Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
Too Much Of A Good Thing
by Judith Bradshaw-rouse
My husband grows and studies potatoes for his profession. In his spare time, usually weekends, he also grows organic potatoes on our farm in Avoca, Wisconsin. He sells them to fine restaurants and food cooperatives in Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago.
Potatoes fill our garage and migrate to the basement where they begin to sprout like a small forest. I fill a drawer in the kitchen with potatoes for us to cook and eat. Our cat plays with the small ones.
Potatoes are good food, nutritious and filling. My husband constantly asks, "Why don't we eat more potatoes? We could save a lot of money if we ate our own potatoes." But in my mind all I see are the dark, sad paintings by Van Gogh of the Potato Eaters. I have developed a mental block against potato eating that stretches back a least a decade.
I think it started when he brought home dozens of hundred-pound burlap sacks of potatoes from his research plots. It reminded me of a squirrel storing nuts for the winter. How many potatoes can a family of three eat in one year? It became my job to giveaway the extra of sacks of potatoes. Fortunately, I discovered potato lovers everywhere I went. Visitors to our home went away with at least a grocery sack of spuds. One year, I was relieved when a friend took hundreds of potatoes to a local food pantry.
Every fall the bags of potatoes appeared on our driveway, and every fall I gave them away before they shriveled, turned green or rotted.
Ever smell a rotten potato? One year, I smelled rotten potatoes everywhere I went. I finally found the offenders under my car seat. How they got there I will never know.
Maybe I dislike potatoes because I think they are fattening. Or maybe I dislike them because they roll around and rot if you don't store them in a cold dry place. I confess that when my potato intolerance peaks, I furtively carry them out to the compost pile.
I have five potato cookbooks which still don't inspire me to cook and serve potatoes for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I feel like I am trapped in potato hell. I know I must I have some incurable tuber phobia. Some people eat only meat and potatoes. Others feel safe and secure when they have boxes of potatoes carefully stored in their basement or root cellar. I look at them and wonder. Why me? Why my stomach? I think it is just too much of a good thing.
Judith Bradshaw-Rouse writes in
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