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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Potato Update: A Garden of Spuds!

Our garden continues to provide us with a daily harvest of potatoes. I'm enjoying watching Andy become Mr. Mad Kitchen Scientist, enthusiastically concocting new recipes, with our daily bounty of taters.

Andy is a potato lover. In fact, he ordered 7 pounds of seed potatoes earlier this year from Decorah, Iowa's Seed Savers. According to Gardening When It Counts by Steve Solomon, 7 pounds will produce approximately 175 pounds of potatoes! Who said carbs were bad? Seems extreme . . . we will see!

We planted All Blue Potatoes, All Red Potatoes, and Carola Potatoes. Ha! Red, white, and blue for 'Merica! We're so patriotic; oh yes, we are! The Carola Potato is best known for its storage longevity. We're hoping to make cold and hot potato dishes late into the winter! The red and blue potatoes were chosen because we like the colors. . . 'You're not cool unless your food has color!'

Up until recently, I had no idea how to harvest or dig up potatoes. Andy has taken this potato planting very seriously, and so, in turn, I've learned quite a bit about potato harvesting. To start with, when the potatoes are ready to be harvested, the stems of the potato plants look nearly dead. Currently, our potato plants are a mix of green and brown stems and leaves. To get the potatoes out of the ground, one must use a pitchfork or a shovel to get underneath all of the potatoes. The tines are very long, so it can be very easy to accidentally spear the tubers. It's important to make sure the pitchfork or shovel is completely under the potatoes to protect their delicate skins.

Carola Potatoes

All Blue Potatoes

Last night, we modified the earlier Herbed Potato Salad that we posted in late July. Our CSA, Harmony Valley Farms, included a Brebis cheese from Wisconsin's Butler's Farm in our cheese share last week. Brebis cheese is a sheep's milk cheese with a mild flavor. It's spreadable, much like goat cheese. We thought this would make an excellent addition to our warm potato salad! Check it out!

Herbed New Potatoes with Brebis Cheese
1 - 2 lbs. of new potatoes
2 Tbs. butter
a minimum of 1 clove of garlic, chopped
1/4 c. fresh parsley (mixed with other herbs if you have them ~ thyme, oregano, etc.)
2 ounces Brebis Cheese

Using a heavy pan/pot or Dutch oven with accompanying cover(s), melt butter over low heat. Put in whole or quartered potatoes (depending on size). Dump garlic and herbs over the potatoes. Cover and cook for 25 minutes on low, shaking the pan periodically to avoid sticking. After 25 minutes, remove from heat and put clumps of cheese over potatoes. Cover and let stand for two minutes. Serve hot! Makes four servings.

Tonight, we made a vegan potato salad in preparation for a backyard wiener-roast with my parents tomorrow. Super delicious!

Vegan Potato Salad
8 cups of potatoes, cubed
fresh dill or other herb of choice
1 cup of light Vegan Canola mayo
2 Tbs. Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbs. mustard of choice

Boil potatoes until tender. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle Apple Cider Vinegar over potatoes. Mix in the herbs, mustard, and mayo! Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

One cup serving:
Nutrition Facts
potato salad 8/12
Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat7.2g
Saturated Fat0g
Trans Fat0g
Dietary Fiber3.1g
Vitamin A 0%Vitamin C 34%
Calcium 1%Iron 3%
(courtesy of

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