Guys: sweet potato fries are amazing.
I recently had dinner with one of my friends at her place, both of us clothed. We caught up over a number of things, including revelations from my clothes free life. She is not a nudist, and given the nature of the conversations that particular evening, I decided to wait on asking whether I could dine clothes free in her presence. She had tons of food prepared, and one of the delicious treats was sweet potato fries.
I can’t remember if I’d ever had them before, but I was floored when she informed me that all she did was slice them up, toss in olive oil and bake at 450F. Really, just olive oil and sweet potato? Nothing else fancy? Nope. And those fries were yummy. She was pouring her heart out to me about stuff, and I would nod and grunt, “Uh huh, uh huh, mmm” as I gobbled one fry after another, until the bowl was almost empty. At one point I looked away from her and down at the nearly empty with a sad face. I might have even sighed. She gave me permission to finish them off. Big smile and final gobbles.
Clearly, I had to try out this recipe, and we all know it was going to be done clothes free. So, at the next grocery run, I giddily skipped over to the sweet potatoes. My goodness, they come in so many shapes and sizes: bowling pins, logs, tiny dolls, bats, shapes from outer space, etc. Standing in the store, admiring the variety, I was reminded of a number of blog posts in the clothes free community that talk about the diversity of bodies that show up and how they are all wonderful just as they are. That’s how I felt about the sweet potatoes, all of them wonderfully quirky and amazing as they were. I bagged a few and went on my way.
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- sweet potatoes
- coconut or olive oil
On my first go at making the fries, I duplicated my friend’s effort using olive oil to coat the potato slices. I peeled the skin (and peeling oddly shaped sweet potatoes when hungry is a true exercise in patience) and sliced it up into manageable pieces. I poured a bit of olive oil into a Tupperware bowl and shook the potato slices in it while covered to coat them. On a baking sheet lined with foil, I spread them and baked at 450F for 15 minutes, then flipped the fries over and baked another 10-15 minutes. The result was pretty good. However, for me, olive oil is a bit strong for how I wanted to experience the sweet potato fries. If you saw the most recent Grammy Awards ceremony, olive oil is like Mary J Blige when she sang with Sam Smith; it is no backup singer. Olive oil shows up in its beautiful dress, cocks its hip to the side, snaps its fingers, and says, “I’m here!” And pairing it with sweet potato is still great, but I was looking for a different experience.
On my second go, I decided to use coconut oil, because it has, for me, less of a diva presence. Sure enough, when I tasted the sweet potato fries prepared in that oil, it was as if the sweetness within was coached out ever so subtly. The sweet potato stood front and center, but with a little extra shine of its own light from the inside. I stood there in the kitchen devouring them right from the baking sheet, enjoying the fresh warmth as my teeth broke the firm exterior and unleashed the mushy delight within. An organic pleasure to the taste buds, the potato’s own nutritious deliciousness satisfying me completely. It wasn’t too sweet or too bland; it was just right, just as it was.
What really gets me about this experience is how amazingly beautiful and delicious a potato can be without a lot of extra stuff. A touch of oil just to support the baking process, and literally nothing else. It reminded me of how I feel when I am clothes free: I am enough, I am beautiful, I am radiant, smart, creative, weird, wonderful, strong, flexible, vibrant. I am human in all aspects just as I am, without anything else to cover or shape me. I’ve been falling in love with and connecting with my authentic self as it blossoms each day of my clothes free life. What a joy to be at peace with who I am, no matter the shape of my potato self.
Beautiful and enough just as I am.