Monday, June 24, 2013

New Potato Haiku

New potato salad and lucky cat.
One of the Blogathon's standard theme days is haiku. The day serves as a sort of break, theoretically an easier push to create than a standard post requiring a certain amount of research and time. In the past I've written about an ornamental peach tree on the farm here in Tokyo, norabo blooms abuzz with bees, and a miniature rice field. This year I'm writing about potatoes, the unsung hero of the seasonal plate.

New Potatoes
Set free this morning.
Small. Round. Brown. Slightly dirty.
Steaming on my plate.

We harvested ours early this year due to a disease that seems to be sweeping the Tama area. My garden potatoes don't seem to be bothered by it, but I'm keeping a close eye on them. It might be that I'm lucky or that they're well hidden in the living mulch that surrounds them. Whatever it is - luck or greenery - I'm grateful. The blue and red varieties make my mouth water even now as I type, and the standard white ones will make a mean potato salad when the time comes.

New potatoes, though, are the tiny little potatoes that rest just under the soil. They come with the first lovely blossoms on the plant, and taste the best. For me they are my mother's table in summer where we ate cucumbers in cream with thinly sliced onion from blue and white bowls. Thick red tomato slices waited in a bright yellow serving bowl to be plopped heavy from my fork onto the plate where I'd sprinkle them with sugar and cut them like a piece of roast beef. The potatoes arrived as little round balls still steaming from the pan where my mother had boiled them. The gentle pop of the first bite, the hint of sweetness from the tomato juice that sidled up next to them while they loitered on my plate signify summer.


Van Waffle said...

What a mouthwatering post! I planted lots of potatoes this year because they did so well last. Can't wait to try the different varieties.

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

Thanks, Van! I'm quite excited, too, to see what happens this year. The plants still look good, although I can't say the same for the squash. It's suffering from powdery mildew. One win, one mild setback.