It was a little more than 18 months ago that Anthony and I were meeting at Au Bon Pain on 19th Street. It was one of our regular biweekly meetings that we have. I had asked him during the previous get-together to think about where he wanted to be in one year or five years. “Don’t answer me now,” I told him. “Think about it and we’ll talk about it when we meet next time.”
Two weeks went by. We sat down at our usual table; Anthony carefully accommodating the multiple bags of personal items that lugged around with him all day long. Before we had even taken the first bite of our lunch, Anthony said that he had been thinking about what we talked about the previous week.
So I told you on Tuesday that I learned that Anthony holds a weekly fish fry with his neighbors. Their housing complex has a very nice shared kitchen on the ground floor where the guys get together on Saturday afternoon to fry some fish.
“My neighbor Dennis catches the fish and brings it home, cleans it and individually bags and freezes them.” But once a week Anthony, Dennis and another neighbor, Mr. Hoyer, come together to cook.
“He catches crappies…or whatever he can get really,” Anthony tells me. “The bottom of fridge is literally full of fish come Saturday.” While Anthony doesn’t participate in the fishing, his friends are quite the avid fisherman. “Sometimes they even enter tournaments,” he explains.
Now I know Anthony has a hearty appepite and appreciates a good fish fry as much as the next person, but I was curious if he wasn’t fishing then what was he contributing to the fish fry. When I asked, he grinned and told me, “I cook the potatoes. Home fried potatoes.”
He went into detail about the process. “I slice them like potato chips, wash them off, put butter in the pan and let it get hot and then dump the potatoes in and go back and cut up the onion and throw them on top of the potatoes and put the top on after I put a little more butter on them.” He let’s them cook for a while but you can’t just let them sit. “You got to keep moving them so they don’t get stuck to the pan. That’s the way you get golden home fried potatoes.”
As for seasoning – Anthony doesn’t add anything other than the butter. “I let the guys put on their own salt and pepper or whatever, you know, make it the way they like it.”
It sounds like a nice event…everyone brings something to the table. “You know, maybe Mr. Hoyer brings the oil. There’s another guy too, a Russian guy we call ‘the governor’, he might buy the oil or some seasoning. We all pitch in.”
“And you bring the potatoes,” I asked him.
“Yep, I take care of the potatoes. I love potatoes – I always keep a bag up in my bedroom.”
Check out Anthony&Me next week for another of Anthony’s kitchen favorites: Fish Omelets.