When my Dad came to visit a few weeks ago he brought me a box full of seed potatoes.Once they were good and sprouted I placed them on our kitchen window sill to chit. I am waiting for the potatoes to turn a bit green and for Chance and I to figure out where we want to plant them.
In the past we have not been successful potato farmers.We have tried every way of growing them with no luck but, we have not given up on potatoes because like every thing else you grow for your self homegrown potatoes are the best,smooth, creamy and not at all starchy like the store ones.
Recently I was talking to my Mom as she was cooking her dinner,she was making a pot of mashed potatoes and as she poured the cooking water off she told me this.My Mom always feels a bit wasteful when she just dumps the potato water down the drain.Growing up my Mom was raised by her Grandparents and her Grandmother always saved the potato cooking water for cooking other things. Saving the water was an economical way of adding some nutrition to their diet.When you boil any food a lot of the nutrition ends up in its cooking water,that's why soup is so tasty.
One of the things my Great Grandma used the potato water for was baking bread. Although there are actual Potato Bread recipes which call for some Mashed Potatoes to be added to the dough, Great Grandma was just adding the water and the vitamins to boost the nutritional value of the bread. To do this you simply replace either all of the liquid in the recipe or even just part of it. My Mom told me that if I used the water in a bread recipe it would not change the texture of the dough like the mashed potatoes do in Potato Breads. Mom also pointed out that if you salt your potatoes while they are cooking you may want to adjust the amount of salt you use in any recipe.
The other way Great Grandma used the potato water was when she made soups.I have had a couple of Vegetarian friends tell me they do this as well.One friend even said she saves the potato skins when she peels them to make a soup stock base with.
I have yet to try either one of these but is now on my radar for the next time I boil some potatoes.
Life here at Hrafinstaad is really rolling along. Last Friday Chance went and picked up a Gravenstein apple tree for our yard.Gravenstein's are my most favorite apple there is. These apples are not keepers which makes for a very small window of time when a person can find them on the market and I am thinking that is why many farmers don't grow them.The Gravenstein's are the best all around apple,sweet,yet tart,crisp and juicy.Perfection to my pallet.
While I was at work Chance and Sol did a big final clean up of the back yard .Sol also planted some root crops for me,beets and carrots.
Sol's green thumb is blindingly green,that boy can grow State Fair Blue Ribbon winning anything.Give that kid some seeds to plant and watch out.One year Sol and I planted some Sunflowers together from the same seed packet,the ones Sol planted were the size of Montana with heads 3 feet across and 10 feet high, mine were just average. I will laugh my head off if the roots he planted grow so huge too.I can see the headlines now, "Boy grows 100 pound carrots and feeds the nation with them."
Yesterday was a day away from the house,we took the boys and their friend to downtown Portland to the Saturday Market. (Yes, I know I said Saturday and yesterday was Sunday but it works that way.) Saturday Market is one of our local crafts markets located on the water front under one of our bridges here. The only thing we bought at the market was lunch.
After Saturday Market we we walked up the street to a guitar shop where we parted ways with the two older boys, life with teens is full of partings. Sol is learning to play Delta Blues Slide guitar a very American style of music and a dieing art. Once inside the the guitar shop Sol fell in love with a Steel Guitar and had himself a mini jam session.
As for me I fell in love with these vintage Valentines at an antique shop we stopped in.I have a small collection of vintage Valentines.I love them especially the ones with things written on them.The airplane one is from Daddy and has a sweet little note written on the back.
Our final stop before the grocery store was our Goodwill Bins.Chance and I want to hang the larger sized Christmas lights in the trees in our backyard,the only place to find them this time of year would be the thrift stores.We did find one string of the lights but Chance also found a whole basket of clothes pins.My final tale of the posting is about these type of pins. I told my Mom about our find and she relayed this to me.
My Mom grew up during WW 2 and metal anything was scarce including the clip style of clothes pins, the metal for the springs was needed to fight the war. Since everyone hung their wash to dry everyone had clothes pins. The only ones you could find were like the ones I bought,my Great Grandma hated them; I guess they don't work as well. I am stubborn and will try them out anyway,you never know maybe I can get them to work.If not I am sure one of my crafty friends could use them to make some creation with.
Rain is in the forecast for this week so I am not too sure how much planting will get done.It is early in the growing season so there is still plenty of time. Everyday I see more and more signs that Spring is really here and I am glad.