I just scrubbed and washed potatoes for tonight’s dinner. Sometimes, I do this simple task, and it feels almost like a mystical, magical experience.
Potatoes originated in the so-called “New World,” mainly Peru and to some extent Bolivia thousands of years before Christ. They were introduced to Europe by the Spanish decades after Christopher Columbus “discovered” America. They’re now grown widely around the world, including China and India.
They are, of course, widely associated with Ireland, partly as a result of the infamous history of the potato famine. I can remember being served a meat and four different kinds of potato dishes at one meal on one of my early trips to Ireland. But I do wonder what those early Irish folks ate before the potato was introduced there.
Tonight we mashed our potatoes and served them with sauerkraut and pork chops — one of my wife’s favorite meals. A delicious meal it was, too.