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Approximately 3 Things on My MInd

I hilled up the potatoes again.  They are growing nicely, protected from mildew by the copper solution my husband applied.  A second sowing of peas has germinated after the first ones were eaten by whatever made that hole in the foreground.  I keep filling in the holes, collapsing the tunnels, in hopes that whatever will go away to a less tiring place to live.

I made some Moroccan pastries to take for an after-concert repast.  They are fairly rich; some were left over.  So now I have to discipline myself not to eat them all at once.  I try to only take 3 at a time and space out the times.  It reminds me of this verse:

“You are trembling, man Michel, your face has turned pale, because in your mind you are saying, ‘How will I manage to change as weak(-willed) and arrogant a people as they are countless since I do not even feel up to changing my own life?’ ”  The Revelation of Arès 6/1

Not that pastries are on the same level as the creation of a soul, but I can feel the same mechanism working, my weakness facing temptation and nevertheless the necessity to encourage change, that as many as possible resist temptation and practice goodness.

The phone rang at 8:30 this morning.  That is usually either something urgent or a wrong number.  This was from the States so I knew it was probably not good news, being in the middle of the night for them.  My brother-in-law has been admitted to the hospital feeling weak and dizzy, difficulty walking.  He has been valiantly fighting a brain tumor since August 2008.

This is a rose currently blooming near the garage.  I have not been able to determine what variety it is; it exudes a magnificent perfume.

One Potato

This potato was harvested from our garden yesterday.  I show it here with a French one euro coin and an American quarter to help evaluate the size.  Last year our potatoes got the blight and we harvested almost nothing.  That patch was quite weedy so this spring my husband went over it well with the rototiller–three times.  We were not expecting any sprouts from last year, but some did come up and that is where this lovely specimen was produced.  The potatoes we planted this year have also gotten the blight in spite of treating with a copper solution called bouilli bordelaise but they were further along than last year’s so I think we will be able to  harvest some for this winter.

Picture Perfect: I Spy "P"

I spy with my little eye several things we had for dinner that start with “P”–poulet (chicken), patates (pommes de terre, potatoes) and pie.  Not shown, not beginning with “P” are carrots (in the Pan nevertheless) and salad.  Bon appétit!

For more entries on this theme; go to Picture Perfect.


About a quarter past 11, husband called HELP.  He had decided to make farcis (but that is a recipe for another day) and things weren’t working out too well.  The potatoes especially didn’t want to be hollowed.  He set them aside in the food mill saying they can be mashed instead.  After the farcis were in the oven, I thought why not turn the potatoes into gnocchi?

This is a dish that doesn’t call for a lot of high tech material, you need a fork mainly.

You want to make some mashed potatoes that are rather dry, just the potatoes, no milk or butter.  Usually, if I were to start out to make this on purpose, I would steam the potatoes and then put them through the food mill (or ricer).  One kilo potatoes and then add 250 grams flour.  Today I just weighed what potatoes I had and put in ¼ of that weight in flour. I never tried doing this by volume, so I guess in addition to the fork, you need a scale… Mix the flour with the potatoes, trying not to overwork, then roll out in ropes and chop the ropes into bite-size pieces.


Now comes the ancestral gesture I learned from my mother-in-law.  Put each little piece on a fork and roll it sort of into and off of the fork at the same time.  You want to make like tire treads and have a hollow place in the middle, a combination of corkscrew and shell macaroni.



You’ll need a pot of boiling water or broth, salted.  Put the gnocchi in the boiling liquid and when they float , they’re done.  This only takes a couple of minutes.  One would usually make these to accompany a dish that has a lot of liquid, like a light stew, because they are handy to soak up the juices.  You could just serve with a bit of butter and cheese.