Tuesday, November 2, 2010

In praise of potatoes

My favorite part of this veggie bracelet is the potatoes. I did the surface texture with Old Bay seasoning to look like it just came from the garden. It's been a long time since I've had a freshly dug potato. It's almost more fun to grabble (dig around in the dirt) for them than it is to eat them. My father always hoed a big mound around the potato plants so that we could just brush the dirt away and find the spuds like buried treasure. My mother would take the tiny ones, give them a little scrubbing, and lay them lovingly on a big pot of fresh green beans. The bigger specimens would get turned into our favorite treat: mealy potatoes. Mom would peel them, slice thinly, dip in an egg wash then in coarse cornmeal with salt and pepper and fry them individually in an oiled iron skillet. Heaven! There were only two kinds of seed potatoes you could get locally: cobblers and Kennebacks. I don't remember the distinction between the two, but it was as hotly contested as any political campaign. Nowadays I buy the big bakers to roast in a moderate oven for an hour and a half. First I poke some steam vents,roll them in a bit of olive oil and then kosher salt. Might as well face it I'm addicted to spuds!

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