Friday, December 30, 2011

Ohhhh, I see it has been a long time since my last post... September! I have been busy. Soon I will get busy with more writing.
Here is something for now. This was originally published in 2005, but it is fitting for this week.

New Year Food Traditions

Most countries and cultures have some traditional foods that are eaten on New Year’s eve or New Year’s day. Most of the foods somehow symbolize prosperity or luck for the coming year. Here is a list of some of those traditional foods. I suppose if we wanted to be really lucky and really rich we could try all of them.

Japan, Buddhist temples: Eat noodles at midnight
Germany: Cabbage and sausages on New Year’s day for good luck
Denmark: Boiled cod
Greece: Bread with a coin baked into it. The person who gets the coin has good luck for the coming year (that is if he doesn’t bite the coin, in which case he might be spending a lot of money at the dentist, which is NOT good luck)
Italy: They also play the “hide something in the bread” game, but it is a bean.
Germany and Poland: The first bite of the New Year should be pickled herring for a lucky year.
Cuba and Mexico and probably some other latin countries: Twelve grapes are eaten at midnight to symbolize the last 12 months.
Southern United States: Black eyed peas for luck and greens (collard, mustard, kale, cabbage, spinach) for money. Cornbread also brings money
Phillipines: It is important to have food on the table at midnight to insure abundance for the coming year.

I would like to wish all of you a very happy 2012, complete with good health, love, beauty, laughter, music and all other good things!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Getting a Driver’s License for the First Time in Puerto Vallarta

I have been living here in Mexico for nearly 17 years now, and up until this time I had just renewed my Washington license when I was in Seattle. That was back in the good old days when I went every summer. The last time I was there I was going to take care of it, as my license was, I thought, about to expire. I took my daughter with me. I like to have a partner along for potentially long and painful situations. I took a number, and as my number was about 137 higher than the number that was just called, we decided to go across the street to a strip mall and have some Teriyaki, my little Mexican daughter’s favorite food on that trip. We had a leisurely lunch and crossed the street to wait. 

We didn’t have to wait long, as my number came up within five minutes. I went to the counter and produced my current license and said I would like to renew it. The counter guy looked the license over and asked me, “Do you have any physical or mental conditions which might impair your driving?”

“No”, I replied succinctly (official people like direct answers).

“Are you sure?” he persisted.

“Yes, pretty sure…why?” I answered, feeling a little less confident and wondering if he knew me better than I thought he did.
He looked at me with a gentle smirk, holding the card out toward me at a mocking angle and said, 

“Well, this license doesn’t expire until next year”.

Not really believing this, since I had it in my head for months that I would have to be renewing my license on this particular trip, I snatched the license and looked at it and sure enough, one more year on that damn thing. I burst out laughing and so did he. Then I begged him to please not tell anyone until I got to my car.

That Washington license finally did expire, and I’m not going up there this year, so it was finally time to get a license here in Mexico. I, like everyone, had heard stories of people taking days and several trips to get their first license (renewals are easier), but I was ready for whatever I had to do.

I went one afternoon to the Government of Jalisco Building in Fluvial. It is the big white thing. You really can’t miss it. I found the correct reception desk (straight in the front door, to the back and to the left) and asked for instructions for a new license for a foreigner. I was given a list of what to bring, and they instructed me to come back the next day at 10:30.

To get your license you will need to take the class. It is scheduled to begin at 10:30 am Monday through Friday, so you can go any week day.

What you need to bring:
▪ Current Passport
▪ FM3 or FM2
▪ Proof of Residence in your name (Telmex bill is the best)
▪ One copy of each of the above documents

You also need to be 18 years of age or over and know your blood type (they will ask).

You will also have to pass a written driving knowledge test. Here is a website where you can find the 103 possible questions in English and Spanish, but the test will be in Spanish on a computer and consists of 20 questions randomly chosen from the possible 103.

This was very helpful. I looked at the questions in English and Spanish, but took my practice test in Spanish. I’m pretty sure the average person can pass with a little preparation.

Here’s how it all went down:

10:10 My arrival

Went to reception desk and was sent to another desk where a man looked briefly at the documents I had to confirm that they were complete, and then he gave me a little piece of paper and asked what kind of license I want. If you are just a regular driver you want “Automovilista”. The fee is $420 pesos.
I stood in line to pay, and was given a receipt, very official looking.

10:20 Payment accomplished. Directed to sit and wait

10:37 About ten people were called to go to the informational class, in a small conference room, where we watched some video and slides (with only a slight delay for human technical deficiencies) on a large flat screen TV.

11:24 We were directed back to the waiting area

11:45 My name was called and the required documents were requested (actually, only the copies. Originals were not requested, but I would bring them anyway just in case). They took an electronic fingerprint of the right index finger and I was asked to sign on an electronic tablet with a stylus pen. Then a photo was taken.

11:53 A little more waiting

12:00 I was called  to take the test. It is 20 questions taken from the above mentioned document. I got 85% (there was a trick question) but passed anyway.

12:35 Brand new shiny official license delivered into my hand and I was out of there!

Note: I was not required to take a vision test or an actual driving test, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t ever happen. It’s just the way it was on this day.

Total time: 2 hours, 25 minutes. Not bad!

Everyone was very nice and it was a pleasant experience that I would not hesitate to repeat four years from now!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Just Because You Can....Doesn't Mean That You Should

Please stop doing this. The smear looks like a puppy had an accident and the foam looks like a spit bug got into the meat.

I do not see the charm in the "Smearing" of sauce on a plate. It reminds me of other kinds of smears that are not supposed to have anything to do with food, or like when a dog drags his...oh, never mind. And foam sauces...please, that was like ten years ago and it wasn't good then. Sauces are for adding concentrated flavor and color, not for adding diluted flavor with puffy airiness. That's my opinion
and I'm sticking to it!

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Beans, Beans, Beans, and more Beans...

Some Black Beans with the Rocks that Came From One Kilo of Beans

Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit…

Actually, I have never been really fond of beans. I will eat them, yes, but they are sort of like filler to me. If there is anything else on the plate, I would rather eat that. Beans just don’t seem to be very interesting. Maybe it’s the color. Most beans after cooking turn to a kind of dull brown that is not very appealing. Or maybe it’s the squishy, almost grainy texture of them that turns me off. Whatever it is, I am trying to get over it. Let’s face it. Beans are good food, good nutrition, and inexpensive. They are an excellent source of protein, and when combined with grains, such as rice, they combine to form complete protein, which means you will need very little or no meat.

One bean that I do enjoy is soy. You can boil the whole beans for as long as you like, and they never get soft and mushy. They will remain firm and with a slight crunch even if you cook the hell out of them. They are great in salads as a yummy protein boost. Also, they make great snacks. Boil them and drain well, and enjoy.  Or, you can fry them in hot oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Salt them while they are still hot, and you will have a very pleasing, high protein snack.

How to Cook Beans

Most beans are packaged directly from the field. They are not processed, sanitized and hermetically sealed. They are real food from real dirt. They need to be cleaned before cooking. I like to imagine sitting in a rocking chair with a big bowl in my lap, cleaning the beans like grandma used to do while gossiping with the girls, but usually I just put them in something big and flat and, leaning over the counter I go through them carefully, removing all sticks and rocks and funky looking beans. If you omit this step in the process, chances are you will only do it once. A big dentist bill to repair a broken tooth can be a fantastic learning tool.

The different bean varieties are really pretty similar. There are different shapes, colors and slight variations in texture, but all of the kidney shaped beans are interchangeable for most bean recipes.
These instructions will work for Black, Kidney, Pinto and several other beans that are available in Mexico.

After the cleaning, put the beans in a colander and rinse well. Put them in a heavy pot with enough water to cover them and then some more. You can also add a chopped onion, garlic, tomato, celery, carrot, or a combination of any of them. This will add a lot of flavor. Turn on high heat until they begin to boil and then turn to low. Put a lid on the pan, but leave it tilted a bit to avoid the dreaded boil-over. Once the beans begin to soften it is a good time to add salt. About one teaspoon for every cup of beans is a good guideline. You will need to check the pot throughout the cooking to make sure there is enough water. The worst smell in the food world is probably rotten potatoes. A close runner up might be burnt beans. You can add more water anytime.

After the beans become tender, the fun begins. Remove the vegetables that you added for the primary cooking. Their work is done now. Its time to add flavor in the way of herbs, spices and flavor, which, to be honest, beans don’t have much of. Cook for another 30 minutes or so with the flavorings added. Here are a few ideas for adding to your beans:

Bean Enhancement Suggestions:

Mexi-Beans: Cumin, ancho chile powder, cilantro and oregano, diced tomatoes, diced onion, garlic

Asian Style: Soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and garlic (for this one omit the salt in the cooking process). Sprinkle with sliced green onion.

French, Oh – So - Sophisticated Beans: Thyme, marjoram, sautéed minced shallots and parsley

Country Boy Beans: Liquid Smoke (very little), catsup, dried mustard, brown sugar, sautéed onions, a bit of apple cider vinegar

Yankee Style: Maple syrup, butter

...So Enjoy Your Beans with Every Meal!

Here is a link for more great bean information:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Two Things that Caught My Eye in Walmart Today

 Hello, Food Service Workers...

    If you are going to rock this look, then you need to cover all of the holes on your face. Otherwise you might as well just put on some lipstick and go as yourself. 

Okay, I am not posting this out of meanness, but out of awe... What you don't see the are 4 inch butterfly earrings and the rainbow wrist cuffs, which were truly awesome, I swear....

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Salsa Mexicana Recipe...The Real Thing

Salsa Mexicana

This all-purpose uncooked sauce represents the colors of the Mexican, white and green.  Salsa Mexicana is the most common Mexican sauce and is used as a condiment for all kinds of Mexican food, to enjoy with chips, on top of quesadillas, or just spooned all over everything...rice, beans, meat, whatever.
It is best used right away, or at least within one day. If you have extra and can’t use it up quickly, it can be cooked and used to make a delicious Huevos Mexicanos, which is basically scrambled eggs with salsa cooked in...or you can cook the sauce and then blend it for a great sauce for your Huevos Rancheros or to pour over Carne Asada.
It is recommended to use latex gloves when handling chiles. They are very powerful and can burn the skin of hands, and the essence will stay on your hands for hours, making it very unwise to touch your face or eyes for up to 24 hours. If you forget to use the gloves, keep hands away from your face!
Note: Can also be made without chile for children or anyone who doesn’t appreciate spiciness.

What you’ll need:
5 Roma Tomatoes 1/2 Large White Onion 1 small bunch Cilantro  
2 to 6 Serrano Chiles 1 Fresh Lime Salt

WASH and/or disinfect Tomatoes, Onion, Chile, Cilantro, Lime
 CHOP 5 Roma Tomatoes
 CHOP 1/2 Large White Onion or 1  whole Small  Onion
 CHOP 1/2 cup Cilantro
 CUT 3 to 6 Serrano Chiles lengthwise and take out seeds.  CHOP. Use latex gloves to protect hands
 SQUEEZE juice of Fresh Lime, about 3 teaspoons
 MIX everything together and ADD Salt to taste
 ENJOY with Tortilla Chips, on Quesadillas ,  Eggs or on just about any food.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Do You Experience Tofu-phobia? Here Is The Cure…

Do You Experience Tofu-phobia? Here Is The Cure…

Do you always ask for your salad dressing “on the side”?  Are you trying to avoid fat and/or dairy products? Do you like intense and fresh-tasting foods? Keep reading and get out the blender…

There’s No Fu Like a To-Fu
Tofu…It’s not the most popular food in the world. In fact, many people avoid it, say that they don’t like it, or just ignore it. The fact is that there’s really nothing not to like about tofu. It has almost no flavor of its own, and since it comes in different forms, it can have different textures. It basically is a very non-offensive food and a friendly one that just wants to fit in, so it takes on the flavor of its neighbors.
One of the best things about tofu is that it allows us to make really good substitutions for foods that normally contain oil, cream or eggs, all of which are nice, but some of us find ourselves trying to cut down on or eliminate them. Here are a couple of my favorite tofu recipes. Low fat, high flavor, and so, so easy to make.

Dill & Lime Tofu Dressing
This can be used as a dressing for a simple cucumber and tomato salad or for a refreshing green salad. It’s light, fresh and delicious. Also makes a pretty good mayonnaise substitute!

Put in a blender or food processor and process until smooth:

1 cup Soft Tofu
1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice
One clove Garlic minced
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Dill or Mint...fresh is best, dried is OK. 

Thin with water (or a little more vinegar or lime juice) if necessary

Good with Cucumbers and Tomatoes

Dark Chocolate Tofu Mousse
This is actually more like a pudding than a mousse, but knowing that it is low fat and does not contain those common criminals, cream and eggs, makes it taste even better!
We made it in a “Vegetarian Cooking Class” and everyone loved it.

Put all at once into a blender or food processor and process until smooth:

1 pound Soft Tofu
¾ cup good Cocoa Powder (Dark Dutch Cocoa is the best)
6 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar (adjust to taste. You may want it a little sweeter. We did.)
¼ cup Soy Milk

Pour into six martini glasses or wine flutes or some other fancy glass and chill. Garnish with fresh berries.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ten Very Basic Kitchen Rules

Ten Very Basic Kitchen Rules
Bruce Bennett photo

I’ve never been a big fan of most rules. In a perfect world, we only need one rule, and that is the rule of Love and Compassion for all beings, even the human ones. If we all followed this there would be no need for any other regulations. There would be no stealing, no causing bodily harm to others (or food poisoning) and we wouldn’t do anything to hurt anyone in any way.  We would be so aware of our actions and how they affect others that we wouldn’t ever intentionally cause harm or loss to anyone. However, our world is not perfect, or at least we are not perfect, so we need some rules to remind us how to behave.
These basic rules for kitchens can apply in a home situation as well as in a commercial kitchen. The reasons we have them are mainly for safety…safety of the workers as well as the consumers. Another reason is economy. If there is a lot of waste or mistreatment of equipment the kitchen will mean a loss of money for whoever is paying the bills, and a kitchen can’t run without money.

1)      Clean hands at all times. Everyone knows that they need to wash hands before cooking, especially after using the bathroom, coughing or sneezing or touching any part of the head or body. We also need to wash hands during cooking. Wash before touching any appliances, such as opening an oven or a cupboard or refrigerator. Keep it clean! A clean towel draped over your apron string at the waist is a big help for wet hands, but you still need to wash or keep changing the towel whenever it gets dirty. If you REALLY want to follow safe food practices like the professionals do use disposable gloves (changing them often) whenever you handle any food that will not be cooked before serving or if you need to use your hands to serve cooked food. This is standard practice in many kitchens and is the best way to avoid contamination, especially in a large kitchen where it is hard to keep an eye on everyone. Many cooks also like to use gloves when working with meat, fish or chicken, as they find it “yucky” to handle, and it just makes it easier to keep the hands clean.

2)      NO finger tasting or tasting from the stirring spoon. Considerate cooks keep a stash of teaspoons handy for tasting and toss them in the sink after each taste.
3)      Don’t use knives or other utensils for prying, opening or poking holes in anything. That’s why god invented Sears Craftsman tools and can openers.
4)      Clean up your area between and after every task. Try to deal with fruits and vegetables before meats and seafood.  Wash your knife and cutting board between tasks. Clean boards and knives with chlorine solution or other disinfectant after cutting any kind of meat . This prevents not only contamination, but also undesirable flavor crossover.
5)      Always rotate. When you buy something new, store it behind the old stuff. It’s that simple.
6)      Don’t serve anything that you wouldn’t eat yourself, with the exceptions of your own allergies or “food aversions”.
7)      In a commercial kitchen everyone in the kitchen and dining room should taste everything at least once. They need to know what things are supposed to taste like and be able to make sincere recommendations to customers.
8)      Don’t re-use anything that has been on a table previously, such as bread and butter, sauces in open dishes, serving utensils, etc…
9)      Don’t send out any food that has not been tasted. Mistakes happen, and need to be caught before they hit the table.
10)   Keep cold foods COLD and hot foods HOT. The temperature of a kitchen is a perfect place to breed nasty bacteria. Don’t leave anything sitting out if it won’t be used immediately.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summertime…And The Livin’ Is Easy? 
Not Always, so Here is a Recipe for Gazpacho

Summer used to be my favorite season, back when it meant being out of school, with the best weather of the year for months on end, friends to play with all day long and into the night, developing a deep brown tan, going barefoot, and all the water…glorious water…pools, lakes, rivers, the ocean…swimming, boating, or just floating. Those are the best memories.

I still love summer in Vallarta, for the storms and cleansing rains and the relative quiet, but for those of us who live here year round, summertime in paradise can be difficult. School is out, but we still go to work. Many of our friends leave for the hottest months. Tanning is not healthy, and now we have wrinkles to worry about, so we try to stay out of the sun. We still have the water, but some of us don’t have much time for floating around anymore.

Summertime doldrums can take us to a low place, but where there is a problem there are solutions. Here are a few ideas to help pick us up and keep us cool.

Watermelon Therapy: Obvious, I know, but sometimes we forget the simple things. There are not many things that are more refreshing than a slice or ten of a sweet, juicy, COLD watermelon. Before buying one, make sure there is space in the refrigerator to keep it cold, or use a cooler with lots of ice if your fridge is too small. If you think a watermelon is too big for you, invite the neighbors’ kids over and have a seed spitting contest.

Fans, fans and more fans: Keep the air moving around you at all times. Still air is hot and humid air. Carry a hand fan (habanico), and you will look like a fabulously elegant Spanish lady. There are some very nice ones in the accessories department at Liverpool. At home, use electric fans everywhere. There are even some small clip-on fans that work really well. I have one clipped to my desk that blows on me constantly and has saved me from certain misery. I, personally, don’t like to sleep with air conditioning on, but some well placed fans make everything alright again.

Road Trip Cure: Try a trip to the mountains. San Sebastian is only a couple hours away, and there really is a difference in the air. It is noticeably cooler and less humid. Its not too far for a day trip, or you can spend the night.

Cinematic Relief: Any of Vallarta’s many movie theaters are great places to escape the heat. They are kept so cold that you might even need a sweater.

Water Works: A cool shower before bed will bring down the body temperature enough to bring on a good night’s sleep. However, it’s best to keep your hair dry. A wet pillow is not a pleasant thing.

Cool Foods: One of the most refreshing and satisfying foods on earth has got to be Gazpacho. This cold Spanish vegetable soup will make you and your body feel happy.

So Easy and SO Good!

Have all the vegetables and tomato juice chilled before starting.

Mince very finely (or if you are in a hurry or lazy you may chop in a food processor, but the texture is better if chopped by hand):

   Red onion
   Pepper (green, red, or yellow)
   Fresh Basil
Put all this in a large bowl and add to taste:

   Tomato Juice or V-8
   Lime or Lemon Juice
   Tabasco or other Hot Sauce
   Olive Oil
   Balsamic Vinegar
   Fresh Ground Pepper
   A little Sugar (if needed to balance not-so sweet tomatoes)

Stir together and chill for an hour to 12 hours before serving.

Serve with a sprig of basil

A swirl of cream on top
A few peeled, cooked shrimp

Enjoy and stay cool!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What Is That Strange Cement Sink-like Thing? Or Get To Know Your Pila

1)Factory made pila with traditional faucet placement

2) Pila with clever faucet modification

What Is That Strange Cement Sink-like Thing?
Get To Know Your Pila
You may have noticed somewhere around your house or apartment, on a patio, in a laundry room, or maybe just out in the yard somewhere, a large concrete thing that looks like it might be a sink, but where the water goes in there is no drain. The pila, or lavadero, (the whole unit is called a lavadero and the water storage part is the pila, but some people call the whole thing a pila too) is ubiquitous in Mexico. It can be found in the most primitive huts and in the most luxurious villas. Even in houses where there are perfectly good washing machines the pila is used for many items, like rugs and hand washing. In some homes it is the only appliance that has plumbing, so all the household water will come from it. It can be used for washing clothes, dishes and small children. Adults, too, often use the pila to bathe. I have witnessed people taking a bath outdoors, fully clothed, soaping up and pouring water over their heads.
When I encountered my first pila I was confused, and I meet people who have been here for years and are still confused about what to do with it. I read about a woman who had rented a house somewhere in Central America. She found a pila on the property and thought it looked like the perfect place to plant some lettuce. When the maid arrived and found her washing area full of dirt she was just as confused as the renter was, but most likely angry too. Where would she wash? What was this crazy gringa thinking?
Pilas can be manufactured or homemade. The manufactured variety comes in four sizes…something for everyone! In places where water flow gets interrupted regularly, the pila tends to be handmade and quite large, with a huge reservoir. In the cities they are usually of the commercial type, and much smaller. The pila part of the lavadero is the reservoir. It is the “clean side”. It is designed only for storing water and dipping out of to rinse things or fill other containers. It is never acceptable to put anything dirty in the reservoir side, or to put anything soapy in there either. Actually, you don’t put anything in there but water and the plastic bowl or cup that is used for the scooping, and that scooper lives in the water. It is important not to contaminate it.
The pila side doesn’t have a drain. Why? I have never been able to figure that out. I think that is the single feature of the pila that confuses us foreigners the most. There must be a reason, and I will try to find it. Still searching…
Water enters the pila from a single cold-water spigot. I put a large pila in my bakery kitchen, but I put a regular kitchen faucet that could swing between the pila and the washing side, which has amazed a few local ladies. They say, “Oh, what a good idea! We don’t do that”.
The other side is the “dirty side”. This is where all the business gets done. It is like a shallow sink, with the bottom sloping toward the back, where the drain is located. The bottom surface of this area will likely be corrugated, something like an old-fashioned washboard, which is exactly what it is.
Hand washing Made Easy
Just in case you ever need to use your pila, here are some quick washing instructions:
1) Run water into the pila side as you work.
2) Begin by soaking the clothing in a large bucket or bowl or whatever is available. Add laundry soap and agitate a bit. Some people leave this for hours or overnight. I never had that kind of patience.
3) Pull clothing items out one at a time and place in the washboard side of the lavadero. Here is where you will develop your own style of scrubbing and washing. This is the washing and spot removing step. Just move it around until it seems clean. You are not so much rubbing on the cement, but more rubbing the cloth against itself. Otherwise, you will end up with a lot of cleaning rags and nothing to wear. Meanwhile you should be dipping water and pouring it on the cloth as you wash it. For me, this is also the rinse cycle, but read on if you want to know how regular people do things.
4) Rinse cycle. Now everything goes back in the bucket with clean water and some fabric softener (I really haven’t been swept up by Mexico’s obsession for fabric softener, but many people seem to think that if it doesn’t smell like “morning fresh flowers” it can’t possibly be clean)
5) Now you wring everything out to within a centimeter of its life and hang to dry on a clothesline, barbed wire fence or bushes. If it starts to rain before everything is dry, just leave it and wait for another drying cycle. This may be repeated as needed.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fried Green Potatoes

Hello, and welcome to my blog. I have several years worth of articles that have been published in the PV Tribune and on
I will be posting some of the favorite columns along with new thoughts, recipes, news and general life things. I hope you will enjoy it.
This column originally ran in 2006.

Fried Green Potatoes
A few years ago I was working in a restaurant on the beach in Yelapa. One day I noticed that one of the cooks was cutting potatoes to make French fries. I was alarmed because the potatoes had green spots. I had always heard that because potatoes are a member of the nightshade family, that any green parts of the tuber (that’s the potato) or plant were extremely poisonous. I don’t know why I always believe these things. I guess it’s because I had heard it so many times I assumed that it was true.
I told her that I didn’t want her to use those green potatoes. They are poisonous and would make our customers sick.
She said, “No they won’t. We eat them all the time”.
I said, “Oh, really?”, and she said, “Yes, and I will prove it to you”.
She then took all of the green parts of all the potatoes and made herself some French fries and ate every one of them. I kept her under close observation for the next few hours, but there was no sign of sickness at all. OK, I guess I could be wrong, but I told her I would really like to see her first thing in the morning. I still didn’t really believe. The next day she was still fine. She had cheated death and sickness. Just lucky? Not really. After a little investigating here’s what I found:
The green parts of potatoes, such as sprouts and skin, do indeed contain a toxin called solanine, which is a toxin to be taken seriously in high concentrations, but it turns out that a 200 lb person would have to eat two full pounds of completely green potatoes in one day to take in a toxic level of solanine. That’s a lot of French fries. If you were to eat that many you might expect to experience abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, confusion, etc. It seems to me one might experience those things if they ate two whole pounds of anything.
One of the reasons that we can get away with eating green potatoes is that newer varieties are genetically tweaked to produce less solanine. Lucky for us. Science is on our side.
The best way to keep your potatoes from turning green is to keep them in the dark in a cool place, and remove green spots and sprouts before cooking, but we don’t have to be fanatical about it.