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Thursday, June 09, 2011

Thrifty

The gardens in the Pacific Northwest these days are slow starters (last year was almost a non-starter). The lettuce, collards, kale and bok choi (which has bolted) have gotten rolling at last, but the peas are all of six inches tall, no more than the beans. At such times we look to our perennials and overwintered items to give us a morale boost. In the picture above, there's plenty of rhubarb, elephant garlic, and volunteer potatoes.

Some of the spuds have come up where they are not wanted, such as in the paths. Instead of just ripping them out or hoeing the top growth away, Risa explores the ground underneath them for "new potatoes:"


Here is a mother spud with her daughters. The "mother," a spud that was missed in last year's harvest, is often inedible by this time, but in a pinch you can use some of them:


To show that "it can be done," let's wash the old and the young together ...


cut them to bite size. About half the old spud proved to be usable ...


... and add a bit of oil and some of our specialty, solar dried and ground vegetable leaves (such as the side foliage from kale, cabbages, collards, chard, and spinach). it's our primary spice hereabouts. Stir, cover, and zap for four and a half minutes or steam for fifteen or so (your steamer may vary), and it's a perfect side dish or stand-alone lunch. Thrifty and not at all bad.

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