Nobody, as the Monty Python crew once memorably observed, expects the Spanish Inquisition.
Everyone, on the other hand, expects spuds on Paddy’s Day, but I’ll betcha nobody expects spudakopita (cue Python-esque diabolical laughter). You can get the low down on this potatoey St. Patrick’s Day version of spanakopita below (though there’s no need to restrict its making to one day of the year – remember that potatoes are for life, not just for Paddy’s Day).
What is special about St. Patrick’s Day when it comes to spuds, though, is that it was, and is, a traditional day for planting pototoes in Ireland. Kaethe Burt O’Dea of SPUDS.ie (who is quoted in today’s Washington Post piece on Ireland and the trialling of GM potatoes) wisely suggests that we might do well to reclaim this day as a National Potato Day and relegate the consumption of copious pints to a supporting role. I’ll plant to that.
Plant a spud – or several – this St. Patrick’s Day (image from the SPUDS campaign)
Meanwhile, given the season that’s in it, I have found myself awash with samples of a spudly nature generously provided to me by assorted parties who know my taste in edibles only too well.
My First Feta Cheese
There I was, proud as punch, admiring my first batch of feta cheese.
I knew that, before long, I would be all “feta this” and “feta that”, a salad here and a spanakopita there, and still enough feta left over to impress friends and family. It was a big, cheesy win.
Until I remembered that technically I’m not allowed to call it feta.
Not according to the European Union at any rate.
I have doubts on sprouts
But peas they please
And parsnips give me pleasure.
But of all the veg
I give this pledge
Potatoes are my treasure.
Extract from “King Spud” © 2010 Nick Balmforth
Mr. Balmforth, author of those lines, is clearly a man after my own heart – a heart that fairly swells with pride when my little potato treasures start to blossom, signalling to the world that new potatoes are not far behind.
The sign that says new spuds are a comin'