Thursday, December 3, 2009

Last of the bagged spuds

Well, just like last year, I got sick of the awful look of the fading, scruffy potato plants ruining the ambience of my pretty garden, and so I harvested the last of the spuds a bit earlier than I probably should have. But the results were delicious!

The big white spuds are Spuntas, regarded as a fine chip-making potato. The little purple ones are Saphires, particularly tasty little things. Not visible in the shot but lurking there somewhere are some Kipflers, royalty of the potato salad spuds.

See what I mean about awful, scrappy plants? Yuk. I need a bigger garden, so I can grow spuds without having to actually look at them.

One big winner in all this exercise is my compost heap. This regally rich mix of home-grown compost and straw is the stuff I used to fill my spud bags. It's going back into the compost bins to raise the class of the place. A couple of months from now it will become beautiful, crumbly compost once more. Isn't recycling wonderful?

As for cooking my Spuntas, I went back to one of the first ways I ever learned to cook potatoes when I was about 10 years old. As well as learning from mum how to breadcrumb lamb cutlets and veal schnitzels in my first cooking lessons, I also learned how to mash potatoes and how to turn them into mum's version of chips. (Lessons in cooking something healthy, like green vegetables, came much later.)

To make mum's chips, first peel the spuds, cut in half then par-boil in salted water for about 10 minutes, until just barely starting to feel cooked. Drain then let them cool and dry for a few minutes, then cut into chunks a bit bigger than one inch cubes, or one-inch pyramids. Then heat a frypan to very hot, add oil (I use olive oil these days, mum probably used something a lot more deadly, but I can't remember what it was) and fry the potatoes, turning often, until they are crisp outside and golden brown. High heat is the trick here. Drain on paper towels. Salt. Eat.

Nothing remotely healthy about this at all. But as for delicious, it gets my vote.


PJ said...

Sounds like a great family recipe for your homegrown spuds! They are the one thing I just can't get myself to both growing on the balcony. There must be a way to disguise them when they start turning??? Tinsel? :)

howtoshuckanoyster said...

I have serious spud envy now Jamie. Mine all carked it. Next time!

Unknown said...

I'm just the same! Started digging them up last weekend because am so over the frazzled spud patch bringing down the extremely smart and staked tomato patch next to it.

Cait :)

Shailaja said...

I never knew there were purple potatoes! Is the 'meat'purple, too?

Jamie said...

Yes, they're lightly purple inside. In an earlier posting on the spuds I have a photo of one of the purple ones cut in half. It stays that colour when cooked, too.

Shailaja said...

Goodness Gracious! A beetroot - potato combo!