The “Humble” Potato and Respite from Spinach

Ian from the church (who has previously cheered my dietary life with a bag of apples) has given me a big bag of potatoes from his farm! Suddenly I don’t have to eke out tatties for the rest of Lent – I have plenty. This is reassuring, and potatoes aren’t known as versatile for nothing. Having an abundance of them and very co-operative hens just now, I made a pile of savoury potato bubble and squeak “pancakes” – mashed potatoes, combined with beaten eggs, herbs, seasoning, onion and assorted greens, and fried. Very tasty – as a meal, accompaniment to breakfast, or a snack. Cottage pies of various  types come to mind – had I enough fat left I could even make crisps (but then I’m forgetting I don’t actually like crisps).

Things running out:
All freezer vegetables
home made soft cheese
hazelnuts
Fresh onions and leeks (beetroot and celeriac already gone)
Venison fat

Things still plentiful:
Meat (alive or otherwise)
Frozen soft fruit
Donated apples and potatoes
Herbs, dried and fresh

New foods appearing:
Comfrey, Ground Elder and other weeds for greens
Orpine, wild garlic and other wild plants for salads
MINT!!!!  and other aromatic plants at last for teas – which have suddenly become more palateable

The now rapid growth of spring greens (even seedling brassicas that I’ve sown are coming on now) means that I can have a rest from spinach. There’s still some in the freezer, but not much else veg wise, so I’m ekeing it out. With four weeks to go, I am nearly half way through Lent, and I think my body has now adjusted to the change in diet. My thinking has changed a lot – no longer panicking about what I am going to eat, no longer really thinking about it very much either. Sometimes I manage to make something really enjoyable like the potato pancakes, sometimes I think “oh no not another egg”, but I’m not craving other people’s food all the time now. I just know I can’t have it and so long as I’m not hungry Im not bothered. This is a new experience for me!

I realised I am still eating apples in mid-March from last autumn’s harvest, and enjoying them. OK so they have to be peeled and are a bit wizened and spotty – but perfectly edible. Normally I’d have fed any apples still hanging around by now to the hens. Now I value them and will be looking for varieties to grow that are good keepers.

Confess your sins Margaret. I nearly slipped today – the other half asked me to test his rice to see if it was ready and it got right to my mouth before I realised what I was doing. And then I needed to fry a potato pancake to go with my vegetable stew, and as the venison fat is running low, I decided it was both practical and allowable to fry it in the pan in which HE has just cooked a chop….. well it saved some fat, but the pancake did taste faintly and delightfully of pork…..

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