; Supermarket Serenade: Are Potatoes Better Than Jewelry?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Are Potatoes Better Than Jewelry?

Most people have lovely pieces of jewelry or sweet and sentimental old letters to remind them of past loves; I have foods to remind me of mine.
Tomato sauce reminds me of one of my favorite high school boyfriends (his mother made a really good one), there is the high school boyfriend I think of whenever I pass a McDonalds (we flipped burgers there together), or there was the boyfriend who introduced me to Lobster Bisque (the only thing he was good for). When shopping in a BJ's warehouse club the other day I saw (and promptly purchased) a food I hadn't seen since splitting with a college boyfriend from the Syracuse area of New York: Hinerwadel's salt potatoes.
Surprisingly this tasty treat seems exclusive to the Central New York region; they're small, white new potatoes boiled in about a pound of salt and then served in melted butter. In Central New York the potatoes are a mainstay at festivals and fairs and I fondly remember eating them at local pubs with an icy cold glass of beer.

I had previously never seen the potatoes here in New England-I hope they stay, they are so good. The Hinerwadel's potatoes come complete with a 12 ounce bag of salt.

I cooked the whole bag and with the tasty leftovers made a quick Potato Leek Soup. Who needs jewelry, when there are tasty foods to remember people by?

Salt Potatoes

2 quarts water
4 1/4 pounds white new potatoes, unpeeled
12 ounces salt
1/2 cup butter, melted

Bring the water, potatoes and salt to a boil; cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Serve potatoes with the melted butter.

Quick Potato Leek Soup

1 tablespoons butter
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped leeks (green and white parts)
4 cups diced cooked salt potatoes
32 ounces reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup half and half
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2-3 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese, optional

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in the carrot and the leeks; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups of the potatoes and the chicken broth and cook for 10 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup to smooth out a bit (or transfer mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until almost smooth). Stir in the remaining potatoes and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the half and half and cayenne pepper and cook until heated through. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the grated cheddar.


Lisa said...

The soup looks great! Your post is very funny! I would rather go grocery shopping than jewelry shopping :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! Those sound great. I remember a Valentine's Day dinner I cooked for a beau where the steaks were like shoe leather and the potatoes weren't cooked at all!

Allie said...

Oh how true the links between people and food. Some I would rather not remember, but that's life. I'm with Lisa on shopping in the grocery store. I'm easy to please!

Katherine Aucoin said...

New potatoes remind me of my husband, he loves them boiled in crab boil. I bet he would like these. Funny how food is a scrap book of one's life.

Maria said...

I am all about the food, jewelry can wait:)The soup looks fantastic!

Aggie said...

Your potatoes and soup look very yummy. It's funny and so true about remember people with food!

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm the same way. Food is so entertwined to memories with me it's really quite sad!

Bridgett said...

I love the leek soup! I can just imagine the creamy texture and the delicious flavor of the leeks.

That Girl said...

It's funny, my mom remembers ever place she's ever traveled by the foods she ate there. Similar concept.

Anonymous said...

Sounds really good AND cheap!

Prudy said...

Love Salt Potatoes! We moved out west from Rochester NY and salt potatoes were a local specialty. Yes-I'll take potatoes over jewelry.

Robin Sue said...

Too funny that all that food reminds you of old boyfriends! I have just recently heard of these and must try them soon!

Grace said...

in answer to your question, yes. a million times yes. potatoes rule, especially when morphed into a soup such as this. :)

Mary said...

There is nothing better than jewelry but your potatoes look really, really good.

Veggie Mom said...

Food--especially the smells--reminds me of so much. Thanks so much for another great recipe!

Jenny said...

What a great post, you had me cracking up at all those memories too funny! Your soup looks fantastic too!

The Blonde Duck said...

I wrote the second part to Vivi and Wade Wednesday! Come check it out!