Hot Potato, Couch Potato, Mr. Potato Head

Good news, we think the comment feature is fixed. Whew!

As it turns out. Well…It could have been…”operator error.”

I’m not surprised. I have a curse, a hex, a jinx when it comes to computer programs.

On with this potato post!

Won’t you try the comment feature at the bottom and tell us what your favorite dish is that you make with plain old white potatoes?

One of my favorites is a big, perfectly baked potato. I add butter, sour cream, grated cheese, chives, salt and pepper. And maybe some crumbled bacon. Mash it together with a fork. And enjoy while it’s piping hot. Hot potato.

It’s simple and easy and quick comfort food.

Read on for the secret to a the perfect baked potato every time. Or if you’re in a hurry, skip down to “Seven Potato.”

As in One potato, two potato, three potato, four, five potato, six potato, seven potato, more.” 

(The plural problem never bothered me until now. Two “potato”? Where’s the “s”?)

One potato.

 “I bought a big bag of potatoes and it’s growing eyes like crazy. Other foods rot.

Potatoes want to see.”

Bill Callahan

Bill knew what he was talking about. Potatoes do indeed want to see.

Like.

You buy a big sack of potatoes, far too big for your small family. You buy it because it’s on sale and cheaper than the smaller bag. You know you can’t resist a bargain. Ever.

On you way home from the grocery store you recite in your head the list of things you’ll do with the huge sack of potatoes in the backseat – hash browns, potato salad, mashed potatoes, latkes, um…. what else? Baked potatoes, boiled potatoes, roasted potatoes, sautéed potatoes. And that’s it. You’re out of ideas. 10 pounds of potatoes and only 8 ideas.

Those 8 ideas run out fast. Way before the potatoes do.

Next thing you know the potatoes in your pantry are growing eyes, wanting “to see,” as Bill said. But it’s dark in your pantry, so not much for them to see there.

And then green shoots pop out of your potatoes. You hate to toss them out. Maybe you’ll cut around the shooting green eyes and use the potatoes still. And truthfully, you do still EYE them. You do still consider them. When you look in your pantry for something to make for dinner you do notice those aging potatoes. But without fail, because of the eyes and the shoots, you pass them by as you reach for a can of green beans or bag of rice. Soon you don’t even notice the potatoes any more when you look into your pantry for dinner. (It’s the same thing that happens to junk in my house. It fades into the background; I don’t see it anymore…until company is coming.)

And then one day.

You get home from work, open your door and smell that awful smell. What could it be?? Did a mouse die in here? You look high and low for the source of that odor.

Suddenly you remember the old bargain potatoes in your pantry, with the eyes and the sprouts.

You go into the pantry and P-U! That’s it. Several potatoes have rotten. Now you can (finallly) throw them all out. But the smell lingers.

And you vow to never again buy 10 pounds of potatoes no matter how cheap they are.

Until you forget your vow.

Oh, the vicious cycle of potato ownership.

PS “You”= “Me”

Two potato.

Another potato saying, this one not from Bill.

(Or if it is from Bill he gets no credit for it. Anonymous does.)

“The same boiling water that softens the potato hardens an egg.”

It’s about your substance, what you’re made of, not about your circumstances or environment.

See? It’s not the water, it’s me. I can’t change the fact that every now and then I’m stuck in boiling water, but I can change what I do about it.

Three potato.

You say “pa-tay-toe” and I say “tater.”

I used to work with someone whose son was called Tater. I assumed it was a nickname but was never sure. I like taters and eat taters and sometimes grow taters and bake tater tots. But as a name? I mean, you just know that through-out his elementary education and maybe on into high school, he heard through-out the school halls, “MR TATER HEAD!”

Of course, what anyone chooses to name their child is not for me to approve of or not approve of. People can call their children and each other whatever they want to with no interference from me.

Now that I think about it.

Me sharing my opinion about Tater’s name just goes to show that I have been sucked into the idea that I need to have an opinion on everything. And to share that opinion.

I blame social media. (Just ask my daughter, I blame social media for A LOT of things. Social media has become the scape goat for a lot of things.)

Four.

FullSizeRender (38)

Four PotatoeS

“Scattered, Smothered, and Covered”

Phrase heard in every Waffle House in the land

There’s an all-night breakfast restaurant chain in the south called the “Waffle House.” The nickname is “Awful Waffle,” but it’s not awful. It’s yummy. And it’s open 365/24/7. Just to give you an idea of its popularity, there are 3 Waffle Houses in my area. 3.

Waffle House is famous not only for their waffles, but also for their hash browns. They serve hash browns scattered (spread on the grill, crunchy goodness), hash browns smothered (chopped and sautéed onions on top), hash browns covered (with melted American cheese), and hash browns scattered, smothered, and covered, which is what I recommend for you to order when you stop into some random Waffle House in the south at 2 am and don’t have a reason not to up your cholesterol intake for the day. These days you can also get your hash browns chunked (with diced ham), diced (with diced tomatoes), or topped (with chili).

Wikipedia calls the Waffle House a “regional cultural icon.” I do not disagree.

I’m kinda wanting some hash browns right now.

Five potato.

I helped harvest a field of potatoes one year. It looked like fun as I drove by my farmer-friends and their families down on their knees in the potato field. They were filling 5-gallon paint buckets with potatoes. I stopped by and volunteered my services.

The tractor had already loosened the earth to release the potatoes beneath the surface. The job involved running my hands through the dirt to find and gently harvest the potatoes. I  harvested even the small (rejected ones) and placed them in my own bucket, compensation for my labor. The kids worked quickly and efficiently, filling their buckets — no belly-aching (that’s southern for complaining.)

That’s one big reason why I admire country kids. Strong work ethic.

There are many more reasons.

Six potato.

 “It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.”

Douglas Adams

I’m not so sure about that, Douglas.

I think a lot of problems can be solved by sharing them with listening and caring friends. I think it’s even better when sharing a cup of tea, a glass of wine, a fire, or a meal of a loaded baked potato. Friends and comfort food? Yeah, that solves a lot of problems.

I had a special conversation the other day with a special friend. We talked about how it helps lighten your load of problems when you share them with a friend you trust. There is healing magic in talking things through. Keeping them tightly locked inside and putting a fake smile causes stress and headaches and stomach aches and insomnia.

So, reach out to a friend.

And make her a baked potato?

Seven potato.

When was the last time you had a loaded Baked Potato for dinner? I am happy to say that I know the secret of a perfect baked potato every time.

Here ’tis.

 

IMG_1502 (1)

I see the type-o in that recipe now. After all this time. “Pierce potato with 4 times.” Oh well, you know what I mean.

 

More.

Remember the game HOT POTATO from your childhood?

You pass a potato around a circle of people, getting rid of it as quickly as possible.

Because.

You don’t want to me the person who has the potato when the music stops. That person loses.

As kids we played that one at every birthday party. Oh, and also “Button, Button, Whose Got the Button.” Remember that one?

Gah, life was simple then, wasn’t it?

I wonder what happened to make things so complicated.

Oh, I know. It is probably social media’s fault!

 

Don’t forget to leave a comment and tell us your favorite dish to make with white potatoes.

Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, Rebekah, The City Farmgirl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment 27 Comments

  1. Carol says:

    I love a good baked potato with cheese, salt, pepper, sour cream and lots of butter. I also love scattered, smothered, covered and diced!

  2. Ramona Puckett says:

    Love your posts and especially this one about the potato!

  3. Marlene Capelle says:

    There’s no such thing as a favorite potato dish. They are all equally fabulous. The potato is the greatest gift the world has ever given to mankind When I was a kid I would always offer to do the dishes when we had potatoes so I could eat all the leftovers. Wait, I still do.

  4. Aidan says:

    I would say my favorite is either mashed potatoes or scalloped potatoes. I miss Waffle House so much! We don’t have them in California.

  5. SUZANNE QUALLS says:

    My VERY FAVORITE way to fix potatoes is to slice them thinly and then slice a big onion and fry them together in a mixture of olive oil and butter. Used to use bacon grease, but rarely have bacon any more. Don’t do this as much as I used to do, but still just love them.
    Then, of course, there are scalloped potatoes and baked potatoes, and potato soup (which I make once a month in the winter time.
    I just love potatoes.

  6. Dee Carter says:

    I use to eat a lot of white potatoes but because of the carbs in them I eat very little of them. I also had some potatoes that were growing……and thought I need to use them. So I decided we hadn’t had potato salad for a long time and I make a good macaroni salad dressing so thought it would work on the potato salad. It was so good and yummy. My hubby said he liked it because it wasn’t dry. I even ate some of it and cheated!

    But some of my favorite ways is baked, home fries and now potato salad.

  7. Mary Rauch says:

    Potatoes are my friends. Do you ever get hungry and don’t know what you want? When that feeling comes to me, I bake or microwave a potato and spoon out some of it and mix with “whatever I have handy that tempts my tastebuds”, add some salt and ground calico pepper and a big pinch of Nutritional Yeast (because I should NOT have dairy). Then I repack the potato and reheat it and get busy with a spoon and a smile!

    I really enjoyed your comments on my beloved potatoes!….

  8. Ramona says:

    Have you ever thought about canning them so they would be ready for hashbrowns or hash or whatever you want to cook quick.

  9. Rebecca says:

    I love potatoes but my favorite way to eat them Is baked. Not microwaved but baked. Yum. It makes me hungry just thinking about it.

  10. Donna Kozak says:

    Hi, Rebekah – I also blame a lot of things on social media ! My favourite potatoes are oven fries..done in the oven with with lots of olive oil and salt & pepper..Yum.. I feel so healthy after eating them !!

  11. Bonnie B says:

    Ah, Rebekah, so many wonderful things to create with potatoes! You hit on so many, but not one of my favorites – potato soup! Nothing is better (to me) on a cold rainy day then a big bowl of potato soup. Dress it up with shredded cheese, green onion and bacon. YUM!!

  12. Dianne says:

    People have asked me how I’D do my baked potato. I scrub the tater well and put it in the microwave for 5-6 minutes (depending on size) longer for bigger taters. I preheat my oven to 400 degrees. When the taters come out of the microwave I put each one in foil and drizzle with olive oil and s&p. I wrap them tight and in the oven they go. They are creamy inside with a crispy skin. Then LOTS of butter. I always eat the skin because it is nice and crispy.My friend just puts her naked potato in her oven just on the rack. All I know is most people love potatoes. Thanks Rebekah for delving into the potato.

  13. Sharon says:

    I’m a country girl from Texas and potatoes have always been a favorite part of our meals. We could eat them every meal is some form or other. I have two favorite forms, although it’s difficult to decide!! Haha!! I love crunchy hash browns fried in a cast iron skillet, crunchy on both sides and soft in the middle. Then for a very quick dinner, I enjoy a kind of potato hash, I call it. One or two large potatoes, scrubbed with the skins on, sliced thin in round pieces, cut from one end and keep slicing until finished; then one or two carrots, peeled and cut in round thin slices, one large onion, cut in thin circles. Have melted grease in medium size cast iron skillet, I use bacon grease or corn oil, two to three tablespoons. When grease is ready to sizzle, not fry hot, pour in all veggies, add salt and pepper to taste, stir a little to coat all veggies, put a cover on and steam and gently brown until tender and some pieces are crunchy. Delicious!!! For a variation, chop German sausage is small circles and add half way through cooking. Delicious!! This “one pan supper” is a hefty amount and will feed a group of people. Add s salad on the side (and ketchup for those who like it) and dinner is done in about 20 minutes.
    Thank You for giving us the chance to share our favorite potatoes!! I also love them in every other possible way!! Lol!!
    Ohhhhhh, I DO love your writings in Mary Janes Farm Magazine!! I never miss them!! ♥️

  14. Janet Kynerd says:

    I love potatoes any way they are prepared, but my favorite way would be home fries like my mother used to make. I enjoy your blog.

  15. Susi Nord says:

    My husband discovered Jacket Potatoes on a business trip to England and I love them. Basically a stuffed baked potato with butter, baked beans and shredded cheese. I was very skeptical about the beans but I love them.

  16. Krissel says:

    Potatoes for posters! Carving shapes into the end of half a tater and giving to the little kids to dip and print with! They think I’m magical and fun! It’s not me it’s the taters! Lol!

  17. Sandi King says:

    So glad the comment thing is fixed. Thought maybe you didn’t want any on your post LOL. Anyway, I love baked potatoes loaded with real butter, sour cream, green onions/chives, shredded cheese and then sometimes cheese sauce all by itself. Fattening for sure, but oh, so comforting. The potato is ‘the comfort food’ for when you need to be comforted. I love to make potato salad in the summer for our cookouts. I also love to eat the potato wedges my sister-in-law, Laura makes. Oh so yummy. French Fries and Hamburgers another favorite. Mashed potatoes once in a while, roast potatoes with pork, carrots, onions, and celery is a favorite crock pot meal. So many things you can do with potatoes, I make home made hash browns, fried potatoes and onions, potato soup with bacon is a favorite winter meal. And when I get a bag of potatoes and don’t use them before the eyes appear and the sprouts start, I will use them to plant in the ground by cutting pieces with eyes and plopping them down in the hole I make in a mound of soil. So versatile is the potato and easy to grow, and home grown potatoes really do taste best. Small ones are great for dicing and frying without removing the skin. Well, here’s to the Potato. Thanks for posting this one, so entertaining.

  18. Patti says:

    Mashed Potatoes! Nothing fancy, just plenty of butter, 1 tsp. salt, pepper, Red Robin’s Season Salt, and milk. Yum!! Also love them cut into chunks, placed in a hot cast iron skillet with olive oil and butter, season with some salt, pepper, and garlic herb seasoning, and placed on the grill. Delicious.

  19. Connie says:

    I love potatoes and enjoyed years of fresh ones when we lived in southern Idaho. We could follow the machine diggers and fill lots of bags of them. Some were so big, one would make mashed potatoes for the 7 of us. I love them baked with all the fixings, potato soup, hash browns, and cut in chunks with olive oil drizzled on top and sprinkled with garlic salt, onion powder and dried herbs and baked in the oven. And of course, mashed with sour cream, cream, and lots of butter. Potatoes are food from the Gods!

  20. Ariel says:

    A lovely baked potato stuffed with cottage cheese and salsa.

  21. Pauline Heller says:

    Potatoes au gratin

    5 lb. bag of potatoes pealed and sliced thinly. Diced onion. Sauce mix starting with a rue, adding milk, three cheeses (yellow american, cheddar, and velvetta). Simmer constantly stirring for what seems like an eternity until sauce almost bubbles over. Layer potatoes, onion and cheese sauce several times. Bake @ 375 until tender.

    DELICIOUS!

  22. Ruth Merritt says:

    Hi, ART – Even though I haven’t made this casserole for years, my working mother made it a lot for us as a quick, easy, one-dish meal. Layer slices of white potatoes in 13 X 9 dish with sliced onion and some kind of sausage – kielbasa, pork breakfast sausage or Italian. Then pour canned tomatoes over all and bake until done. While it was cooking we kids were expected to finish our homework and busy ourselves until Dad came home. Fond memories of winter suppers which were hardy and satisfying.

    Always enjoy your blogs, sweet one. Keep up the good work. Take care of yourself.

    Love, Ruthie

  23. Judy Kennedy says:

    I love potatoes loaded or not. A little truffle oil and salt and pepper is great too but my all time favorite is Colcannon basically mashed potatoes with LOTS of butter and cream and greens mixed in. It is Irish and amazing. I love kale and some green onions mixed in but you can use cabbage. Bacon can be added too. It is a warm comfort food and I like to think the kale makes it healthy…mmmm.

  24. Kathy Hansen says:

    We are retired potato farmers from Idaho so love potatoes! When riding the potato digger I would have to pull off potatoes that were too big! I kept them by my feet to take to the house at the end of the day. There would be potatoes that were so big just one would feed our family of 6! We especially like to grate them to fry in hot oil and butter until crispy. Our grandkids love them this way. I miss the farm, especially the smell of the dirt, but feel blessed to still live in the country where we can grow a large garden and fruit trees.

    • SUZANNE QUALLS says:

      Just wanted to comment on Kathy’s text. I have never lived on a farm, but must have in a previous life. I love to garden. Right now, we live in a city and are renting, so, gardening is impossible. However, I’ve bought many pots of different sizes and am now planting a container garden. I have had a garden of some sort no matter where we have lived. If I can’t get my hands in the “dirt” occasionally, I don’t know what I would do. I can empathize with Kathy about missing the smell of the dirt. It’s comforting to know that I can have my garden no matter how big or small and no matter if it’s in the ground or containers. HAPPY GARDENING!

  25. Jessica R Schumacher says:

    Oh potatoes, how my family loves you! We can fry you, bake you, cook you, roast you, sear you, smother you, mash you, and make soup out of you, and you are always the star of the meal! As a Texas country gal, potatoes were a staple in our home. We feasted on potatoes and Mom’s homemade gravy more times than I can count. My parents grow potatoes for the family to share, there truly is nothing better than a homegrown potato! To harvest a potato crop behind an antique FarmAll tractor pulling a harrow with Daddy walking and guiding the harrow is like a walk back in time.. I love harvesting the family potato crops! Daddy always let me drive the tractor, he walks behind the harrow and the beautiful red potatoes appear like magic once the soil is turned. It’s about that time here in South Texas to harvest the potato crop, and oh the smell of the dirt and the thrill of the harvest of those ruby gems!

    Potatoes truly are a food from the Gods! I love potatoes cooked in any way fashion or form; however my favorite is French fries from red potatoes roasted in the oven w/ olive oil and sea salt❤️

  26. Tammie Zuker says:

    I love your blog. When I read what you write I feel calm and relaxed :) (Truth be told, I don’t get upset very often so that isn’t a difficult place to be… but I love it.)
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and pictures… and thank you for always sharing the positive rather than negative side of life.

    Potatoes… when I have a craving for food, it is always potatoes. I recently tried the purple potatoes and they are yummy! Boil till tender, add a little pink salt (which is course) and olive oil or butter and a touch of pepper… Yummy!

Leave a Reply to Kathy Hansen Cancel Your Response

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>