COME INTO THE KITCHEN, GARDENER: Dates and Potatoes

By Karen England, for Let's Talk Plants! November 2021.

@edgehillherbfarm on Instagram.
Do you follow your president and newsletter editor-in-chief on Instagram? If so, then you have already met her cat named Whiskey who helps her around the house and kitchen. If not, check out Karen on IG @edgehillherbfarm but only if you like cats . . . This is what the inside of Karen's kitchen cupboards look like with recipes taped inside.

As you read through this month's newsletter articles from Jim Bishop and Sommer Cartier, about growing dates and potatoes respectively, you may get hungry as I did while editing this edition, so here are some recipes to try from my arsenal for each ingredient, plus one that I found online that calls for both dates and potatoes in the same dish, called Big Ray's Scotch Date Roasted Potatoes that the recipe writer, presumably Big Ray, states is "a nice side for that steak you have grilling up for dinner." Get the recipe here:

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/245813/big-rays-scotch-date-roasted-potatoes/


Golden Milk Protein Smoothie - from Martha & Marley Spoon


(Your editor has been a happy customer of Martha & Marley Spoon for several years now and has accrued a bunch of free meal kit boxes to give away to friends and family wanting to try the service. If you'd like to try "THE MEAL KIT THAT TASTES LIKE NO OTHER," their words not mine, I will be happy to give you a free gift to try, email me at k-england@cox.net with "Marley Spoon" in the subject line. I get nothing for doing this, I am not sponsored. I just like to share . . . I can have Martha & Marley Spoon send you a free box plus up to 25% off your next three orders. Anyone I invite will be required to sign up with M&MS to receive their gift, but their subscription is flexible and can be cancelled at any time.)


To make the Golden Milk Protein smoothie, Martha & Marley Spoon suggest unsweetened almond milk—grab one that is fortified with vitamin D!

Recipe makes two smoothies.


Ingredients:

4 oz Medjool dates, pits removed

3 oz almond butter

1 cup Greek yogurt

1/2 cup shredded coconut

2 cups liquid of choice; water, milk, coconut water, almond milk, etc...

4 cups ice

1 tablespoon ground turmeric, plus pinch more for garnish

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus pinch more for garnish


Directions:

Add all of the ingredients to a blender. Blend on high until smooth.

Pour smoothie into two glasses. Sprinkle a pinch each cinnamon and turmeric over the tops, if desired. Enjoy!


Remember Peace Pies in Encinitas? This winner of the 2014 Best of Raw Awards for Best Raw Restaurant and Best Eco-Raw Restaurant lost its Leucadia location to a neighboring restaurant's fire in 2019 (The Ocean Beach shop is still going strong, check it out!)


Peace Pies Chef JP Alfred has a recipe for "Freakin Pecan Pie" in his first book This Is Raw that I have adapted to my own tastes. Get his book if you want the official Peace Pies recipe...


Freakin Pecan Pie

(Note: I make a half batch of the original.)





Ingredients:

Crust -

1 cup raw pecans

1/4 cup pitted dates

dash sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Filling-

1 cup soaked, pitted dates (Note: only soak if dates are hard and dry)

1/2 cup raw almonds (or pecans)

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice, apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

honey, maple syrup or agave syrup for drizzling, optional

lots of whole pecans for garnish, optional

dash of ground cinnamon, for finishing


Directions:

Grind the crust ingredients in a food processor and pack into a tart pan or small pie plate.

Process the filling ingredients and fill the shell. Garnish with whole pecans and drizzle with agave syrup to add shine. Sprinkle with cinnamon to finish and serve.


This is a page from an old Susan Branch calendar with Susan's recipes for Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, both delicious permanently taped inside my cupboard.

I have favorite recipes taped inside my kitchen cabinets. My mother did this and so do I. I always thought everyone did this until a guest came over to my parent's house and caught sight inside her cupboards and was aghast that anything was taped to the cabinetry. The woman was unable to conceal her dismay and it was then that we found out that not everyone does this. Do you?


Case in point is a page from an old Susan Branch calendar with Susan's recipes for Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, both delicious, taped inside a cabinet door in my kitchen. (I giggled when I taped it to the inside of my new cupboard after remodeling the kitchen, knowing that most people would keep the cabinets, especially new ones, free of tape. Not me!)

https://susanbranch.com/mashed-potatoes-or-mashed-sweet-potatoes/


Bonus potato tip!

Stock photo (pun intended) of soup in a soup bowl.

If you make Susan's buttermilk mashed potatoes, do what another writer and gardener that I love, MaryJane Butters of MaryJanesFarm in Idaho, does and line your soup bowl with a thick slather of piping hot mashed potatoes before filling the "potato bowl" with hot homemade soup such as chicken noodle. YUM!













Karen England is SDHS president and newsletter editor-in-chief. She lives and gardens in Vista, CA with two collies, three hens, one bunny, one duck and one very popular cat on Instagram. Check it out and follow her on IG @edgehillherbfarm.