Monday, September 17, 2007

Potatoes


Out of all the vegetables in our world, I do believe the potato has to be my favorite! I can remember staying with my grandma during summer vacations out on her farm and there being a bowl of mashed potatoes or a bowl of boiled small red potatoes always ready for the eating. I remember coming indoors from playing with my cousins down in the woods by the pond. They would grab "icing balls" (yes, just what the words say) as their treats and I would grab a cold boiled red potato! Sometimes I would even pocket a few to much on outdoors while playing!

When we lived in Ohio and had a few acres of land, we would grow potatoes in our garden, that is until our English Bulldog "Reggie" would dig them up for his own treat! We had another English Bulldog "Mug-Z" who loved French Fries so much that when we had him in the car with us, if we did not stop at a Wendy's for a burger and fries, he would bark until we turned the car around and hit the drive-thru! Thank goodness our cats were not into potatoes!

Potatoes have been around a long time. There is even evidence that shows the potato was being cultivated 2,000 years ago in Peru. Potatoes arouse strong passions, not the sort which the aphrodisiac properties which potatoes have been supposed to have but do not in fact possess, but partisan passions. Some think mashed potatoes with good milk and butter are incomparable, and so they are for certain dishes like bangers and mash. The Irish claim that plain boiled potatoes, when prepared correctly, are the best of all (drain when cooked, leave to rest a few moments in the pot with a clean teacloth on top and shaken slightly). And who would not assert that chips/frites/French Fries have no competition in the world, but they may falter if they had a nice dish of golden-topped butter and cream enriched scalloped potatoes that the French enjoy. The Swiss may argue with you that the best potato dish is the Rosti! What about the classic Sunday Pot Roast that has those wonderful whole potatoes nestled beside the meat roasting away with the pan juices! Now, are you ready to fix some potatoes for dinner tonight!

I have come to enjoy "Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes" lately. They are petite little yellow potatoes that have a wonderful smooth texture and rich flavor. Leave the skin on and cut the potatoes into quarters. Heat the oven to about 400 degrees. Put the cut potatoes in a bowl, sprinkle with a good bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss well and put onto a cookie sheet and spread them out so they are not touching each other. Roast for about 10 minutes, then stir them, roast another 10 minutes or until they are golden brown. I love it when they have a nice outer crust on them. Also, as a variation, instead of the salt and pepper coating, I use a seasoning. Take for instance a Creole seasoning or even an Italian mixture of dried herbs, or you can use fresh herbs such as Rosemary. You can dress the potatoes to match the rest of the dishes you are having for dinner. These little guys are so versatile!


Did you know that the skin on the potato is not really nutritious but the layer immediately under it, which is only millimetres thick, contains most of the potato's vitamin C content. It also holds most of the flavour also. So next time you are peeling the potato for a dish, give it a second thought whether you need to peel or not!

Cheers and we will wine it tomorrow!

9 comments:

Shayne said...

I did not know that is was not the skin but just under the skin that has all the goodies, I try to serve up the skin as often as I can with my taters. yum yum

Lucy said...

I too love potatoes!

I love the image of you kids running around with your treats - mine would have been potatoes too!

Anh said...

I can't resist potatoes, no matter how they are cooked... they are just so incredible!

Sonadora said...

We've been big fans of purple potatoes here for about a year, they may look strange, but they sure do taste good all mashed up!

Belinda said...

Oh, gosh, I always thought that the skin was so good for you! I even ate my half a baked potato this evening, with all the peel. It was yummy though. :-) And that's so funny about Mug-Z the bulldog insisting on his order of fries for a car journey! I enjoyed this post, Deb, and agree 100% about the joy of potatoes...love them. In fact, I love them prepared every single way you mentioned!

David Hall said...

Hi Deb

I've got a few in the oven now, doing some 'healthy' olive oil chips to go with a steak and mushrooms. i can smell them as I am typing and I cannot tell you how hungry I am. Nice post on the humble potato!

Cheers
David

winedeb said...

Hi Shayne - I keep the skin on all my taters also - good flavor!

Hey Lucy - Once in awhile one would get smashed - but that would mean I just would have to eat it sooner!

Hi Anh - I agree, I like them any which way!

Hey Sonadora - I have not tried the purple potatoes yet. As soon as I can locate some, you bet I will try. I cannot imagine eating purple mashed potatoes - too fun!

Thanks Belinda! I wish you could have seen Mug-z enjoying his fries!

Hi David - yum, olive oil chips, now that sounds great!

Valli said...

Potatoes are my absolute favourite. I love them every way possible. We have so much in common!!!!I think my comfort potato though is roesti. Mom used to make them when we were kids and they just bring me back to childhood....but, then there are always... scalloped, garlic mashed,and with my British upbringing, french fried....You asked about my walking poles. I don't know that they have a specific brand. Check out their web site www.keenfit.com They are who introduced them to me in this area.I wouldn't walk without them these days. They are an extension of my arms!!They walked all over Greece as well..if only they could talk....

winedeb said...

Hey Valli - I do think our tastes run in the same direction. Thanks for the info on the poles!