Tuesday, October 13, 2015

My cousin won't eat potatoes

His dad, my uncle, had seven children. My uncle supported them on a factory job. There wasn't a lot of money. What he did have was a good sized garden and he planted a lot of potatoes. That's why my cousin won't eat them anymore as he feels he ate way too many as a child.

Be that as it may, those potatoes provided an awful lot of calories and nutrition with a fairly small investment in time, labor and garden space. The humble potato is a pretty good survival food. They can be stored in a cool dry place and last for months -easy and low tech. When people brag about their gardens it's all about the tomatoes and the other veggies. However, it's the potatoes that provide the calories we need to stay alive.

Plenty of people store wheat as a survival food. I do it myself as it provides a lot of calories cheaply and stores well. It's only cheap because it's grown using machines and chemical inputs from start to finish. Very few people grow wheat in their home gardens. If you do grow it, then what? Are you going to thresh it by hand? Grind it somehow? Bake bread? Work, work work.

Potatoes have gotten a bad rap due to the Irish Potato Famine. Growing only one variety of potato to the exclusion of all other kinds was the problem. When that one type had disease issues, it was all over. The famine itself had just as much to do with politics as crop failure. During the famine, food grown in Ireland was being exported to England.

While my cousin is no longer a fan of potatoes, they helped keep him fed and healthy growing up.



  1. My favorite meal is fried taters with carrots, onion, peppers and a little bacon or sausage mixed in a single skillet. The Irish starved with silo's full of corn. It was seen as only fit for animals they didn't know what cornbread was.

  2. Can tell you're a Southerner, Gary - sounds like I want supper at your house!
    Sixbears, I understand from The Hermit that potatoes is what the main character in "The Martian" lived on. Have yet to read that one myself ... but I'll get to it.
    What's with all the bloggers not blogging for weeks or months? Where is everbody??!?

    1. My lovely wife and I saw the movie and enjoyed it. Yes, potatoes played a big part.

      A lot of my favorite bloggers have gone dark. I know a few who's lives just got too busy, but no idea about the rest.

  3. I can understand burn out from the over-production in your parent's garden. Mine are cantaloupe and fried okra. Mom ended up freezing the cantaloupe(shudder) and we ate fried okra (yuck) everyday for a year until it was gone. The crazy year of the green bean was easier to handle. The consumption was spread out over several years in a variety of forms.

    1. Cantaloupe I can deal with, but fried okra? No thank you very much. Rather eat crickets.

  4. I love potatoes. There is just so many different ways of cooking and serving them.