One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato…FOURTY!

Digital River is having a company picnic for lunch this Wednesday. Joel’s department had the great idea of being different and serving baked potatoes instead of the run-of-the-mill hamburgers, hot dogs, brats, etc. So, he volunteered to bake 40 potatoes. 

Yes, this is the Joel that has problems psychologically accepting oven baked foods in the heat of summer, that agreed to subject us to a full oven set at 400 * F for 1 hour. Yes, the high today was 91* F. Yes, we have the air conditioner on the highest setting.

Rather than scrub 2 bags full of giant Idaho potatoes, I dumped them into the dishwasher and ran it on the rinse only cycle. It worked pretty well.  Joel wrapped the potatoes with the ready-cut foil sheets. I pierced them with a fondue fork.  We managed to squeeze all of them onto the two oven racks. After 30 minutes, I turned them all over with the help of oven mitts. After another 30 minutes, I pulled the oven racks completely out and set one on top of the stove. The other rack is sitting slightly above the tile kitchen floor held up by my two cooking cooling racks.

Digital River’s plan, I’m told, is to warm them up again on a grill tomorrow.  They will have all the fancy shmancy toppings to deck the spuds with.

Since we were cooking so many potatoes at one time, I checked a website for advice in case we needed to change the cooking method and time. The only difference from the potato bag’s instruction was to lower the temperature by 25*F.   Another interesting (scary ?) note was that they didn’t advise keeping the potatoes warm too long after cooking them, because of the risk of botulism (a food safety issue).  That note solidified Joel’s decision not to be tempted to eat any at lunch tomorrow.  He was going to leave them out all night. I think I’ll try to squeeze them in the fridge once they cool down some.  Who knows what the other employees who also volunteered will do with their potatoes…

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