Saturday, July 26, 2008

Good thing I like potatoes

For Vicki's Saturday Shopping Challenge this week, I thought I'd try my luck at one of the U-Pick places. Other than apples and pumpkins in the fall, there's not much local for picking yourself, so the DH and I drove an hour or so west to a U-Pick farm that I used to visit occasionally to buy greens for the bunnies.

Collecting our buckets for picking felt something like standing around in the international arrivals terminal at the airport; I registered at least five different languages being spoken. Apparently, many farms and CSA's in the area are catering to the 1.5 million immigrants that make their home in NJ by growing produce from around the world. At least 2/3 of the farm fields today were planted with vegetables that were unrecognizable to me: African eggplants like Kittaly and Bitter Ball, greens like Sour Sour and Callaloo, Thai peppers and eggplants. Judging by the carloads of families there picking, I think I must be missing out on somet
hing good... and according to the manager of the place, more traditional (less ethnic) vegetables rot in the fields because (white) people are too lazy to spend a day picking them, so they've made a business of planting what can't be found in most supermarkets.

Potatoes and onions were ready today and I recognized them, so that's how I spent my $20. A bucket of red potatoes went for $10 and I had the most fun digging them out of the dirt. Has anybody else ever pulled a warm potato out of the sandy ground and been amazed with the way things grow? Very cool.

I'm easily amused, I know.

A dozen or so big sweet onions went for $4.18 and the DH grabbed some odd melon from the farm stand on the way out and we called it a day for $20.17.

I'm thinking of French onion soup and mashed potatoes. Lots and lots of mashed potatoes.

;-)

9 comments:

bunnygirl said...

I loved helping pick vegetables in my father's garden when I was growing up, and it's still a fun thing to do when I go to visit. But I'm not very good with plants myself and my yard is almost entirely in shade. So no garden for me, and I'm not aware of any farms within an hour's drive where people can pick their own.

Jayne said...

My grandfather always kept a big garden as I was growing up. There was nothing like picking beans or corn and spending the afternoon shelling and shucking. :c) We'd have a contest about who could find the biggest worm in their corn. The potatoes look great.... when should we come for dinner?

KGMom said...

Laura--I have a really really easy recipe for YUMMY potato soup. Really, it is easy (unlike my tomato sauce).

NCmountainwoman said...

I agree with Donna. Make potato soup. And boil some shrimp to add. Makes a great dinner.

Dave said...

Potato soap sounds like the winner to me. What time should we all come over? :)

John said...

I would sauté the potatoes and onions together, with a good bit of ground pepper and maybe a few other spices.

KGMom said...

Easy Potato Soup

4 potatoes, peeled and cut in cubes
1 onion, chopped
3 T. butter
3 cups milk
1 T. flour
Parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

First, saute onion in butter in a sauce pan
Add potatoes and 1 cup water. Boil until potatoes are just soft.
MASH potatoes--just coarse mash.

Mix flour in a small amount of milk until smooth, then add to potato mix. Then pour in remained of milk. Just heat.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a good handful of grated cheddar cheese.

Makes 4 servings.

Rabbits' Guy said...

Potato soup gets my vote too! Sometimes we make it with some acorn squash .. about half squash, half potato!

We grow about 90 sq feet of potatoes every year. Very easy if you feed them right and use that sandy soil. What a blast to dig them up - all by hands! There are a lot of potatoes grown around here and one year I calculated my yield per sq foot and it was more than the big boys get!!!!

Our winters do not get much below freezing ever, so they keep pretty well in covered boxes in our old barn. Last until about April 1, which is about when we plant the next batch!!! Yummm .. enjoy!

LauraHinNJ said...

Bunnygirl: I love to garden, but it is a struggle.

;-)

Growing up, my brother grew the best tomatoes...

Jayne: Hmm.. those sound like happy memories.

;-)

KGMom: Thanks for the recipe! I love potato soup.

NCMountainWoman: Shrimp? Yeah?

Dave: Be warned... I am no cook.

(You're welcome anytime!)

John: Boiled a dozen or so and then drowned them in butter and salt. Yummy!

Rabbit's Guy: I don't where I've been that I'd never dug a potato with my bare hands, but it was fun!

(And they were delicious and sweet, too!)