I harvested about 40 pounds of potatoes from the garden last week. I was so excited about the whole process. I got to go buy a potato fork at Tractor Supply (love that place). I bought wooden baskets to store them in and I bought new gloves the help prevent getting more blisters on my hands.
Digging potatoes is like waiting for Christmas. You see the plants grow and bloom and you just know there’s something great within that package, but you have to wait until harvest-time to find out how much you got.
I decided to dig a row of white potatoes and a row of red potatoes. I dug the fork in the ground and pushed the handle down to lift the dirt under the plant to reveal the presents beneath the soil.
Every single plant had at least 3 – 4 potatoes. Some were as big as my fist and some were as small as marbles. After gathering all the potatoes, I checked everything else in the garden to see what was ready to come home with me. I picked 3 more cabbages and several peppers. We still don’t have any tomatoes ready!
After that, I watered everything and headed over to Mickey’s house to share the harvest. I love being able to share food with people. I’ll readily admit that I’m a food hoarder. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than gather and prepare food for later use. But – I’m also a feeder. I thrill at sharing what I’ve done with others; especially when they are people I love.
The next day I decided to can some of my potatoes to see what would happen. I’ve never canned white potatoes before, but I knew it could be done because there are instructions in the canning bible; The Ball Blue Book.
I started out by sorting the potatoes. I wanted to can whole potatoes, so I picked out small potatoes – anything less than 2-inches in diameter. Then I washed them and peeled them. I had briefly considered canning them with the peels, but the instructions said that peels would fall off during the pressure cooking phase, so I really saw no point in leaving them.
Peeling those little critters was such a pain! I started out using a new green scrubbing pad (you know – the kind used for scrubbing pots & pans), but that became tedious very quickly, so I switched to a standard potato peeler and did a little better.
It wasn’t too long, though, before I started getting a burning sensation between my shoulder blades from bending over the sink. I had to come up with a better plan. I piled the potatoes in a big bowl and sat down to peel them and that worked much better.
After about an hour, I had all the potatoes peeled for canning. I stuffed them in jars and canned according to directions.
They turned out great! I can’t wait to try them. I’m sure they will work perfectly for any number of potato dishes. Next up – I want to can potato soup and diced potatoes..
Have you ever canned anything interesting?