Brothers, sisters, those beyond and in between: I have hoarded granola bars at protests. I’m not proud; granola bars are the “branded pens you get at job fairs” of protest food. No one wants to admit they need them. Fruit snacks and mandarin oranges carry with them the lingering juvenile reverie of a kid’s league soccer game. Fascism can’t sit with us! Naps against nationalism!
Eating a granola bar is an admission of compounding duress. A granola bar says “I may have to walk 3 miles of backroads home with a dead phone battery or my next meal may have bleached mixed into it by the prison guards”.
But the youth of today starve because our parents couldn’t choke on their pride. So: granola bars it is. At least until the weekend—or the rare weekday I don’t have a meeting or assignment—where my protest thrift reaps meaty, cheesy dividends. I assume I am using that word correctly; I’ve never had a savings account with more than 1k in it.
I’m a fiscal conservative; that’s why I’m a communist.
These double-stuffed baked potatoes are great for cooking brunch for a few people with limited funds and resources.
If I’d bought literally every ingredient at the store just for this purpose, it’d have cost me ~$12. But my CSA box makes potatoes and bell peppers a staple. The eggs were donated, butter is a staple; I only had to buy the sausage, sour cream and cheese outright, which set me back ~$6.
So you take two starchy potatoes—I used russets—you cut them in half, and then rub a little bit of butter on the fleshy side before wrapping them up in foil.
Put them in an oven preheated at 400 degrees. Leave for about an hour.
I forgot to take a picture of this step because I got distracted trying to remember what American Gladiators knock-off we used to watch on pirated British cable in Germany.
It was Knights and Warriors.
Yes: that’s the coach from Glee in the back as Lady Battleaxe.
You can brown your sausages while you wait for the potatoes to finish.
What’s that? Did I put all that fat in one of my bacon fat jars? That’s a little personal. You don’t know me like that.
So, after an hour (maybe more, prod your potatoes a bit to see if they’re mush), take them out.
It’s time to get all that soft, baked flesh out from the center. Now, you can scoop it out with a spoon if you’re confident you won’t puncture or tear the skin. I like a really crunchy skin with mine—I outline the portion I’m going to scoop out with a knife first, so I don’t have to scoop and separate at the same time.
So something like that.
You’re gonna throw the potato filling in a bowl with the remaining pat of butter, the sour cream and cheese. If you don’t have any leftover cheese to spare for the topping, then make sure you set some aside and don’t put in the full amount here.
Yeah. Get it into a nice gloopy ball and leave it.
Now you’re going to scramble your eggs, sausage, and peppers on the frying pan. You’ll have plenty of sausage grease to use in lieu of butter.
You want it cooked and a little creamy but not yet firm.
Because you’re going to combine your scramble with your mashed potatoes, and fill those once strapping potatoes who are now just shells of their former glory.
You want them to be almost overflowing. Heaping, even. Defying their corporeal forms, like a 6′ muscle woman torn apart by sick, sick urges to be a petite, vapid playtoy pierced and tattooed beyond recognition for Wall Street sugar mamas.
You know. Just like. For argument’s sake.
Wrap your potatoes back up and put them in the oven. After 5-7 minutes, sprinkle some cheese on them, and then leave them in the oven for another 10.
We just took an otherwise wholesome staple of the American diet and engineered it into a culinary hand grenade of meat, cheese, and unnecessary proteins. Hold onto this moment. Put it in your the pocket of your backpack or stuff it under your pancho, and the next time you’re out marching and you’re getting rained on and the chants suck and you’re just feeling so small and useless, remember that within you is the spark of a creator-destroyer god. You are the revolution.
But seriously: the amount of protein in these isn’t anything to sneeze at. There’s about 14 grams of protein in each potato.
It’s maybe not “granola jerky” levels, but it’ll keep you going, with the added benefit that because it’s tasty, hot, and tickles a lot of those associations and memories of having breakfast as a kid or brunch with friends on the patio overlooking a spring horizon, you’ll finish it in one sitting and not peck at it or wolf it down too fast and get nauseous.
Before we end with the obligatory closeup of this monstrosity smothered in sriracha, I want to leave you with this: we had a good goof and spoof on granola bars, but if all you bring to a protest is just a box of snacks, you are doing more to aid the cause than someone who wrote a pithy sign or impatiently waits their turn to take the megaphone to shout their transphobic, ableist chants about pussies and tiny hands.
An army marches on its stomach, and brick helps.
No, that doesn’t sound right. People don’t really make roads out of brick anymore. But what’s the standard measure of gravel?
Every cobblestone helps?
Author: Jetta Rae
Founder of Fry Havoc. Can be found on twitter at @jetta_rae