amount and only have one or two little potatoe eighths remaining (the runts of the litter). When he makes french fries - which, I would like to point out, he hasn't done in years, a major failing of his kitchining - he uses the same number and we all complain that he didn't cook enough.
His response is always to retaliate with baked potatoes, and then complain that we aren't eating them. He says, "I don't know how you expect me to estimate how many potatoes people will eat when one night you want more than a whole one each and the next all of you together barely manage one", and feels very righteous about his own consistent intake.
However, this is easily explained by what is commonly known as the potato effect, which refers to the phenomenomenon whereby delicious food is less filling.
I have found that chicken experiences the potato effect when cooked in the form of Panang Curry. I will cook enough raw chicken that I expect enough leftovers for another full meal, and there will be absolutely nothing left, or maybe enough for a small snack the following day. Unlike Papa, however, I am an adapter. I just double my quantities.