Saturday, July 5, 2008

Of Dragons and Baseballs


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.

20 comments:

Nadine said...

Those potatoes look divine. I'm trying my hand at tomatoes for the first time. Maybe potatoes next year? :-)

Bobbi said...

Yummy - potatoes, my favorite food group!

I have done something new with my potatoes this summer. I've taken used tires and put a small amount of soil in the bottom and then nestled my seed potatoes in the bottom. I then covered the potatoes with compost.

Every few weeks as the potato vines grow, I cover the vines up to about 2-3 inches with more compost. I now have tires full of potatoes and they are nice an clean because of the compost. They are much easier to harvest as well!

Aisling said...

Sadly, I have become allergic to nightshade veggies, but this all looks delicious anyway. Plus, great story about growing them. Gardening offers many surprises!

I enjoy your blog. Don't know if I've commented before. :)

Electronic Goose said...

Oh, this made me drool. I love potatoes!

abbie said...

I've got to grow some potatoes! What varieties do you recommend? Even though we're in different climates... Just wondering.
I'm making a local meal tonight of fish we caught yesterday, squash from my family's farm, salad from my garden, and corn from the farmer's market. Now if I just had some potatoes... Mmmmmm.

Melinda said...

That's so awesome! Yum. When did you plant the potatoes btw?

We have planted 2 wine barrels + 2 smaller containers full of potatoes. Can't wait to taste them...

eco 'burban mom said...

As always, beautiful and delicious at the same time! It puts my Farmer's Market potatoes to shame. Maybe my boys would eat something as scary sounding as Dragon's Tounges!

Jennifer said...

Those look so good! I HAVE to plant some next year.

Melissa said...

I know this wasn't the main point of the post, but what a great idea to put radishes in the bruschetta! I never would have thought of that - but I bet it gives it a nice tang and crunch!

Lisa Sharp said...

Yummy! When I have room for a garden I want to plant potatoes!

Also I have a challenge going on at my blog I think you will like, check it out. :)

Chile said...

Great meal! And so nice that you made the discovery when a neighbor was there and got her all excited about it.

Green Bean said...

Nadine: This is my first year planting potatoes - or anything more than tomatoes really. They are SO easy to grow.

Bobbi: Hmm. Never heard of that but I bet you'll end up with TONS of potatoes.

Aisling: Oh no! Allergic to nightshade veggies. Now THAT is a bummer. Thank you for visiting. :)

EG: Ahh. The new mom. I hope things are going okay with you and the little one. Nice to see you back in the cyber world!

Abbie: I've grown purple peruvians, yukon golds, red rose (I think that's what they are called), and a number of different fingerlings. I like a mixture of colors and textures and they all seem to grow the same. BTW, the plants are beautiful.

Melinda: Hm. Can't remember. In March maybe. The ones I planted in January yielded only a couple potatoes total. Note to self. Planting potatoes in January doesn't work so well.

EcoBurbs: I've been living on farmers market potatoes but homegrown . . . I had NO idea they would be so easy. I'll have to post a photo of the dragon's tongue pre-cooked. Along with the scary name, they are really gorgeous - before the color gets washed out.

Chile: I do hope it will inspire her! She's gone all green on the gardening front with a push mower and rake and was asking me about clotheslines the other day.

Jennifer: You totally have to plant them. They are really easy and a beautiful plant.

Lisa: Yes. Potatoes are fun to grow! I'll have to hop over and check out your blog. :)

Green Bean said...

Melissa: I know! I was trying to use things up and also stretch out the bruschetta and wondered how the radishes might taste sliced up in it. Awesome! I'm going to include them almost every time from here on out.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Oh, that's so exciting you got some potatoes! Talk about local, taking them from your yard to the table. I bet that was a special meal.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

I was just out in the yard adding more soil to my potato plants! I'm very excited to see how we do, this is my very first time trying them.

Also, they were given to me by a friend, so there's no expense other than time involved in trying them! I have La Ratte, All Blue and German Butterball. Months from now...I'll have potatoes. Still waiting on everything else, too.

Congrats on your garden and influencing your neighbor!

kale for sale said...

Your potato and neighbor surprise is much more fun than the farmers' market but I have been getting potatoes dug the day before there. When they're so fresh it almost feels blasphemous to call them just a potato.

Domestic Accident said...

Your local eating looks so much better than mine dolled up like that. Delicious.

Green Bean said...

Jennifer: It was a special meal! I can't believe how much better homegrown potatoes taste than even farmers' market bought.

Hatchet: I can't wait to see what you think when you taste them. These were my second harvest - my first were pretty puny. That were AMAZING! Happyy gardening.

Katrina: So true. Potato implies a simple, dull vegetable. There is nothing simple or dull about these buttery little devils.

Domestic Accident: Pshaw! Yours looks pretty darn delicious, yourself!

Beany said...

Yummy!

I thought of you this past weekend when I noticed (too late) a basket of fava beans. I had already spent all my money and am hoping fava bean season isn't too short because I want to make that dip you did a few weeks back.

Green Bean said...

Beany: I'm not sure what the season is where you live (Philly? right?) but I just made that dip tonight. At least here near the coast, the season extends for quite some time. Here's wishing you some favapalooza on your next farmers' market outing!

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