Monday, 22 June 2009

New potatoes on Fathers Day

What could be better on Fathers Day than spending a day with your family and enjoying a good meal. Yesterday, we all went to the allotment, fork in hand, with excited anticipation of digging up the first new potatoes. As Steve stuck his fork into the ground the girls were right there ready to grab the potatoes as they fell out of the soil. "There's one!" they shouted and grabbed the spud like a golden egg from under a goose.

What a delightful thing the first new potato is. At this time of year the ground is crumbly dry and falls off the potato with ease. In the kitchen they need little more than a gentle rub under a running tap for the skin to fall away. Then simply boiled and served with butter. I served ours with lamb shanks cooked with homegrown swede, carrot and leek from the freezer and freshly picked broad beans with a sprig of savory. The lamb was dusted in seasoned flour, browned in a frying pan with a bit of fresh shallot then sat in a casserole in homemade lamb stock, topped up with a bit of water. The leeks, swede and carrot were also cooked in the stock, with a sprig of rosemary for good measure. It required two and half hours at 150°C to come out at the point that the meat was falling off the bone.

This morning when I dropped my girls off at school I was stopped by my South African friend who excitedly told me about her bucketful of new potatoes harvest this weekend. They enjoyed their, eaten with their fingers Al Fresco as they waited for the rest of their meal to cook on the BBQ. Divine was the word she used to describe them and I couldn't agree more.

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