Saturday, August 11, 2012

Tattie liftin'

In north Yorkshire, digging and bringing in the potato harvest -- often with the aid of schoolkids let out of school for the purpose, years ago --was a backbreaking labor.  But when your tatties -- potatoes in standard English -- are all contained in one small pot on the patio, it's much more fun.

This is this year's harvest. 
Whenever I get a potato from the store that looks ready to sprout before I get to cook it, I just slice off the part with the most eyes, plant the whole thing in any available planter, and walk away.

Eventually after you observe the foliage coming up and starting to die off, you know to lift it, and  you get a nice little harvest like this, just right for one meal for one.
Here they're lifted and washed, not yet scrubbed -- that turns them a lovely white.   Scrubbed and steamed, pat of butter, black pepper, perfect.

Meanwhile, back at the squash from my farmshare, I got a tip from Elizabeth Gilbert's ancestor's cookbook, Home on the Range (which in fact is tedious reading, the writer evidently thinking longwindedness the soul of wit, but oh well).  Anyway, she merrily puts any veg she fancies into cheese sauce and bakes it, and I thought, aha, self, you can do this too! 

so today it was a giant yellow summer squash, some of which I julienned for the freezer for soup or stirfry. Or, who knows, a yellow squash bread...  The rest of which I steamed then made a nice cheese sauce from scratch -- you know, the roux, the the milk, the the cheese, all that -- and  a crust of crushed potato chips on top, which have been in the freezer for yeah long waiting to be used up.  Layered all this in a casserole, baked at 350 F. for about twenty minutes, the squash already being tender, and enjoyed a dish of it with a nice glass of white zinfandel.

I figured, having attended to my spiritual life with the sending off today of the prayer flag to its destination on the other side of the continent, it was okay to deal with the food requirements of the inner woman.


Minimiss said...

Very green-fingered and waste-not-want-not-ish of you with the spuds. Might have to employ the same idea ourselves. Love the veggies in cheese sauce, especially good ol' spuds.

Anonymous said...

google keeps telling me to give them my mobile number, and nowhere is it saying that my post has gone wherever. so I'm posting this anonymously to see, later, if my original post went. If not, well, it is a lovely prayer flag!

dogonart said...

You brought back to my mind those cold wet muddy days tattie pickin' but reminded me that I bought my first bike (one red tire, one black tire) with my earnings. I like your idea of farming!

Anonymous said...

In Quebec, we dug up spuds on Labour Day weekend. Dug one day, let them dry, bagged them in burlap for storage in the root cellar on my sister-in-law's parents' farm. I am a spud lover, must be some of my Irish ancestry - give me a good bowl of new potatoes over a box of chocolate any day! Jean in Cowtown

Ash said...

I don't like squash but you made it sound delicious!!