Life Lessons: Try and Try and Try Again

October 17, 2008

I’m still getting used to the oven at my new apartment. It is very hot so I learned quickly that I need to turn it down about 25 degrees less than the temperature should be. Even so, sometimes I have a few problems with it, like yesterday.

I had decided to make some yam fries for dinner. I’ve got a great recipe adapted from Hungry Girl; just slice up the sweet potato, shake some cumin on each slice along with a sprinkle of black pepper and a pinch of salt, spread them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and pop them into the oven at 425 degrees (400, for my oven). After 15 minutes, I flipped my potatoes, and then went off to read while I waited for them to cook. Less than 15 minutes later I returned to take them out of the oven… and they looked like this:

Hmph. But I managed to salvage a few:

I was all set to give up and just eat a jar of peanut butter for dinner (stop looking at me like that. Starving student, right here), but then I remembered that there was some regular potatoes rolling around in the bottom of our pantry. No match for a sweet potato, but you’ve got to work with what you’ve got. So I sliced one up, laid it out on the baking sheet, added the spices, and baked them for just 10 minutes. Flipped them and baked them for 10 minutes longer, and voila!

Potato chips! Lovely golden brown. And they actually tasted exactly like chips do. Which I guess shouldn’t surprise me that much, but I’ve only ever eaten the sweet potatoes this way, not regular potatoes, and there’s a very distinct difference in taste. Also, because the vegetable is naturally quite juicy, it lends a slight oily feel to the chips so that you don’t even miss the oil! They were delicious and I shall be for sure making these again.

So that’s this weeks lesson! If you burn stuff, don’t give up. Try again and see if you can get it right the second time. You might be pleasantly surprised.


  1. Try, try and try again! Absolutely! Have a nice weekend!

  2. Always try, try, again!! You win some, you lose some :0)

  3. Good advice! Love yam fries, actually like mine a little crispy. Well, not THAT crispy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. alRIGHT! good for you!

    and yes, we are SO hard core heehee!@

    happy friday!

  5. Mark- you too!

    Veggiegirl- absolutely. And we need to focus on the ones we win:)

    Missicat- I like mine crispy, too. But those first ones were just inedible!

    Rhodeygirl- Have a fun-filled hardcore weekend:)

  6. Good for you!! And now I’m craving chips. And I have sweet potatoes right here on my counter… mmmm!

  7. Good one! I got distracted last week while roasting peanuts, and they were black and crispy when I smelled the smoke! Nothing to salvage ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    I do make sweet potato or Idaho potato fries, however, all the time. Just a little vinegar, garlic, and maybe oregano on mine, then under the broiler. Just stay in the kitchen ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. sorry to hear about your failed yam fries however those potato chips look amazing!

  9. Versatility is a very good skill to cultivate!
    Your potato chips look very good. Now I’m hungry….hope hubby gets home from work soon!

  10. Charlotte- get to it! mmm cooking.

    Dr. J- sounds yummy! I’m so bad at forgetting about my cooking part way through. It’s so easy to get distracted, isn’t it?!

    Loveofoats- they were very good:)

    Bag Lady- yes, yes it is! Now I just need to expand my skills and learn how to do things like drag logs… I wish I could do HALF the stuff that you can!

  11. Mmmm, two-for-one recipes! I look forward to trying both!

  12. Your own chips – I love it! What a creative way to make your own. And all because you didn’t give up! Awesome!!

  13. Ooh, those look good! Great that you gave it another try.

    Evil oven though. I’m quite capable of burning things even at the proper temperatures, I’d really be in trouble with your oven.

  14. Cammy- I hope you do! They’re super easy and so good.

    Lance- never have to be tempted by the processed ones again:P

    Crabby- oh I am too. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve set the smoke alarm off.

  15. i like my sweet potato fries all black and charred like that. maybe im weird.

    I have a really old microwave at my apartment so when i cook somewhere else things usually explode. its not pretty.

    Kelly Turner

  16. I wish I jested when I laughed at how I suck in the kitchen…but I do.

    and I live yer adage.

  17. They look yummy! I’m so impatient with the oven, I always turn it up WAY too high and scorch everything.

    I need to take a leaf out of your book…. patience and tenacity!

    TA x

  18. Hope your weekend was fantastic!

  19. Kelly- lets “cook” things together and have a fun exploding kitchen! Also I sometimes like when my popcorn is burnt. Very strange.

    MizFit- I think mishaps in the kitchen make us that much more entertaining of cooks:)

    TA- it’s SO tempting to just turn the oven up really hot so it cooks faster, isn’t it?!

  20. If I didnt try again after I burned stuff we’d starve ๐Ÿ™‚ Sagan, I did subscribe but it doesn’t get updated. There’s this blogger feature that lets one subscribe to feeds via Google reader – it’d be fabulous if you could include that feature. Does this sound horribly demanding – I don’t mean it to be, I just really want to read your blog.

  21. Dee- not demanding at all! Thanks so much for letting me know. I THINK I’ve fixed the problem now… but am not 100% sure. And I tried to figure out the Google Reader thing but all I succeeded in doing was to subscribe myself to my blog lol. Do you know how to add the feature?

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