Thursday, April 07, 2011
I promised this the 6th and final blog on potatoes to include recipes and how to store them some time ago.
There is a lot of information in the first 5 blogs and you might want to read them if you haven’t previously done so.
Now it is Spring! Do you have some spuds that have sprouted? Instead of throwing them away perhaps some info on growing a few just to see if you can do it?
Remember to allow for drainage or have drainage holes in whatever you use and don’t overwater. By planting them in a pot…you can watch out for the potato bugs too!
1. You can take a trash can and cut out the bottom, sink it into the ground and grow potatoes in it.
2. Take the large black pots that a tree or shrub comes in to grow a few potatoes in…This way you can put them wherever you have enough sun.
3. You can grow potatoes in a 5 gallon bucket, (I hear fast food places like Subway might get pickles in them or you can purchase at Home Depot).
4. Use tires and as the plant grows larger just add another tire….this is good if ;you have tires around that you no longer use…
I don’t recommend going out and getting them because if you don’t like this method you will have to deal with their disposal which could be costly. You can also grow them in your open wire compost bin or under hay bales with the same idea, as the plant grows you throw on more compost or hay. Both of these methods are not labor intensive when it comes to gathering your taters in the fall!
Now if you are using the trash can, large black pots or a 5-gallon bucket you need to fill your container to the top with a mixture of half sand and half potting soil. Now plant one piece of a potato with an eye or two in each container to insure the tubers have adequate room to develop. When you cut the potato you should allow it to dry overnight before you plant them. This helps to prevent rotting. You need to plant the potato about 4 inches deep with the eye pointed upwards so it will grow as quickly as possible.
Raw Fried Potatoes
Note: This is what my Mother and Grandmother called them. I think it has something to do with living near the Pennsylvania Dutch people. Anyway it is a good “soul” food that says home for me. Originally my Mom used lard or Crisco but I have changed it to Extra Virgin olive oil with no problems. The taste will be a bit different but still good.
A. Just remember not to use new potatoes as they don’t fry well and russets work better than a red or gold potato.
B. Use cast iron or other non-coated pans because of the high heat!
C. These potatoes go great with dried beef gravy for breakfast or dinner…add some fresh cantaloupe and you are set!
Now I like to cook up a huge cast iron skillet full of these …and it doesn’t matter whether these are large or medium russets. I like to use the really large ones for this recipe. You may peel or not peel them as you prefer. I grew up with them peeled but have chosen to leave the peel on for more fiber…Your choice.
1. Slice enough potatoes to fill your pan. Potatoes should be washed, dried (to prevent splatters) and then peeled or unpeeled (your choice) into about ¼ inch slices.
2. Heat your cast iron or large skillet to a high heat and add ¼ to ½ cup of olive oil. There should be enough to coat the pans bottom and you can add more if needed later.
3. Add your slice potatoes to the pan, salt and pepper them….you will need some salt! Salt to taste, you can try just a little the first time and add more at the table until you figure out how much you want.
4. Turn the heat down to medium heat, cover with a lid (a stainless cookie sheet will do) and let them cook until soft….Do not turn the potatoes until they have browned slightly or they will stick.
Turn over and continue frying, it will take 5-8 minutes per side… Remove the lid and cook for 5 or 10 minutes more, carefully turning potatoes once or twice with a spatula so they become golden brown on top and bottom. I usually make a huge pan and cook a total of 25 minutes so they are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside.
Candied Sweet Potatoes…. 4 servings
4 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
small amount of salt
1. Scrub sweet potatoes with a stiff brush.
2. Cook in skin in a large saucepan covered with water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until potatoes are not quite tender when pierced with a knife in the center, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Drain potatoes and cool until easy enough to handle.
2. Using hands and/or paring knife peel and remove skin and blemishes from potatoes. Then slice crosswise.
3. Melt butter in large 10" cast iron skillet at low temp add brown sugar, spices and water. and cook for about 10 minutes, uncovered over a very low heat.
4. Add sweet potatoes in single layer in pan and cook over low heat about 20-30 minutes, using a large spoon, turn potatoes occasionally to cook evenly so they caramelize and coat with glaze
Irish Root Soup …6 servings
I entered this recipe in our State Fair and it is in our States's Sesquicentennial cookbook!
2 T olive oil
1 T butter
2 lbs carrots
2 leeks (white part only!)sliced
6 cloves of garlic
2 lbs sweet potatoes- boiled, roasted, peeled and halved*
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups whipping cream +cream for garnish (or half & half)
pinch sea salt
pinch white pepper
2 T sugar or Stevia
1 T fresh ginger- grated
a pureed soup made with carrots, leeks, garlic and sweet potato
* Boil potatoes about 10 minutes, then oven-roast by placing potatoes on cookie sheet in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until browned and tender.
Heat oil and butter in large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots, leeks, garlic and sweet potatoes. Sauté until leeks are translucent, about 8 minutes.
Add stock and cream. Cover and simmer until carrots and potatoes are very soft, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
Puree soup in batches in blender or Vita-Mix. Return soup to same saucepan. Add salt, pepper and sugar. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Stir soup over medium heat until heated through. Ladle into bowls and top with whipped cream if desired. Makes 6 servings.
Adding sugar will make give this a sweeter taste, and adding ginger a spicier taste. I add the Stevia and fresh ginger and make a great taste. We love this hot or cold, for lunch or dinner, with a sandwich or a salad. I make up a batch and freeze some for later use…just put the soup into a microwave proof casserole dish with lid and thaw and heat in microwave.
Herb Roasted Potatoes – 4 servings
2 lbs small red potatoes
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T of dried basil OR garlic powder
½ tsp. salt
Preheat over to 400 degrees F. Wash potatoes and quarter them. In a bowl mix the potato pieces with olive oil and spices. Coat evenly and then pour onto baking sheet and bake 30-40 minutes until the potatoes edges begin to brown nicely.
Calories 145 gr, Carbs 21 gr, Sodium 301 mg, Fat 4 gr
How to Store Potatoes
First, when buying potatoes check to insure there are no spoiled ones or bad odor.
One potato can ruin several pounds.
If purchased in plastic bags remove and store in brown paper bagsor burlap that allows
them to breath and not build up humidity and also keep the light out so they don't turn green.
Do not store in the refrigerator.
Do not rinse/ wash potatoes before storing.
Store potatoes in a cool, dark, dry place as in the coolest partof the basement, away from
heat and humidity.
If you live in a warmer climate perhaps an insulated garage.
A root cellar, if you have one, is the best storage option.
Make sure the temperature in the area is about 45 to 50 degrees F.
Do not store potatoes with onions but you can store them with an
apple in each bag to prohibit growth.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
We have lots of snow....inviting you all to a winter wonderland for snowball fights, snow sculptures, snowmen and woman, sledding, etc.....and you may take ALL the snow you want home with you to enjoy at your house this holiday season. Dress warm and bring cookies to share. I will provide the snow, hot cider, tea, coffee and chocolate with candy cane stirrers!
Temp is currently at zero, winds have calmed down, sun is out and the snow is glistening. To give you an idea of our snow take a look at my pictures of our land BEFORE at least another foot was dropped on it!! Don't worry you will get plenty of exercise outside in the crisp air!!!
oh yes and I was told to pass the following on...
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o´¯`❄¸ (░) `O. ¸¸. ¸. ✲´¯`o. ¸ (░) `O. ¸❄。 `O. ¸¸. ¸. o´¯`❄。¨¯`*✲....
¸.o´¯`o. ¸ (░) `O. ¸¸. ¸. o´¯`❄. ¸ (░) ´*。 ✲´*。. ❄¨¯`*✲。 ❄。*。
¨¯`*✲SNOWBALL FIGHT!! KEEP IT GOING! (((())))
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
My a1c today was 4.6 and thats the same as the test in March!
Everything was fine except for my trigs...I get them down and I will be home free!
To answer EMMI2006- I haven't been on medications ...diet and exercise only.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Slugs...love hostas, green beans and lettuce and if you don’t care to share or give up your garden entirely you need to control these nasty critters. For every slug you find there are more than twenty hiding in your garden ready to feast on your greens. If slugs are a problem, it is best to use a variety of tactics to reduce their numbers and there are numerous methods touted. I am including Seven methods of control and a few links for you to check out at the end of this blog so you “don't take my word for it approach ...read it yourself” method.
Remember that the number of slugs in any growing season is dependent on how moist the growing conditions are. So if you have a rainy Spring know you will probably have more slugs. A single slug can produce as many at 800 eggs per year! Slugs are especially numerous during rainy seasons AND in well-irrigated gardens. Do you really have to water that much…perhaps just cutting down on the amount of moisture you add to your garden will help? Another thought…mulching around plants keeps the moisture in and is a lovely “nest” or hiding place for slugs. I have found more slugs around plants where I have added a woodchip mulch.
From the researchers I have heard that beer may not the answer...you could end up with only happy slugs!
For details on how to use beer and which slugs are attracted to beer you might want to read Jeff Gillman's book entitled: The Truth about Garden Remedies What Works, What Doesn't & Why ISB-13: 978-0-88192-748-1 and paperback ISBN-10: 0-88192-748-1. Jeff addresses what garden remedies work and what is mere heresay.
Slugs appear to crawl over most barriers: copper, eggshells, oyster shells, etc. A barrier is just that a barrier, it doesn’t kill them, just restricts them…for a time perhaps. Slugs multiply fast and so IF you kill the adult slugs early in the year, before they lay eggs, you will reduce the population and damage done in your garden and not need to take corrective measures to rid yourself of them later in the growing season. Jeff researched egg shell barriers on slugs too in his book.
Slugs have plenty of predators: fireflies, frogs, toads, snakes, some birds, skunks, possums, turtles, rats, some ground (carabid) beetles, predatory snails, nematodes, hedgehogs, sciomyzid flies and sometimes cutworms feed on slugs. Ducks, geese and chickens love slugs….. Ducks and geese don’t do as much damage as chicken do with their scratching around plants.
The main ways to get rid of slugs other than the above predators that I know of are as follows:
1. Board trick: Put a 2 x 4 board about 2 feet long, have it raised about 3 inches on one end. In a day or so, turn the board over and get rid of the slugs. A wet newspaper can be used daily to attract slugs too!
2. Ammonia Drench: One gardener with lots of hosta did the following: spraying the hosta once a week or so with a dilute (4:1 or even weaker) solution of water and household ammonia).The slugs hate the ammonia and the Nitrogen is great for the plants.
His method of attack was to use an inexpensive tank & nozzle sprayer with which he sprayed the hostas with the ammonia solution nightly once a week. He did this more often in the spring or when there was a period with a lot of rain. He didn't spend more than a couple hours a week doing this and the result was there were almost no slug holes.
3. Poison bait ..Several methods are mentioned in the articles but since not everyone wants to use them I won’t add anything on this method.
Organic baits include Sluggo and Escar-Go which contain iron phosphate and are safe to use around children, pets, fish, birds and beneficial insects.
4. Diatomaceous earth...don’t breathe it in...READ the instructions that come with it...every time you purchase a chemical there are cautions and warnings and you are entering into a contract to use the chemical as it is listed on the package. It dehydrates the mucoused mollusks on contact and kills them. ...A caution here...if you have any natural predators you might not want to use this AND it has to be dry to work, and I am real serious about not breathing this in.
5. Aluminum sulfate (pH 2.7 to 3.3) is classified as an inorganic salt and appears to dehydrate the slugs on contact preventing them from moving without their slime.
6. Some people have used coffee grounds around their plants as a control method and had great results, and it is organic. Some not so much..again you could try this on a non precious plant or two and determine if this is a method you want to continue to use.
BTW Coffee grounds are great around evergreens, rhododendrons and blueberries, so all is not lost there is a place for them in your garden..anywhere a acid loving plant is growing.
7. Cup of Java…some gardeners advocate sharing your coffee with the slugs…it appears to work like a nerve poison on the slugs.
So this should get you thinking and reading AND planning for next years gardens!
Monday, October 04, 2010
If you are happening upon my blog and haven't read read the history of potatoes, nutrients, etc you might want to read blogs 1-4 they are full of interesting facts and information that most of us didn’t know about them.
As mentioned previously, a medium potato contains 3 grams of protein and 35% of your Vitamin C. With this plus all the other bonuses I have shared in the previous blogs it is "a good thing" to serve potatoes many ways and to serve many varieties.
One way you don't want to serve them often is fried. If you fry the potatoes you should know that potato loses 75% of its Vitamin C content if it is fried. Also remember boiling potatoes will cause them to lose nutrients. The spud retains more nutrients if you bake or even steam them. That said it is one of the most versatile foods we have.
Red: A red potato is wonderful in beef stew, garlic roasted in the oven, and in potato salad. The great thing here is the red skin adds not only fiber but other nutrients as well as color and texture to the dish you are serving.
There are several varieties of red potatoes.
Gold: Gold Yukon potatoes are dense like red potatoes. It has been said that once you have mashed potatoes with Yukon golds you will never want to go back to russets. These gold potatoes will also make a nice, thin skinned baked potato.
Russets: Our everyday standby brown potato...for those that prefer a potato that isn't so moist and dense this is the potato for you. I love my baked, mashed and raw fried russet potatoes that we have used for years in all our recipes.
Blue ones/ Purple ones: For those with a sense of adventure there are blue potatoes (All Blue) and purple potatoes (Viking Purple). Hmmmm can't you just see some gung ho MN Viking fans making up a dish to serve with purple and gold potatoes!!!
There are fingerling potatoes which are tiny potatoes in many varieties that are shaped like our fingers as well as baby potatoes to enjoy.
Ways to serve
Potatoes can be used in more ways than I knew about or can even list here. Here is a bit to whet your appetite.
There are potato doughnuts, dumplings; pancakes, you can make Duchess Potatoes, potato puff, Lyonnaise and potato Anna. You can make rolls with them, American or German potato salad, and soup with them. You can serve them scalloped, bake them (even twice bake them), broil them, stuff them fry them, hash them, mash them, cream them, rice them, dry them, and yes store them in the freezer. I will try and remember to mention more about that in the final blog as well as special recipes.
For an evening in Spring nothing is finer than creamed peas and New Potatoes or new potatoes with parsley and lemon! YUM!
Potato pancakes are so nice on a cold winter morning with eggs and bacon or ham!
And a boiled New England dinner with potatoes, cabbage and ham on a cold winter’s night.
If you have a potato warehouse near you, you might want to visit it to purchase potatoes inexpensively and try a new variety of potato. My final blog on potatoes will include recipes and how to store and I just might add a couple of sweet potato recipes.
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