16 September 2010

Finish your potatoes!

I guess it's usually carrots, sprouts, or spinach that parents are telling their children to finish before they can leave the table. Not potatoes — they are too delicious. Boiled, mashed, fried, sauteed, baked, roasted... let me count the ways.

King Edward potatoes grown in our garden

I finished our potatoes day before yesterday. No, I didn't eat them all — I dug them all. Harvested them. There were half a dozen plants left out of the two dozen or so that we planted last spring. Jean and Nick of A Very Grand Pressigny gave us the seed potatoes as a gift. Jean had carefully sprouted — "chitted" — them in egg cartons on her window sill in England before bringing them to France in early April.

Sorted by size and ready to go into the cellar
for good eating this autumn and winter.

I planted them in a plot out in the far back corner of our garden where a big compost pile used to be located. The soil there is rich, black, and loose, and therefore perfect for root vegetables. The potatoes — of the British variety called King Edwards — obviously liked the growing conditions. The potatoes above represent the harvest from just five or six plants.

Some of these will go into a truffade this coming weekend.

One of my next kitchen projects is to make a truffade using these potatoes. La truffade is a specialty of the Auvergne region that we learned about last September when we went down there for a few days. Here's a recipe from a post I did last year. Try it. It's easy, and it's very rich and filling.


  1. Beautiful potatoes! Are you saving some for seed for next year?

    A few days ago, I found a few leftover potatoes from last spring beginning to grow in the soil in one of my boxes as I prepared it to plant carrots.

    I think I'm going to plant a few every few weeks this fall to see what works best here.

    The truffade sounds absolutely delicious. I'll be making that soon!

  2. Walt has an Auvergne photo on his blog and now you are talking truffades- makes me long for la France!

    Your potatoes are the a big success for sure! You planted them in the right place and they must have been good specimens to begin with.

    I saw this recipe yesterday which might be good to make with your potatoes:

  3. Wow, I had no idea that one small bag of seed potatoes could be so prolific. Must be that you had the right conditions for growing them. I'm sure I read somewhere that using some of the crop for next year's seed potatoes does not work too well, but it would probably be worth a try.

  4. Indeed, it was vegetables that we had to eat before leaving the table. One of my favorite ways to accomplish that was to bury the vegetables in my mashed potatoes!

  5. Ken - I have looked at some potato-growing websites and the problem with using this season's potatoes to grow next year's plants is the possibility of disease being introduced. Bought seed-potatoes are generally disease-free. For such a modest outlay in the cost of commercial seed-potatoes, it's probably not worth risking the disappointment of the crop failing. I could easily supply you with some more !!

  6. great work Ken! we are taking up some of our spuds as well. we have TONS. Gene over at the Contrary Farmer (author Gene Logsdon) has a way of keeping his in a "natural cellar". I'm going to try his method this year as well as canning some of ours.

    Love the recipe - seems very Swiss. And yes, I'd put an egg on top for breakfast. I laughed when I saw the label for the cheese.. I'm been giving cheese making a go. A "tomme" is a type of cheese as well as a mold shape - I just got one. I did a post today on cheese making. Of course, lots of stupid jokes about cutting the cheese, as you can imagine. But as least we have fun!

    Happy thursday!

  7. Oh, yes, I remember that recipe (and the post about it) well :))) I was watching some kind of travel show this past year and the folks were in Switzerland... and they were eating something like that, as I recall. I thought of you, and that post!

    Great job with the 'tater crop :)


  8. Wonderful potatoes!

    I seem to remember you saying they were similar to Yukon Gold, but that you can't get, or perhaps grow, YGs in France. That so? Or maybe I mis-remember.


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?