On January 1st, people often make all sorts of New Years' resolutions. They might want to lose weight, give up smoking, stop hitting the kids or kicking the dog, whatever. There is one New Years' resolution which I suggest that everyone needs to make for 2014 with utmost urgency:
END POTATO BAKE - FOREVER
Potato Bake, Potatoes au Gratin, Scalloped Potatoes, call it what you may, it's simply disgraceful and needs to end in 2014.
Potato Bake is not only terrible but inhumane. I'm pretty sure that Article 5 of the Universal Declaratrion of Human Rights, also prohibits Potato Bake:
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
- Article 5, Universal Declaratrion of Human Rights
I'm not calling for the outlawing of all potato products, that'd be stupid. Potato Crisps, Scallops, Wedges, Baked Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes etc are all fine, but the second you start making Potato Bake, you move into dangerous territory.
I'm also not calling for the outlawing of all bakes either. Pasta Bake and Flat Casserole including some versions of Shepherd's Pie (which also contains potato) are also perfectly fine. Potato Bake on the other hand is a violation of decency and this is why I'm calling for an immediate end to it, a moratorium if you will.
There are those occasions we find ourselves in life, when we're asked to "bring a dish". You know the sort - Pot Luck dinners, WI evenings, the local chapter meeting of the The People's Liberation Front of Neopolita etc. The real winners at the end of such nights are those people who do not have to take home what they've brought. Of course there are always the lazy sorts who think that bringing a packet of frozen Party Pies and or Sausage Rolls makes them a winner but no-one remembers who those people are. No, the real winners are those people who have a signature dish: Mrs Button's pasta salad, Mr Gavaskar's mystery hot pot which no-one is ever sure exactly what meat is in it but are too afraid to ask and Mme Ramotswe's cinnamon buns which are guaranteed to be toxic but they're oh so delectable.
This brings us around to Potato Bake. No-one likes Potato Bake. People smile politely if you bring Potato Bake but really Potato Bake is just one step above Party Pies except with the added step that Potato Bake will still be there at the end of the evening. If you'd made wedges or crisps, or even curly fries, they'd all have gone but Potato Bake is the spew of spews of dishes; so NEVER EVER MAKE IT.
I should reiterate one sentence from that previous paragraph. No-one likes Potato Bake. Let me make this clear: No-one likes Potato Bake. Basically, Potato Bake is like feeding people one giant slimey heap of phlegm. Oh come on, you know in your heart of hearts that this is true. Even the French term "pommes de terre gratinées" means literally "flower of the earth, scrapings"; so even the French will admit that it's worse than scraping the bottom of the barrel; it's scraping the very earth itself. Potato Bake is the metaphoric equivalent of asking your guests to eat dirt.
I have it on good authority that the night before Kurt Cobain died, he ate Potato Bake. Janis Joplin was found dead in the Landmark Motor Hotel in Hollywood after an overdose of heroin but there was a $4.50 charge for Potatoes Au Gratin on the hotel tab. Harold Holt was also a keen fan of Potato Bake and look what happened to him.
Celebrity, Royalty, people of nobility, infamy, fame, fortune and poverty have all fallen under the hideous scourge of Potato Bake. If Potato Bake isn't covered by The Geneva Conventions which supposedly limit the barbarity of war, then at least morally, there should be some stops in place.
You can do your part. Stand up and resolve never to make Potato Bake again. Make something else, anything else. You'll be doing it for the world, for society; for the future.