By Rachel, on January 14, 2010


The South had been plunged into a deep freeze for three days. Outside the poor banana trees were shaking in the icy wind. Their large innocent green leaves had been shredded to ribbons. Citrus trees still bore their fruit stubbornly though the orange and yellow skins were beginning to show signs of distress. Newscasters continued to urge “folks” to stay home and off the roads” and to “cover their pipes”. The farmers on the North Shore of Pontchatrain were lamenting their strawberry crops. “These here are Valentine strawberries….” one of them trailed off hesitantly as he palmed one weather beaten plant.

Sir and I had been stir crazy. We wore the floor down walking the same pathways over and over again in our 1000 square feet of apartment. When the temperature hits below 40 I am reluctant to take him out. We were not prepared for it at all. No cold weather gear. No proper coats. Proper shoes. Layers. Mittens. Thermals.

I thought about Konstanzia and how she would sneer good naturedly. Babies live in Russia too and they grow to be men and women – cold and ice and all.

At around 11am on day three I considered a short jaunt to the playground but just as I was puffing myself up with will and want…Sir began to nod off at his highchair. Naptime. Oh well.

Enter the Potato, the Leek and the Bacon to save the monotony of the day.

2lbs of Yukon Gold sliced very very very thin
2 -3 leeks sauteed with 2 diced strips of favorite bacon
Favorite grated cheese (a Fontina and Parmesan mix did well here)
Salt (Kosher)
Pepper (coarse grind)
Unsalted Butter
Casserole Dish

375 degrees

Butter your dish. Clean and slice leeks. Dice bacon. Sautee together until soft. Salt and pepper the bacon & leeks.
Slice potatoes to a 1/4 of an inch. Mandolin, processor, or box grater makes a fast job of this. I used something similiar to this:

Thinness is key to texture!

Take 1/4 of potato slices and cover bottom of dish.
Salt & Pepper
Take leeks & bacon and spread over potatoes.
Salt & Pepper
Potato layer
Salt & Pepper
Cheese layer
Salt & Pepper
Leeks & Bacon
Salt & Pepper
Potato layer
so on and so forth until you have no more.

Into the oven with it for about an hour…maybe less may be a little more….
Eat bubbling hot preferably while wearing pajamas.
if the top starts to get too brown cover it…..

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