Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Scrub the potatoes to remove any dirt. Dry the potatoes and prick with a fork. Rub the skins lightly with the vegetable oil. Place the potatoes on a cookie sheet or jelly-roll pan.
Bake potatoes for 45 minutes, or until tender. Split the potatoes and press with your fingers to loosen pulp.
Serve with one or more of the following toppings:
American: shredded American cheese, bacon bits, and cooked broccoli
Italian: pesto sauce and shredded mozzarella cheeses
Sicilian: chopped pepperoni, pizza sauce, and grated Parmesan cheese
Nicoise: flaked tuna, green bean pieces, diced red onion, tomato
Children's: sliced frankfurters and cheese spread
Adapted from The Perfect Potato, by Diane Simone Vezza