Saturday, January 28, 2012


Last year our friend Sue was obsessed with potatoes. She planted 40 varieties, which she documented to discover which type gave the best yield and which were best for which purposes. After Farmdoc's surgery she gave us a gift of around a dozen varieties with instructions that we were to note how each type did. We planted them as instructed but we haven't dug any up yet, so we haven't had to formally present our report.

This year she had recovered from her obsession: she planted only 35 varieties!

Sue is an adventurous cook so when she and Craig invited us for lunch at their house on the side of a mountain we expected to eat potatoes.

And we were not disappointed.

There was chicken and salad, but they took a back seat to  a potato feast, which included Spanish omelette made with King Edwards, smashed Nicolas,

 Boiled Salad Rose and Pink Eye:

 Baked Toolangi Delight:

And wedges of Spunta and Up to Date :

The piece de resistance, however, had to be the dessert. Mashed Kestrel mixed with blueberries and dipped in dark chocolate together with mashed Saphire mixed with coconut and vanilla and dipped in white chocolate!

How about you? What type of spud do you like best? And what's your favourite method of cooking them?

Late last year Sue planted 40 types of tomatoes. It's a bit early to see the results of that experiment but right now there is lush growth in the sprawling vegetable garden beds that Craig dug and fenced. We're looking forward to a tomato feast now.


  1. Love the spud! I especially love digging them up. It's so exciting. But I don't like that it's so easy to confuse them and use the wrong one for the right recipe. A chip potato for gnocchi can be disasterous. A baked potato mashed is all wrong. But when you get it right, they're the best.

  2. It was lovely to see you and Farmdoc as always, WriterBee.
    I am still learning about the best preparation method for each variety of potato!
    Before this odyssey I would just pick up a bag of spuds from the supermarket (presumably "all rounders")and use them for whatever I wanted to make. I wondered why my dishes didn't work at times. It took moving to Tassie and discovering the myriad of aficionados to learn the truth in what Kate said above!
    In any case, I thought the potato dishes paled into insignificance beside Farmdoc's loaf of freshly baked rye bread. Delicious!

  3. I agree, Kate, that it's hard to work out which potato is which type. And then you get gluggy mash or soggy chips.

    And Craig and Sue, did you know that in Peru, where the potato was domesticated about 8,000 years ago, more than 3,000 varieties are cultivated? You would go crazy!

  4. I would agree with Kate that the wrong potato for a particular recipe can end up with a disasterous result. Some different recipes require old potatoes; new potatoes, waxy potatoes and non waxy potatoes - it just depends on what you are using the potato for! But if you use the wrong one - you will certainly know about it!
    I have the 'best' recipe for mashed potatoes! My recipe uses Royal Blue potatoes that are available in Tasmania as well as in other areas and other countries. Inside the blue-purple skin is the whitest potato you can see! But these mashed potatoes are NOT for the feint hearted - in both senses of the word!!
    It is possible to use Nicola potatoes, but they are not quite as nice.
    You put 1 kg of peeled and halved Royal Blue potatoes in cold salted water and bring them to the boil, and keep boiling until the potatoes are nearly cooked through. You then drain off the water and put the potatoes through a potato ricer and then put them in a food processer - the idea behind these two techniques is to take any lumps out of the potatoes and make them very smooth. You then add 2 cm cubes of butter (taken out of the refrigerator for about 1 hour before use) to 120 gm of butter; 250 ml of warmed full cream milk; salt and white pepper for seasoning and to taste; process the mixture and you end up with the creamiest, smoothest, yummiest mashed potatoes you can find!

  5. Thanks, Barry. That sounds divine! A far cry from the often lumpy mash that is sometimes found around here!!