In the summer, I often abandon my own garden to the fog
and house sit for a friend in Sonoma County where I revel in the heat and light. And the Healdsburg Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.
The bright, sunny display of ceramics displayed each week by Alan and Donna Podesto of Architectural Ceramic Design always attracts my attention, but this year the handsome countertop compost crocks stopped me in my tracks. If only those pots were lower, wider, and had holes in the body instead of the lid, they would solve my latest kitchen conundrum—how to store potatoes.
For years, I’ve kept them in the pantry in a plastic basket. It provides good air circulation and is easy to wash but does not protect against the light that finds its way into the doorless space. Recently, our irritation at constantly greening potatoes caused us to replace the bin with an ugly, crushed brown paper bag.
Since we live in San Francisco, a root cellar is out of the question and the refrigerator is too small. Plus, if you read through these great potato storage tips from the University of Idado, you will discover that refrigerator storage is not such a great idea if you want to fry potatoes. Refrigerated potatoes tend to taste sweeter but turn dark when fried. At home, we don’t make French fries, but every week G does make the shredded potato pancake, Pommes Paillasson, from my newest cookbook, Hubert Keller’s Souvenirs (Andrews McMeel, Fall 2012). I needed a container of some sort but so far online searches had left me uninspired.
“Nothing ventured; nothing gained,” I told myself and marched myself into the Podestos’ booth. Donna suggested one of their large orchid planters might work if they could find a lid that fit. If so, they’d bring the pot the following week. They did; I wrote a check; and the potatoes have lived happily ever after.