Cooking to cure Homesickness: Mike’s Potatoes

Between munching on samples galore at the farmer’s market and hiking with one of my nearest and dearest friends, this past weekend was nothing short of successful. That said, during periods of alone-time, I found myself yearning for home: turns out hot weather not only makes me physically uncomfortable, it also makes me miss Lake Tahoe. There’s no doubt about it that I’d take a hot and sunny day over an overcast one, but I only wish that hot weather didn’t come with excess baggage. Wearing a shirt and shorts hasn’t gotten easier as the days go by, but I am learning to tolerate physical exposure, even if it is ever-so-slightly. Now I need to get to work on not immediately wishing I was at home in Tahoe every time I wake up to a sunny Saturday or Sunday.

Sunny weekends are particularly hard for me – in terms of being away from my mum and dad – because of all the families that I see out and about, and because of all the memories of being with my family in Tahoe that come flooding back. That said, what helps me get past those Debbie Downer feelings is reminding myself that freedom is bliss: I can do whatever I want, when I want, however I want, and not much is better than that! For example, I didn’t have to consult with anyone when it came to choosing what to eat for dinner. With free rein, I decided to make my mum’s infamous Mike’s Potatoes, which not only reaffirmed my steady footing in recovery – when I was in the thick of anorexia, cheese, sour cream, potatoes, and even avocado, were off-limits, and here I am voluntarily making myself a dish that combines all of them – but satisfied my craving for home, too.   

Since Mike’s Potatoes and I met when I was a junior in high school – the year I developed my eating disorder – we don’t have the longest history, but the times we have spent together have been epic; he truly satisfies my every need when I’m hungry. In turn, I thought I’d share  the “recipe” (note the quotations around recipe because there aren’t any measurements, just ingredients that are portioned to your liking, making it an even more satisfying meal to eat).


Potatoes (sliced and sautéed)

Onions (sliced and sautéed with the potatoes)

Avocado (chopped)

Cheese (grated cheddar or any other hard/ medium-hard cheese. Pepper jack is a family favorite)

Cherry tomatoes (halved)

Sour cream (for topping)





I won’t pretend that Mike’s Potatoes don’t cause the old sufferer of anorexia in me to stir, but the delicious bite of the cheddar, complimented with the freshness of the avocado and tomato, make this meal more pleasureful than anxiety-inducing. Evidently, cheese  and sour cream are not the healthiest of foods out there, but one must remember that everything is okay in moderation. As you can see, I didn’t skimp on the sour cream, and yet I’m still alive, not a zillion pounds heavier, and simply excited to eat the leftovers for lunch.

Mike’s Potatoes, you’re a keeper.

What foods make you think of home?


5 responses to “Cooking to cure Homesickness: Mike’s Potatoes

    • The messy gooey splendor is totally magical for the mouth, and the avocado most definitely is the life of the party 😉

  1. Tahoe is beautiful in the summer . . . and every other season. I’m a total momma’s girl, so I absolutely empathize with your feelings of homesickness.

    Oh geez, potatoes were a staple growing up. It drove me crazy that my dad always gave me mashed potatoes whipped and with sour cream. I liked them fluffy and with butter. I also think it’s a Jewish (maybe Russian??) thing to cut up potatoes into circles and fry them on the stove, like homemade circular French fries. Potatoes are still a no-no food for me, and I never crave them, but I should make this for my parents one day, as they love every single one of those ingredients. Step one will be learning what sautéing is . . .

    • Pleased to hear you approve, Kelly 🙂 Your penne with portobello mushrooms and asparagus in a tomato cream sauce sounds beyond divine, too!

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