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2005: The first meal and a trend predicted

Two thousand five has officially arrived, bearing hip-shakin’ hip-hop, sparkly lights for the Space Needle, an unwelcome nuzzle, and tater tots.

Seeking a relatively low-price, low-key New Year's Eve celebration with the possibility of dancing, three of us traipsed down Fremont Avenue to a hip-hop show at Suite G. I stuck to gin and tonic—not quite ginny or limey enough, but then again, the bartender was no David Rosengarten—and Teresa took quite a liking to the “Strasberi Drop,” while Megan sampled the “Bird of Paradise.” Featuring crème de cacao, amaretto, something else I’ve forgotten, and cream (reassuringly billed as “fresh”), it was dessert in a martini glass. I wanted desperately to fill a bathtub with the stuff and roll around in it, although Megan seemed to prefer the idea of dipping herself in her aunt’s banana cream pie.

Over the hubbub (“This is it, WHAT! Blue Scholars in the place—put your fist up! Doin' it large to bring in 2005, y’all!”), we talked bacon fat, pulled pork, lamb-chop sideburns, wild animal desire, and anthropology. I made the mistake of accidentally catching the eye of a fairly drunk-looking but otherwise handsome man as he passed us, and he generously rewarded me with a warm and scary neck-nuzzle. Blessedly soon thereafter, the clock struck midnight and we, weary after so much stimulation, snuck out in search of something greasy.

Late-night, rain-slicked Fremont doesn’t offer much, but we did find an auspicious first meal of 2005 in a basketful of chips with salsa and guacamole at Dad Watson’s,

and Megan demonstrated the proper way to eat a tater tot with Ranch dressing.

Now, perhaps you’re wondering at the lack of Champagne, caviar, and other highfalutin celebration fare, but think again: tater tots, I’ve been told, are the noblest form of potato. Apparently, these crunchy little barrels of potatoeyness are no longer to be frowned upon or shoved aside with other unsightly flashbacks of the school cafeteria. I believe, dear reader, that we're witnessing the birth of a trend, and in fact, 2005 may well turn out to be the year of the tater tot. But frankly, I’m undecided. I’m a little afraid of what might be lurking within, of what lies behind that über-potato flavor. I sense the work of a laboratory. But I did make fast work of the tortilla chips.

And then, perfectly sober, I knocked a glass of ice water into my lap while doing a seated shimmy to Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin.’”

Thus began 2005, already making good on promises of thrills, adventure, and salty snacks and treats. Happy New Year to you and yours. May you be warm, dry, and well-fed.


Blogger amylou said...

I like frozen potato products as well but sometimes think that you don't get enough tater for your tot. If you'd like to make 2005 the year of the tater tot you should definitely work in a trip to England, where you can meet the tot's distant relative, the potato waffle. Who needs homefries and waffles when you can have them both in one conveniently frozen shape?

7:29 PM, January 02, 2005  
Blogger dave said...

The best tater tot is a deep fried gnocchi. Mmmmm. A long time ago Jeff Smith on PBS suggested it. I tried it and it was amazing.

Nice blog, I look forward to regular reads.

10:22 AM, January 04, 2005  
Blogger Molly said...

Amy, I think I may have seen this mysterious potato waffle. Still, a trip to England may be in order...

And Dave, thanks for stopping by! Glad to meet the man behind weber_cam. Your gnocchi tip sounds INSANELY good. I love gnocchi in general, so I can only imagine how tasty they'd be after deep-frying. Yikes.

4:13 PM, January 04, 2005  
Blogger Elizabeth said...


i have not seen this elusive potato waffle. but i wouldnt be suprised if part of the commotion over tater tots is from their role in Napoleon Dynamite.


5:54 PM, January 06, 2005  
Blogger Molly said...

Liz, maybe all that time spent planning spectacularly smashing outfits has distracted you from the real prize: the potato waffle. Hmm. Something to consider.

And yes, I think you're right about Napoleon Dynamite. That's certainly contributed to the increased attention tater tots are getting. But I think the hubbub *really* started over at eGullet.org, on the thread I linked to above. They can't stop talking about tater tots. And they're serious.

Did you find room for the duty-free gin in your suitcase?

6:26 PM, January 06, 2005  

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