Friday, 14 October 2011


 Cooler weather calls for food of a more comforting nature than the Autumnal salads and salsas.  It was with this in mind that I revived my interest in a couple of sites I used last Winter and will share them here.  My limited imagination means that somewhere in “comfort food” category there must lurk potato.  Probably because it has the ability to make one feel full to the paste beads. (More about such sayings later). 
Time has passed quickly this week; well it would wouldn’t it, because I have a new toy.  Have bought a Kindle.  Yes, I know I have a perfectly good Sony ereader, but it was the software that was “doing me head in”.  Synchronisation is either instant or a matter of hours.  No, this is not an exaggeration, hours.  I went on different forums and tweaked around to hasten this procedure.  But it meant that I had to shed some of the documents and books I had on there.  Will not go into long diatribe about it, but suffice it to say I bought a Kindle.  New verb in our house now “Are you kindling?” “I am Kindled out” etc.  But thus far it does work at lightening speed when downloading, and hasn’t groaned at me for having the audacity to put a pdf knitting pattern on.  So occasionally on here with the recommendations I may put one for an ebook.  But can give assurances that anything I suggest will be free.

This week then, there follows 1) Recipe with allied site recommendations for the aforesaid potato.  2) Book recommendation, 3) Podcast recommendation and 4) craft site suggestion.


The potato has many sites dedicated to its existence, but for recipes besides those I give below its worth visiting what the Potato Girls dont know about potatoes twopence wouldnt get their hair cut! 
For Mother and Father Earth there are sites on growing and cooking spuds like
this site has some interesting takes on what to do with a spud: 

No doubt once on the potato fest you will come across hundreds of other sites that raise this "boring" veggie to another level.

Here are my recipes which, as always, are "suggestions" rather than instructions.
For every pound of peeled potatoes you cut into chips you will need in a large bowl:
1 tbs vegetable oil
salt and pepper to season
and according to your personal preference you can add all or some of the following garlic (cloves or puree) Squidge of tomato puree or tomato ketchup
Squidge of mixed herb puree 1 tsp curry powder 1 tsp turmeric ( snazzy coloured chips!)
So having decided on which of the above is going in the oil in the dish, give the lot a good mixing up. If you are unsure just go for the garlic if you like it and or the curry powder.
Add the chips a few at a time to the oil and stir them in so they get evenly coated with the seasoned oil. Eventually you will have added them all.
Spread the chips evenly on a baking tray. (You can line this with parchment and dispense with the washing up!!!)
Cook for 20 mins at mark 7/220/425 they should be brown on the outside and soft on the inside. Don't tell the family how healthy these are compared to ordinary chips or they wont want them!!

Medium similar sized potatoes
Garlic Butter & Herbs to taste (don't worry we will talk about this in a while.
Tin foil cut into squares — one square for each potato.
Put the oven on No7/220/425
Peel the potatoes
Carefully cut the potatoes into slices about quarter of an inch thick DON'T cut through the potatoes entirely, leave them whole. Place each individual potato on a square of tin foil.
Now it’s time to put the garlic butter into the potato slices. You can use bought garlic, butter, or make your own by adding cloves of garlic, or squidges of garlic puree to butter or margarine. At this point mixed herbs can be added from a tube or jar. Of course it goes without saying I like vegan margarine the best for this. Mix the garlic in the margarine in a small dish.
The garlic butter can be inserted into the slices with a knife, or it is easier if the butter is slightly melted and poured into the crevices with a spoon.
Wrap the potatoes in the tin foil and put on a baking tray, and bake for 20 mins and then check to see if one is cooked. A fork should glide into the potato. Unwrap it first! Now you know why they must be a similar size, when one is done they are all done. These are a handy alternative to baked potatoes because they cook so much quicker being sliced through.
Select about 3 medium potatoes per person — normally two would be sufficient serving per person wouldn't it? But remember these are scrumptious! If no medium ones to hand use the ones you have it doesn't matter.    Decent olive oil
Sea salt — oh alright ordinary salt will do at a pinch (pinch gettit?)   Posh foodies might like to add a sprig of Rosemary  or sprig of vine tomatoes.

Peel and halve the potatoes.
Parboil the potatoes. To the uninitiated in the culinary world this means partially cook them only.
Put the potatoes on a baking tray — it's a good idea to put parchment on — but don't go hungry because you have no parchment.
Take a potato masher and give each spud one bash. No masher? Use a fork prongs upward then.
Sprinkle with salt
Steadily drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes. Don't be mean with the oil unless you have bought an inferior one, and then you wont want to taste that anyway. Put in the oven to finish cooking and brown, not forgetting to decorate with the rosemary and or vine tomatoes if used. Now it really doesn't matter if this is a fast or slow process you will have to decide, but let what else is in the oven be the determining factor.
 is Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat.   Available free from your library, free as an ebook, or if you really must it can still be bought and I suggest you nip in Amazon site for absolute bargains on hard copies. Written over a hundred years ago but in such a conversational way that the style isn’t difficult to follow.  The plot is about three hypochondriac blokes who decide to go on a trip to help recuperate from their various imagined ailments.  This book is nice to escape in.  No violence, nothing heavy, just pure pleasantness.  No, it will not challenge the intellect I accept, but reading is to me a pleasure not a chore.  Take a look and see what you think

Earlier I used the phrase “full to the paste beads”, this is a phrase that was common years ago but no so now.  There is a podcast that reveals the meanings and origins of such phrases, (And don’t be prejudiced thinking it will be highbrow), it also mediates between people on correct grammar usage.  I was immensely disappointed to learn this week that it is ok to end a sentence in a preposition.  I have spent the last 50 years assiduously avoiding doing just this.  It is an American podcast called A Way with Words
Available on itunes.  And from the site given.

The humble potato isn’t just for eating!  No no no!  There are crafters who like to do clever stuff with their spuds, (sometimes under the guise of entertaining children, but really it is for their own satisfaction!!!).  So take a look at:  of course Martha Stewart’s site as one would expect has shedloads more than potato stuff!!  So worth a visit even without potato interest.
Clear instructions on this next site for creating the renowned potato stamp

1 comment:

  1. Yum.
    One potato two potato three potato four.

    I think i would turn into a potato cos i like eating them all of the above ways.