If you have malt vinegar on hand, sprinkle it on the fries just before serving, for an English or Canadian ‘accent’.

4 large potatoes
2 T olive oil
6 sprigs fresh thyme, or 2 t dried
salt and pepper, to taste
bowls of mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, for dipping

1. Heat oven to 425ºF. Cut potatoes lengthwise into thick slices, then into 1/2-inch-by-1/2-inch-thick strips. Place in a bowl of cold water until ready to use. Drain and dry well on paper or dish towels.

2. Toss potatoes with oil and spread on a dark roasting pan or baking sheet. Scatter thyme over potatoes. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, turning occasionally, until potatoes are brown and crisp on all sides.

3. Remove from oven, discard thyme stems (the leaves will have fallen off), sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve immediately, with suggested (or other) condiments, if you like.