Uncle Dave’s Perfect Spuds

This recipe is dedicated to Denise, and to Denephew, too.
 
"Uncle Dave’s Perfect Spuds""
 
Select one large baking potato per person, or two small ones.  Put enough water in a cooking pot to cover potatoes and bring the water to a boil on the stove.  While the water is heating, wash the potatoes and cut out any bad places.  Also, preheat the oven to about 350 farenheit (about 160 celcius). 
 
When the water comes to a boil, put the potatoes in it.  Be careful not to let the water splash you when you put the potatoes in!  After they are in the water, bring the pot back to a boil, and boil the potatoes for exactly five minutes. 
 
While the potatoes are boiling, get out some butter or margarine.  After the potatoes have boiled five minutes, remove them from the pot and put them onto a plate or other flat surface.  As you wait just a minute, you can see all the steam evaporate off the potato, leaving it mostly nice and dry.  Then, coat the outside peel of each potato with butter or margarine.  After this is done, sprinkle each potato all around with salt and pepper.  Do NOT wrap the potatoes in foil.  Place the potatoes in oven and put them on to bake at 350 for between one half and one hour, depending on size.   
 
While you are waiting for the potatoes to bake, prepare some "goodies" to go on the potatoes, whatever you like.  I suggest any or all of the following: (1) grated sharp cheddar cheese, (2) diced onion of your choice, (3) some type of meat such as crumbled fried bacon, hamburger, minced sandwich meat, (4) diced sweet pepper, (5) chili, (6) sour cream, and (7) your favorite hot sauce.  Put each of these goodies into small bowls on the table, with a spoon for each bowl.  Set the table with knives, forks, and spoons.   
 
After one half hour, check the potatoes.  Small ones will take only about 30 minutes, but huge ones will take longer, as much as an hour for the biggest ones.  To see if they are done, poke them with a fork.  They should feel soft all the way through.  You want them to be nice and "mushable" when you put butter etc on them, but you don’t want them to be overcooked.  
 
Serve piping hot.  Each person uses the above condiments to fix their own potato just as they like it. 
 
Easy supper!  Yum!  Uncle Dave is a good cook, eh?! 
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