Loaded Cheesy Curly Fries

Around 4 months ago I decided that I was fed up with facebook. I was sick of seeing abandoned and abused puppy photos (which doesn't mean that I don't care). I was sick of the cheesy inspirational quotes, photos of babies of people that I barely know anymore. I tried to delete my account, but it turns out that my flourishing foodie page is tied with my personal page and unless I delete them both, it is impossible. Instead, I decided to unfollow everyone instead of deleting as a friend, because who knows, I may want to get back on the wagon sometime in the future. I've made the mistake of deleting people before, and regretted it afterwords. Now that I follow no-one, even if out-of-habit I log into my account, there is nothing to see. Except for last night. I had insomnia. I decided to log into my account (still a habit that will take a long time to break), and there it was, a single lonely post on my facebook wall. Someone who I had forgot to unfollow. An acquaintance from high school, many moons ago.

I went to highschool in a very small town. There were probably around 400 students. It was a very close knit community. I went through a mildly awkward stage in grade 8/9, teen angst, depression, hating the world. But then it seemed to pass, and I had a pretty good experience from there on. I made a lot of really great friends, had some really good times. By the time I went to university I had the whole partying thing out of my system, and I was able to focus, when it really mattered. Alot of my friends had the opposite experience. By the time they reached university, they had been so cooped up, some barely even taken a sip of alcohol, that by the end of first year half of them made it into the second, and just barely. I'm not sure which scenario is more advantageous: partying too much and doing worse in high school, or party too much and doing worse in university? Either way, all experiences build character.

Back to that facebook post. It was a picture of two kids eating ice cream on a beach, which is irrelevant, but what was more interesting were the people who commented below. After I started clicking on peoples pages, pandoras box opened, and the next thing I knew it was 2 am and I had learned more about the people that I went to high school with, than I ever wanted to know. Girls who I never thought would have kids, now have 4. People who still live in that tiny town, never left, still playing on the same baseball team, with the same people, drinking at the same local bar. People who got married to people I would not have expected. People who got married to their high school boyfriends. People who lost a lot of weight. People who became crazy educated Ph.D. professors, traveling the world studying frogs. People who became teachers and started teaching at our same high school. You probably could have predicted the future path for a few people I knew, but for the majority of people, the path that they have taken in life is so unexpected and in such a good way. Thanks to my insomnia, and my late night stalk-fest, I later spent the whole night in a really crazy and bizarre dream involving a lot of people from high school.

Speaking of high school flashbacks, curly fries anyone? I am a sucker for french fries, all shapes, and sizes. Especially if you curl them and load them with spices, bake them until slightly crispy but still soft in the center, load them with tomatoes, avocado, cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, so good.  I was inspired to make this recipe after an evening out with some friends, who in my opinion need to step it up because when a girl asks if you want to share some tatchos (tater tot nachos), you say yes, period, because a girl can't be alone in an endeavor like that. At the beginning of the week I had originally planned to recreate those denied tatchos, but then I saw the bag of frozen Arby's curly fries in the frozen aisle (what, you thought I made those fries from scratch?), I knew it was a done deal. I'm not going to lie. I did sit at the counter with a fork and eat 3/4 of these fries by myself once I had finished styling and photographing them, and it was probably one of the best decisions I made this week, except for that fancy expensive Scandinavian jam with raspberries and rhubarb I impulse bought. These loaded fries are everything: savory, crispy, melty, cheese, spicy, heaven. I'm still dreaming about them.



serves 4

1 lb frozen curly fries

salt to taste

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 avocado, chopped

2 green onions, sliced

1 hot pepper, sliced (optional)

1/3 cup sour cream

hot sauce to taste

Spread the frozen curly fries onto a baking sheet, season with salt, and bake as per package instructions.

Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake until melted. A minute or two.

Remove from the oven and cover with chopped tomatoes, avocado, green onions, and hot peppers.

Scoop the sour cream onto the center. Use hot sauce as a garnish. Serve warm.