Callie’s Cabin: A Time for Feel-Good Fries to Dip (Recipe) |

Callie’s Cabin: A Time for Feel-Good Fries to Dip (Recipe)

Fresh fried French fries with ketchup and white sauce.
Getty Images | iStockphoto

Potatoes. I have a love for taters. This week when I decided thumbs down to baking cookies but yes to thick home fries the reason came to me. Potatoes are a calming food.

Actually, past research shows eating carbs—like potatoes—revs up serotonin, a natural tranquilizer found in the brain. That’s right, this brain chemical may help you calm down. No kidding.

Last December, when I was isolated in my Anchorage, Alaska hotel room due to erratic weather it seems like foreshadow of these days. Sure, it was an adventure (but not the nature trip I planned). One night when it was dark by 4:30 P.M., I ordered room service fries—comfort food to soothe my funky mood.

Listening to the spooky howling wind (way more intense than what we experience on the South Shore), the plate of skinny French fries sedated me a bit. But I wished I was back home in my comfort zone with my furry pets and a crackling fire.

As the weather forecast is wind and sierra snow showers, I wanted to make something to warm me up. During challenging times that has all of us feeling down, I thought, “We need potatoes!” So, inspired by my past trip that tanked, I baked thick home fries and dips for the comfort of it.

Home Fries

2 Russet potatoes (or sweet). washed, slice into thick wedges

Ground pepper to taste (I used lemon pepper)

2 tablespoons European style butter

Parsley (fresh or dried)

On a baking sheet or dish, place potato wedges. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Turn the heat up to 450 degrees until golden brown, Remove and place on dish. Sprinkle with parsley. Add small bowls of dips. Serves two.

Herby Sour Cream Dip

1/2 cup sour cream

1/8 cup grated Parmesan

1 teaspoon chives (fresh or dried)

Sea salt to taste

Ground pepper

Spicy Ketchup

½ cup Killer Salsa (available at Safeway)

¼ cup ketchup

Cilantro to taste (fresh or dried)

Home Fries was a nice late afternoon snack, followed by a fresh kale salad, and cup of hot tea. The thing is, when life is rocky people either overeat foods that aren’t healthy or their adrenaline spikes and they don’t eat.

Being a health author, I usually take the eat less vegetarian route to get essential nutrients. It makes me feel like I have a sense of control — like dunking fries into a cool dip or hot sauce. Go ahead — dip it and enjoy the sense of calm.

Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, Superfoods, and Essential Oils) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is

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