Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blue Potatoes Are Different

Blue potatoes that grew purple
      Tonight with our chicken, we had some of our homegrown blue potatoes. Ours turned out purple. Because of all the rain we had right after we planted our potatoes, some didn't grow very big and were ready to harvest early. We still have more to harvest, hopefully they will be bigger.

Peeled blue potatoes

   Since I was making mashed potatoes, I peeled them. We had some cut in chunks and boiled and I thought the skin was kind of bitter. It was also tough.

Peeled and cut in half

   Here is what our peeled and cut in half blue potatoes looked like. Weird. The potatoes seemed harder to cut than other potatoes.

Better picture of cut blue potatoes


Cut and ready to boil

   The potatoes are interesting with the different colors inside.

Mashed blue potatoes

   I cut the potatoes and treated them just like any other potatoes I intended to mash, so here they are cut and read to boil.
   They boiled just fine, so I drained them and made them into mashed potatoes the same way I have made mashed potatoes in all my years of making them. According to the blue potato people, the mashed potatoes were supposed to be a nice sky blue. These weren't.

   The mashed potatoes turned out gray, almost like concrete. They mashed up to a nice, light, fluffy concrete.
   We did notice that if they set for even the shortest time, they really did turn out to be concrete like. You could pick up your whole serving of mashed potatoes with your hands and they'd stay in the same shape.
   The texture was grainier than other potatoes and left your tongue feeling kind of fuzzy.

Blue and white mashed potatoes
   We had some left over mashed potatoes made from russet potatoes and you can see the color difference. Once again, weird.
   I won't be making mashed blue potatoes anymore, but they were just fine when I mixed them with white and purple skinned potatoes and just boiled, drained and buttered them.
   The blue potatoes might be alright as potato salad and I did read they made great french fries. I'm going to give them a shot as french fries, so I'll let you know how they turn out.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's That Time Of Year Again

   Yes, I know, it's been a long time since I've written anything. I've been busy. We had company for a little over a week and once again, it's that time of year again. Yup, harvesting time. I haven't even finished the last quilt top and Christmas is coming way too fast.
   I dehydrate most of what we grow, and my trusty old dehydrator died in the middle of dehydrating last year. Amy did find a replacement for me at a garage sale, but after using it once, I know why it was being sold. It didn't dehydrate food, it cooked it. It had no temperature adjustment, neither did my old one, but I had that one figured out.
dehydrating red onion slices
   This year, we bought the 80 liter commercial food dehydrator from Cabela's, and so far, it's great. I get so much done much faster than before. The down side is, it takes so much longer to fill it up, but I can live with that.
   The first thing I dehydrated was about 20 pounds of zucchini and it took about 6 hours. I probably could have dehydrated it on a higher temperature and been done faster, but I was happy with 6 hours. I got it all done in one shot instead of days.
   Now, I am onto mass quantities of onions. It's a perfect time to do it now because it's cooler and I can leave all the windows open. One day, we will have a back porch, hopefully and enclosed back porch so I can dehydrate out there. So far, I have 3 3/4 quart jars full of dehydrated onion rings that I have vacuumed sealed with my vac and seal. Later, when I need them, I chop a jar up and have chopped onions. I'll make my own onion powder this year.
   Our potatoes are being harvested, too. So much rain early in the season didn't help. We are getting small potatoes, but that's better than no potatoes. The all blue potatoes are interesting. Next time I use some, I'll take a picture of them.
   I've alos been busy picking, shelling, blanching and freezing tons of peas. There are so many more to be picked. The green beans are next. I don't even like green beans, but Tim does. These will also be frozen and divided up into 2-3 person servings and vaccuum sealed in bags and then frozen.
   It hasn't been all work and no fun. For our 32nd wedding anniversary, Tim bought me an ocarina.
It's a hand painted seedpod tenor G ocarina . It has a nice deep tone. It's from Songbird Ocarinas. I'm still learning the Native American flute and the tin whistle. The nice thing about this is it only uses your first 2 fingers and thumbs on each hand. I have arthritis in my hands and my ring fingers tend to lock up, making it hard to get them to cooperate when I want to lift them off of the holes.
Close up of the ocarina

You can see the neck strap here
   The first song I learned to play was Popeye the Sailor Man. Yes, I learn culturally important music. I also learned Beethoven's 9th (Ode To Joy).
   I need to relearn how to read music. I used to know how because I took violin lessons and guitar lessons in school. It shouldn't be that hard to relearn it. I hope.
   So much to do, so little time. I guess I'd better get back to the onions while it's still cool. But I'd really like to be playing some musical instrument. I haven't even been making bread or cookies lately. I'm really falling down on the job.