I live in the land of potatoes now, if you didn’t know already, and last week and this one is Potato Harvest. The kids even get two weeks off school, as way back when (within the last generation even) everyone – even kids- helped with the harvest. Trucks and equipment are not only in every field I can see (which is a lot), they are all over the road (more so than usual). There is a distant hum in the background – machinery going back and forth across the fields digging it all up.
It’s kind of fascinating, in a way – it’s pretty slick seeing how they control the harvest and get it into storage barns, all in two weeks. Some will be bagged and shipped to stores everywhere, some will head off to the factory to become fries and other potato products.
Dust is kicked up everywhere. Traffic warnings are on the radio, reminding motorists to be aware of extra equipment on the road and (this makes me giggle) to watch out for falling potatoes. The field near us is being done today, and I am told we can wander over when they are done and gather up any they missed.
There’s a nice collection of harvesting pictures here, if that floats your boat. Modern farming involves a lot of driving around on heavy equipment and not much digging in the dirt.
But then we get to eat them.
We’re in love with mashed potatoes and with a little help from Paula Dean, came up with one of the best mashed potato recipes there is.
Peel and *slice* the potatoes, 8 to 10 – or I do whatever half-fills my big pot. Paula showed me how slicing the potatoes instead of quartering them, made them cook faster and mash easier. Cook & drain, then mash well. Add a stick of butter/margerine and some milk, like a half cup. Beat with the electric mixer, but not too much.
Heaven. Paula adds sour cream, too.
I didn’t find any unit studies on potatoes, but it sure would be a yummy and interesting one.