Cracking eggs and mystery spuds

IMG_1773We might not have achieved true self-sufficiency or anything approaching that lofty ambition, but we can at least claim – like many of our fellow henkeepers – to be self-sufficient in eggs. And it felt positively indulgent at the weekend when I raided the rack and used all 11 freshly laid beauties in some simple dishes for a lunch with friends. It was a delicious feeling beating those stunning deep-orange yolks and firm whites together to make two different recipes, the first of which required a whopping ten. I cooked double the quantity of ‘Courgette Slice’, an easy summer main course that makes the most of fresh garden produce at this time of year. It was created by an allotmenteer called Tessa Webb who starred in a Country Living series called ‘Grow & Cook’ during 2011 and features in her own delightful cookbook. IMG_1771Alongside it, I served salad and our own potatoes – not any ordinary tatties, but the source of some controversy in our household. In early spring, James and I chose a few ordinary spuds to chit on our windowsills ready to plant out over the Easter weekend. We decided to plump for straightforward, reliable first and second early types – having grown some weird and wacky varieties in the past that either disappoint in terms of yield or prove fiddly to clean and cook (I don’t rate ‘Pink Fir Apple’ for this reason). When James went to lift some the other day he dug up a huge number of purple potatoes just like the ‘Violetta’ tubers that I planted back in 2013 when I visited a Potato Day in Suffolk with my gardener friend Lucy. My theory is that we must have left some of these in the ground from then and the spirited spuds grew from the same crop. Having thoroughly dug over the bed, James is adamant that this couldn’t be the case and that we must have accidentally selected this kind again from the garden centre this year. Can anyone shed light on this peculiar event and resolve the dispute between us?! Is it possible that potatoes can crop two years after an initial harvest? Whatever their origin, they are a tasty and colourful addition to our dinner plates, retaining a gorgeous indigo-blue hue when cooked and proving a good topic of conversation with guests – as well as the source of a continuing debate between James and I. In fact, it turns out they’re rather moreish and may well be a staple of the Smallholdings plot in the future. Anyone else cultivating some mystery vegetables this summer? Happy henkeeping all!IMG_1761

One thought on “Cracking eggs and mystery spuds

  1. I was fortunate to dig up a super harvest of the potato Anya yesterday. These were cheeky rouge spuds from the initial seed potatoes planted about four years ago! Yes, just one little potato must have been left behind, but I will forgive as these are my favourite variety and I was upset not to have been able to buy any seed potatoes of this delicious type earlier in the year.
    I secretly hope that I’ve left another one on the ground for next year!!!

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