Saturday, August 18, 2012

National Potato Day

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By Chef Diane

I love potatoes! When I was growing up we ate mostly rice, my parent's parents ate mostly potatoes.  Now I am a potato generation.  My son was lucky enough to share his time with my parents and myself, so he had a little of both.

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I love potatoes cooked anyway, baked, boiled, mashed, fried, hash browned scalloped, you name it, I love them.  My mother used to tell a tale that when she was growing up, she would keep hot sweet potatoes in her pockets to keep her hands warm on her way to school, and then she would eat them for lunch. Recently I found out that never happened, but it was still a good story.
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Potatoes are very good for you, full of vitamins such as vitamin C, potassium, and iron.  They give you quick energy and fill you up.  My cousin, who is very calorie conscious, has one weakness, and that is French fries.  She particularly loves the ones from McDonalds.  My father has recently started making fries and potato chips from sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving, when he cooks the turkey.
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In the US, 45 billion tons of potatoes are harvested each year for the nation's consumption. So today, on Potato Day, why not gobble a few potatoes yourself, and help keep the farmers happy.  If you need a recipe for something to fix with potatoes, a favorite southern dish is potato salad.  Below is a great recipe from southernfood.com to try.

Potato Salad

Ingredients:
  • 3 pounds potatoes, cooked until just tender, cubed, cooled
  • 5 or 6 hard cooked eggs, cooled, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped celery, optional
  • Thinly sliced tomatoes and cucumber, for garnish, optional


Dressing:
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise (a little more or less, as desired)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Preparation:
Combine potatoes, egg, onions, and celery. Stir in mayonnaise, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. (Stir the mayonnaise and mustard in a little at a time, until you have the flavor and consistency you like.)

Top with thinly sliced tomatoes and cucumber, if desired.
Serves 6 to 8.

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