Every family has their cultural staple. We grew up eating potatoes. My mom baked them, added them to her delicious stew and on the occasional Friday we had what the Brits and Canadians refer to as chips, aka French fries. Potatoes were tasty and filling and in my modest culinary repertoire, a fine addition to any meal
Potatoes remain a favorite, even though they’ve fallen from favor as a starch. Brown rice is tasty and so is couscous, but potatoes are my go-to comfort food. I love them.
Still, I didn’t set out to grow them. For me, part of the fun of gardening is watching things grow. I love the wild trail of a pumpkin, the abundant tomatoes, and a myriad of flowers. Potatoes become potatoes under ground.
I tossed a few sorry-looking potatoes into the compost bin and nature took over. Who knew? Apparently they are pretty easy to grow. The industrious Fran at The Road to Serendipity advised me to leave them in place till they flowered. The plants passed the flowering stage and started producing fruit, which, incidentally, is toxic.
I harvested the lot of them on Sunday and gave the harvest to my sister for her soup. She makes a big batch each week, then takes it for lunch. She’s a good cook with a small appetite so this will last her a week.
You can buy ‘new potatoes’ at the market, so hopefully the tiny potatoes I sent home are equally tender and tasty. Unlike tomatoes, you can’t take a big bite and know right away if they’re good.
Do you have a favorite starch? Is it one you grew up with or something you discovered along the way?
What I say is that if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.
—A. A. Milne, English writer (1882–1956)