THE BEST VIEW: White potato, blue potato…

by Norma Best Boucher

I am writing a cookbook. No, really, I am. Everyone else has written a cookbook – a pioneer woman, a Barefoot Contessa, Frankie Avalon. Yes, even teen idol Frankie Avalon has written a cookbook. What to write about? That is the question.

Most chefs promote recipes that are their favorites but with a personal “twist.” I am tired of the favorites and need an alternative. I am talking about the potato.

I have loved the potato for decades, seven decades to be exact. My mother boiled them with little onions. I have mashed them, smashed them, and smothered them with butter, herbs, and sour cream. I have steamed them, baked them, roasted them, and even scalloped them, but I have run out of personal “twists” that make me say, “More potatoes, please.”

No one is more disappointed than I. Just when we have a cornucopia of “wonder food” potatoes filled with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, I, not the potato, have failed the potato test.

Oh, I may eat macaroni and cheese, but that is not my comfort food and will not sustain me through the cold winter. I cannot eat mac and cheese every day for six months, as I can the potato.

What to do? Oh, what to do?

Then, it hit me – rice. Rice sustains the other half of the world’s population. Rice is filled with all of the nutrients I need, and I have so many choices: white, brown, Arborio, jasmine, basmati, wild and even forbidden rice. My quest began.

First, I tried the white – short, medium and long grain. I progressed to the brown, a nutty experience. I made risotto with the Arborio and continued with the fragrant jasmine and the non-clumping basmati. I went to my wild side with the wild rice and then finally to the forbidden rice that only the emperor could eat.

I tried. I really did, but they just didn’t make it. I cooked the rice in chicken broth, fruit juices and even wine. I added toppings – roasted vegetables, marscarpone cheese, dates, cherries, apples, pecans, cashews, and even pistachio nuts. I added everything but chocolate. I loved the toppings, but the rice was still just rice. I missed my beloved potato.

“I love the toppings,” I thought.

“I love potatoes,” I thought.

The white potato, the blue potato, the red potato, the gold potato, the sweet potato, the fingerlings, and the baby potatoes all took on a new meaning to my life. I started adding the cheese, the dates, the cherries, the apples, and all of the nuts.

Once again, I was at one with the potato.

A cookbook was born.

If a pioneer woman, a Barefoot Contessa, and a teen idol can publish a cookbook, so can I.

Watch out,, here I come: Potatoes – Everything but Chocolate, by a Twisted Potato Lover.


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1 reply
  1. Jane Moore
    Jane Moore says:

    I am also a potato lover, White rice is good with chili, and sometimes in soup. It has a limited pairing with other foods. The potato however goes with everything for breakfast, lunch or dinner. So if you write a potato cookbook, I’ll buy it !!!!!!


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