Tuesday, July 27, 2021

When Life Gives You Potatoes, Make Lemonade

Earlier in July, The Ravishing Mrs. TB set a partial bag of potatoes on the counter.  "They are sprouting" she note.  

For a great many people in the modern world, this would likely mean either throwing them away or composting them.  For the rest of us, that means opportunity.

Doing a little searching in the garage, I found I had two plastic planters from the lime trees (they that expired in Cold Snap 2021 but are coming back) and some rocks from way back in Old Home, when we paid a rather foolish amount of for landscaping) to help with drainage.

I also had the well rotted rabbit pellets available to scoop on top of said gravel to place the potatoes in and cover them:

\

And here we are 2.5 weeks later, with sprouts.  The straw laid on top was also courtesy of the rabbits.



Actual cost of this exercise:  $0.00 as all of the materials were already paid for and on hand.

The reality is, anyone could do this - yes, maybe they do not have plastic containers or soil on hand, but what is the cost of those things - $5?  Part of the issue with the side of promoting gardening and home food production is sometimes we overcomplicate the issue.  The concept of gardens can be overwhelming to some people (good heaven, it overwhelms me at times).  The concept of potting a single potato, less so.

Am I going to offset a food crisis with this?  No.  Maybe I will get a meal out of it (Baked potatoes slathered in butter are the best).  But what I did do is take a potentially failing item and use it to my advantage.

We cannot always make lemonade out of potatoes. But learning to capitalize on the resources at hand is something we can all get better at.

 

16 comments:

  1. My father in law used coffee cans to start his plants. He built a platform in the living room and turned it into a jungle every spring.

    I haven’t seen a coffee can in years… but I suppose the plastic ones would work too…

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glen, metal coffee cans are still available. Cafe du Monde uses them, as do some European blends. They are not really any more expensive than other coffee and frankly, I can always find a use for a metal can.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous9:31 AM

    If they get to this point I break the sprouts off and throw them in a pot and turn them into mashed potatoes. Never tasted any difference. But a large baked potato with butter can be a meal for me. I have chives growing this year and they've graced the top of a few of them this summer.
    Margi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margi - How interesting. I never thought of trying that as an alternative - but I will, next time.

      But yes, one of life's real little pleasures is a baked potato in butter. And chives for the win!

      Thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  3. We are currently up to our eyeballs in potatoes and I still have another row left to harvest. My favorite is running a couple through the cheese grater and frying them with an over easy egg on top. We also had them in a Spanish omelet the other day as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ed, I have never had amazing luck with normal potatoes (I did plant some this year that were sprouting in the garden but they are not thriving) although my sweet potatoes are going to beat the band.

      Your recipe sounds similar (sans egg, of course) to potato latkes, which we love. I also like Potato Farls (Northern Irish dish, consisting of boiling potatoes, then mashing them, then making a circle and frying it).

      Potatoes, at least to me, seem like they have gotten an unfair rap as a food. It is unfortunate; they are a very versatile food.

      Delete
    2. I guess we make Farls too though we call them smashed potatoes. We usually bake the smashed circles though instead of frying them.

      Potatoes are the food of my grandparent's generation, at least in these parts. I remember going to the grocery store and picking up bags from huge piles of bagged potatoes and it was more or less a staple like flour, milk and eggs. But I think in this age of diets, especially low carb ones, they have faded away along with many other things that used to be regulars in our household meals.

      Delete
    3. Ed - That sounds like a similar thing. Baked sounds good as well.

      Potatoes were in my parents' generation as well: we had baked potatoes and mashed potatoes and potatoes in things. We would always have a bag. But yes, the low carb craze has definitely ruled things like them out. A shame, really, as often we substitute artificial food for real.

      Delete
  4. Anyone who read Andy Weir's "The Martian" knows what a perfect food a potato is! (unless you're diabetic, I guess, and not supposed to eat them)

    If I don't eat the peels (red potatoes are my favorites) they just go in the compost pile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed, not the friend of diabetics.

      That said, they just seem to have gotten a bad rap.

      The Ravishing Mrs. TB makes a mean red potato casserole where the potatoes are thinly sliced, layered into a baking dishes with salt, pepper, and butter, and baked. They are delicious.

      Delete
  5. That's great TB!!! I guess you can't really make potatoe-ade...I wouldn't want to drink that lol ;) Being resourceful is wonderful!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rain, probably "vodka" counts as potato-ade, although not a highly recommended one...

      Delete
  6. Excellent idea and excellent post! We don't always feel that small experiments make a difference, but just trying something and learning from it are invaluable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Leigh!

      I am actually terrible at this, and I should be better. I tend to build things up in my mind, the sort of "I must build Rome" to be successful at something. In point of fact, Rome was not built in a day. And small things can lead to big things.

      (Or not. One of my greatest ideas once upon a time was bottling beer in mason jars to make reusable containers and lids. Sadly, a complete failure...)

      Delete
  7. What a good idea and will follow up with it when we finally move into our own home. I have done big potato crops when on the farm in France, but it was hard work. Pots seem more effortlessly more do-able!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vera, another interesting idea the Gentleman that keeps cattle on The Ranch is doing is essentially taking a light burlap bag, filling it with some straw and soil, and putting potatoes in it. As they grow up he will add straw. I will try to get a picture of it next visit.

      Delete

Your comment will be posted after review. Thanks for posting!