Posts Tagged ‘potatoes’

PotatOats 4

November 4, 2011

Experiment 1: Finally got around to trying Kurt’s suggestion that I use real potatoes. We had some stir-sticked potatoes left over from dinner, which I mixed it with the one-minute oatmeal. I used two tablespoonsworth, because the powdered stuff puffs up. Plain oatmeal in plain water, at first, to test the impact.

Result: Meh. As you might expect, the industrial powdered version is more potato-y than the real thing. Stirring in some boullion powder helped. The mouth-feel was quite different, also. I’m thinking next time to use coarse-mashed, and a stock of some kind.

Experiment 2: Took it in a bit more organized fashion. I used chicken broth, instead of plain water, and added some poultry seasoning and dried onion chips. Boiled the liquid, dropped in exactly two tablespoons of potatoes. Stirred, but not enough to totally bread up the lumps. Added the 1min oatmeal (we’re out of the other kind), microwaved/stirred for just over a minute. Let it sit for a couple of minutes to contemplate its fate.

Result: Very good. Surprisingly good, considering how dull the previous test had gone. There was potato-y flavor all the way through, and the lumps provided little explosions of Irish Delight. In an earlier post I said that the liquid was the key factor, and I still think that’s true. Oatmeal is such an aggressively bland food that you have to overwhelm your tastebuds with flavor before it has a chance to subvert them.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

October 31, 2011

Garden Report for 111031

Harvested the last of the potatoes today. As I said, they are a cage variety (Viking Mauves or something), and, as I feared, they didn’t do well. They were in a regulation-size plastic garbage can. Dug down eighteen inches, and found only peanuts (we’re talking serious counter-squirrel-ops this winter). Found the first potato when I was armpit down — about the size of a cherry tomato. Found the second one a few inches lower. Double golfball size, and kindof…asteroid-shaped. Not one of the big ones, with the gravitational slumping thing, one of the small, barely accreted ones. The rest came when I was three-quarters of the way in, very nearly waist-deep.

Total yield. Well, …erm…one kilogram. Yep. 2.2lbs of rough-skinned, dark blue starch. Two worth peeling, six you need to peel but don’t want to (ya ever tried peeling an asteroid?), and the rest are cherry-sized. We’ll boil-n-mash some tonight. Maybe save some for oatmeal.

The peas, meanwhile, have apparently not been killed by the frosts, and are probably growing. They only have three weeks to get to the advertised date for harvest.

LATER: Tried the potatoes. Peeled, boiled, stir-sticked into creaminess. Used some vinegar in the water to hold the color. It did. When we poured the vinegar off, it held on to the color and took it with it. Color on the plate was an unappetizing grey-blue. Maybe Light Slate. Flavor, was only so-so. Next time, I think we’ll steam them. Of course, the problem with potatoes is that half a cup of mashed makes me gain a pound and a half.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

October 24, 2011

Garden Report for 111024

Not much to report now. Peas are coming along. The tomatoes I harvested are ripening nicely. They are in boxen on the floor of the living room (don’t ask), which is right over the part of the basement with the gas heater, and so has the warmest floor in the house. Potatoes are still in the can, with the lid on. I might try digging one up and seeing how they came out. These are the Norwegian Blues or something like that.

Later: I dug up one of the potatoes. Nice and blue. Golf-ball sized and deep down in the can. I suspect we are looking at another four pound yield. Taste was OK. Nothing to write to the world about (er, sorry). Looks like it prefers to be mashed. I’m wondering if a Safeway potato and an eyedropper of FDA Blue #6 wouldn’t be quicker, easier, and just as tasty.

I won’t be able to do much garden cleanup until the peas are done, so I’m working on getting the tomato planters off the deck and over next to the garden, where I’ll dump them until Spring.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

October 10, 2011

Garden Report for 111010

Finished harvesting the potatoes from the first bin. Got three pounds from the bottom 18″, mostly walnut sized, but three or four middlin’ ones as well. So that’s a total of four pounds. I think next year we’ll just go to a smaller bin, closer to 18″ deep instead of 48″, and not worry about cage-friendly varieties. I have capped the second bin to keep the potatoes in there dry, and will harvest them in about a month.

The heirloom tomatoes are just about shot, but the regular ones — brandywines and big beefs and so forth — are just starting to produce. Of course, it’s funny to see a Big Beef that’s smaller than a tennis ball.

Peas are….hanging in there.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

September 5, 2011

Garden Report 110905

Dug up my mid-season potatoes today. Small plot — 3x5ft. Yield: 0.75kg (stop laughing). These were small Burbanks, bought as part of the Irish Eyes “cage collection” but not grown in a cage. I have some other kinds (Yellow Finn and All Blue) actually in actual cages (OK, garbage cans), and we’ll see how those do in a month or so.

The reason I dug them up now is that I want to use that part of the garden, along with the cornfield (OK, corn feet) to try some late season peas.

The corn was a disaster. Ankle high by the …end of August. That don’t rhyme.

Tomatoes have been slowly ripening. We obviously missed our watering schedule at some point, because there’s a certain amount of blossom-end rot. What’s funny is that everything is so small. OK, the cherries are meant to be, but the “beefsteaks” are about the size of your standard tennis ball grocery store tomatoes. The only thing that’s the expected size is the heirlooms we got from an friend, and they are misshapen enough you’d think they came from Fukushima. The ripening schedule has been spread out, so that we have enough for salad garnish every night, but not enough for salad ingredients. That may change soon, since there’s ten or so medium-sized coming on line sometime this week.

More news as I eat.