I love potatoes. Baked, boiled, mashed, fried, in soups, in salads. Not sure I’ve met a potato I didn’t like (white potatoes, that is…not a fan of sweet potatoes in any incarnation). I didn’t know there were so many kinds of white potatoes until I moved to England; the supermarket has an entire aisle–both sides–devoted to nothing but potatoes. Heaven must look something like the potato aisle in Tesco.
I grew up eating potatoes almost every night for dinner. Mom married a meat and potatoes guy; Dad liked other starches like rice and pasta well enough, but preferred spuds with his evening meal. Now, I find myself married to a man who would happily eat rice seven nights a week–he doesn’t dislike potatoes, he just likes rice more. So, long story short, because I don’t cook potatoes very often, the ones I buy often go off before I can use them all.
A few months ago, I found a special potato storage bag while wandering through a cooking store. The package stated that the special dark liner inside the bag would keep potatoes fresher longer–the eyes wouldn’t sprout, and the potatoes wouldn’t turn green (this happens when potatoes are exposed to light, and green potatoes are poisonous!) This magical bag sounded like just what I needed to prolong the life of my taters, which hadn’t been faring so well in a plain paper sack. Let me just say, if I had saved the receipt this bag would be going back to the store.
I bought a bag of new potatoes and used several of them in a recipe the same day. The rest were secured in the dark protective shroud of the potato sack. A couple weeks went by, I cooked rice, we did some traveling, and through it all the potatoes slumbered peacefully in their sack. Last week I remembered that I had baby potatoes (only because I’d just purchased a couple larger spuds for baking and needed to store them in the sack) and thought I’d use them to make some potato salad. I loosened the drawstring at the top of the bag and blindly reached my hand in…only to yank it out with a yelp when I encountered tentacles trying to wrap themselves around my wrist. WTF?! Angling the bag’s opening toward the window, I looked in the dark interior to find 10-inch long sprouts coming out of every single potato. Good thing the bag slowed the growth of those eyes, or I’d have had to hack my way into the kitchen with a machete!
Unless anyone out there has a tried and true ‘tater storage trick, I may have to give up and just get my potato fix when we go out for dinner. Rice is a much more docile side dish, not turning poisonous colors or sprouting and trying to take over the pantry as soon as I turn my back.