It was a Wednesday evening. My boys had joined the neighbor children's endeavor to extract money from anyone brave enough to veer near our street. They were selling organic lemonade. They stood on the sidewalk alternately yelling "Lemonade for Sale" or "A customer! A customer!"
While chatting with my neighbor, I deadheaded my butterfly garden, yanked weeds out of the pumpkin patch (e.g., sidewalk strip) and pulled out a dying potato plant. For some reason, I thought, potatoes never seemed to do well when I planted them on the south side of the house. I made a mental note and smoothed their compost hill along the soil and in between the lavender and pepper plants. My hand struck something solid and round - the size of a baseball. I eased out a large red rose potato.
"Is that a potato?" My neighbor stopped mid-sentence. She gawked as I pulled out two, four, five more baseball sized potatoes. "Sure is," I responded with my own awe. "Whoa, I should plant some of those. My husband would love it." She continued.
Bidding her goodbye, I gathered my babies (the potatoes) up and headed inside. I sliced up those beautiful potatoes. The knife slipped through them easily, the interior creamy and yellow. Splattering them with local olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper, I roasted them for a half an hour.
We ate our front yard potatoes with a locally baked baguette, brushcetta made from heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, radish, balsamic vinegar and olive oil - all courtesy of the farmers' market - and the first homegrown Dragon's Tongue beans of the season.
Baseballs and dragon's tongues, from seed to plate? It is not a fairy tale but it tastes like one.