Archives for posts with tag: potatoes

Very sad to hear that the death of Chantal Akerman is reported as suicide.

I’m posting some of the cooking scenes in Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles a film rhythmically punctuated by cooking as an extraordinary ordinary ritual. Maybe it’s the great cooking film actually, in how much is revealed of character through the enactment of labour, chore and responsibility and the social/personal weight of culture.

Read about Chantal Ackerman films here.  I hope (probably not possible) to see this London exhibition of her art and video work 30 October – 6 December, 2015.


Upcycle your sprouting potatoes by growing potatoes.  Maybe this is completely obvious to many of you, but doing it last year really drove home this possibility for me.  It was all small-scale — buckets and barrels and nothing too big, but it would be possible on verges and in any space, containers, or ground you might have, at whatever scale is called for.

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I am overwhelmed by potatoes. This is because there are sacks of sprouted organic ones I am getting for free because no one else wants them, neither to buy nor be given, at our local organic vegetable shop /community enterprise.  I feel a personal resolve to rescue them.

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Carl Legge ( is a wonderful blogger and cook who’s book The Permaculture Kitchen I eagerly look forward to next year.  I just checked in on his site and noticed his plea for us all to help this small scale potato breeding company to develop a non-gm anti-blight spud.  I’m for it and am going to donate!   I think about potatoes a lot, in relation to carbohydrates and what we can realistically grow in various small-scale settings.  Of course we need LOTS of varieties of potatoes, and roots in general, and we need good practices of crop rotation.  But I’m interested in this project, and these potatoes, and wanted to share the info here.

Local, Seasonal DIY Potato Starch, Because Why Not?

Ah, what is that disgusting grey sludge in the cute vintage sugar bowl, you may ask?

I celebrate Hanukkah with my children every year, hoping to keep them somehow connected to traditions that are about history and community, So every year I make latkes, fried potato cakes of shredded potatoes, generally, with onion and egg and S and P and a binder like matzo meal if possible, flour if not. (You could make them fancier of course.) Simple but a bit labour intensive, and yummy with sour cream, sauerkraut, and home-made applesauce.

(To my “blog followers”: this use of apples is another kind of apple-as-savoury on that list I am generating 🙂 )

You can never make enough latkes– people and yourself will always eat more.

There’s something every year I look forward to when I grate the potatoes: letting the shreds sit in a colander, to release the excess fluid, then letting that fluid sit so the starch settles into powdery starchiness. For years I wondered what it was, then I realised in its obviousness: Potato Starch. The liquid on top oxidizes and gets darker, and this year was especially black because the potatoes were so fresh, I didn’t peel them first. You pour it off. The fluid wants to escape to the top, and you keep pouring. Eventually you have powder dry enough to store.

I like this starch. From my latke making it forms  maybe two inches in a jam jar and will be used as a sauce thickener in gravies and Chinese stir-fry sauces, in place of cornstarch (or corn flour, as it’s called in the UK).  A by-product, therefore a little bit of a don’t-have-to-buy product, which is a good theme for Black Friday/Saturday.  And, a minor self-sufficiency, home-steading skill!

If I ever had lots of green potatoes (inedible) I might try this starch making as a salvage- operation.  I wonder if any of the alkaloid toxins would remain?

Earth Apples

I grew these! I’m proud of them! They began with a slightly lesser volume of potatoes that went green in our pantry — and of course I could not simply throw them away or even compost! Instead, I chitted them on the window-sill until they were gnarled with roots (or are they shoots?), then planted them in a plastic pot. Kept mounding up, then moved them, at the end of the summer, into a new raised bed we managed to make happen. And the leaves grew and grew and finally, we harvested them. Not many, but enough for a supper for the four of us, and so good boiled, with butter and salt and pepper. And I really tasted,for the very first time, a sweetness and a freshness, and why potatoes are called Earth Apples.

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