Now, which one are you? continued…
Who was the prettiest? Who was the smartest? Who was the most talented? Modesty not being one of our strong points, we constantly bragged to one another about our own accomplishments even if we had to lie. If someone outside the family paid one of us a compliment, we never let the others forget it. I told them that Mama said I was her prettiest baby … that when I was born, people came from miles around to see me because I was the most beautiful baby they had ever seen. One -upmanship was something I learned early in life. I had to. It was the survival of the fittest in that house.
One would think our little brother Don would grow up to have a warped psyche, being the youngest child and the lone male sibling in a world so dominated by females. But somehow he managed to skirt around the madhouse created by his sisters and grew up to be quite normal. Mama thought he was perfect, that he never did anything wrong. To hear her tell it if they had been handing out the Nobel Peace Prize for the best baby in the world, he would have won it, hands down. She never said as much about her daughters, though. And with good reason.
On reflection, and with 20-20 hindsight, it finally became clear to my learned mind that my sisters and I were asserting our individuality when we fought amongst ourselves as we were growing up. It was our way of breaking out of the mold.
And now, these many years later, when I think I may have found my own place in th world, that at long last I have broken free of the pack and established my own identity, I will occasionally run into someone I used to know. They greet me with a flicker of recognition and more than often than not they will say…
“I know you’re an Estep. Now which one are you?”
Amarillo Cheese Fries
Long Star Steakhouse and Saloon
(Amarillo Cheese Fries are made with thick sliced unpeeled potatoes. The recipe here is created from scratch using freshly sliced potatoes.)
3 unpeeled russet potatoes
4 to 6 cups of vegetable oil
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup ranch dressing
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 slices bacon, cooked
Scrub and slice potatoes into wide rectangular slices, about 1/4 inch thick. Keep them immersed in water until they are ready to fry so they don’t turn brown.
Heat the oil in the deep fryer or deep pan to 350 degrees. Dry potato slices on paper towels and fry for 1 minute in the hot oil. Remove from oil and drain until they cool, about 10 minutes. When the slices are cool, fry them for 5 more minutes until they are a light golden brown.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees, arrange the fries on an oven safe plate. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese over the Cheddar. Crumble the cooked bacon and sprinkle it over the cheese. Bake the fries in the oven for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted.
Serve hot with bottled ranch dressing or make your own with the recipe below.
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1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp. buttermilk
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. vinegar
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. finely chopped fresh dill
1/4 tsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
1/8 tsp. onion powder
Combine all of the ingredients into a small bowl and let them chill for an hour or two.
Note: You can also make the Amarillo Cheese Fries recipe using a 32 ounce bag of store bought frozen steak fries. Just cook the fries following the directions on the bag, adding the toppings in the last 5 minutes of baking.