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“Bonus” Potatoes

07-Sep-2005

 

You may remember me mentioning that I have a couple of compost bins.  I’m pretty faithful about composting.  I really like the idea of it:  the scraps from some glorious fruit or vegetable I’ve enjoyed (extra points if it’s from the yard) go into a bin and some time later are miraculously transformed into a rich substance that, when placed around new fruits and vegetables, will provide another glorious yield and the cycle continues. 
 
On the other hand there are times when I’m amazingly lazy and even the short trip to the compost bin (across the deck, down 6 steps, then less than 50 feet around the little shed) is just too much!  Actually, I prefer to think of myself as very economical with my energy expenditure as opposed to lazy!  :-)  These economical times usually occur when it’s raining buckets or I’m not properly attired to be seen outside.  Although the attire thing hasn’t stopped me that much as my backyard is very private.  I sometimes risk a mad dash out and back fairly certain I won’t be caught.  Well, that was the case but all that will be changing soon.  Two houses up from me some people decided to "remodel" their new purchase.  They took a darling little 1400 sq. ft. house and made "a few" changes.  Now it’s 4700 sq. ft. and 3 stories high!  The 3rd story, the living area, looks into my back yard.  :-(
 
But I’m way off track here – back to my lazy days.  Every now and then I discover some potatoes that are not only growing eyes but actually seem to be growing tentacles that wind through the wire basket that holds them!  As I wrestle with them to loosen their grip they cling for dear life!  But sooner or later I am always victorious!  I load them up for a trip to the compost bin.  Sometimes I only get as far as my back door where, instead of venturing out, I heave the little critters in the general direction of the compost bins.  Next to the bins is a large raised mound of dirt that used to be the grass in my front yard before I replaced it.  Technically this mound of dirt is also compost.  So I aim for the mound and am normally pretty successful in hitting it. 
 
Once I heave the potatoes I pretty much forget about them.  I might dump a load of cut grass or fall leaves over them but that’s pretty much it.  Every spring, however, some of these erstwhile little darlings actually root and grow!  I don’t water them, I don’t tend them in any way but once the vegetation dies back I go out and dig up as many of the little treasures as I can find.  And they are like treasure since I never know how many or what type I will find:  sometimes reds or russets or Yukon golds, some big, some small. 
 
A couple days ago I harvested several pounds of various potatoes.  And last night I made up a batch of garlic mashed potatoes for dinner.  I didn’t have any milk in the house so I mixed in butter, some cream cheese and a little splash of cream to moisten them.  Along with roasted garlic, I added chopped chives and a bit of sage.  Not sure why but the sage sounded good to me last night – I don’t think I’ve ever added sage to potatoes before.  I finished them off with a dollop of butter on the top, added some fresh ground black pepper and a little sprinkle of the chives. 
 
The potatoes were comforting and good!  I really liked the hint of sage!  I think these would be perfect with a dish of pork chops and applesauce!  Hmmm, I guess it must be fall!  The best part is that I have some left over.  I can’t wait to warm them up and have them with some bacon and eggs.  Heaven. 
 

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