My goodness, what a great deal we got! You know, sometimes you simply luck into being in the right place at the right time.
I was at our
I snapped up one whole box for myself and another box to share with my dehydrating friends (and anyone else I knew who might want some nice, fresh potatoes). It’s a good thing to do in the event that you find a fantastic price on something. In four days, I sold nearly 25 pounds of the additional potatoes. Some of my dehydrating friends are newbies and still aren’t sure about this. Most of them took a small quantity.
For once, I have enough to do something interesting with, and enough imagination to think in terms of a variety of uses. Over the next few weeks (as I keep getting batches of them dried and tested) I’ll be posting the results.
Linda's Note: For some of you, the following tips may be a common practice, but I'm addressing newbies with this one. So please forgive me if it's too simplistic for you.
First, I think I’ll cover a few tips and tricks I’ve developed that will save steps and make it easier to process potatoes.
Potato skins are super rich in nutrients. Mike and I both agree that potato skins need to be left on. It’s a shame to peel the potatoes and throw away the skins. However, if you choose to toss those skins, it’s a personal preference thing. Trust me, the ‘Tater Cops won’t come snooping around your kitchen door.
Fresh, natural potatoes come from the dirt. I used to use a fingernail brush to scrub them. It was difficult and time consuming (especially for those of us with muscle coordination and pain issues)
- This time I tried one of those scrubbing sponges with the rough green side for scrubbing non-stick cookware. Works perfectly! As you can see, the scrubbed tops of these potatoes are much cleaner than the unscrubbed bottom parts.
TIP TWO – DEALING WITH THE MANDOLIN
Damaged Spots Removed
- After scrubbing your ‘taters, check for damaged or bad spots and cut them off. It’s much easier to take care of that before you slice them.
A Flat Base
Originally, I started slicing on the mandolin with the tip end of the potato. This resulted in very small to very large pieces. However, with 50 pounds of spuds to deal with, I decided to take a short cut.
One of the problems with a mandolin is that unless you start slicing your veggies very straight and upright, after a few swipes, you will end up with cuts on an angle, with the pieces getting longer and longer.
Nice Even Slices
- I decided to cut the tip end off the potato to give myself a good flat surface to work with.
TIP THREE – THAT SAFETY THINGIE
Most mandolin slicers have a thingie you put over the food to keep from cutting your fingers. You’re supposed to wedge the food into the thingie and push the plunger down. But rarely have I had food pieces just the right size for doing that. So I usually end up not using it and hoping for the best.
This works all right as long as you go slowly with the slicer, but invariably, I get into a rhythm and the next thing I know… zing! I’m adding bright red seasoning to the food!
- Sooo, now I stop several inches short of the end and don’t worry about it. I take those ends and toss ‘em into a pot of cold water until I’ve finished the batch I’m working on.
- When I’m done processing the spuds, I take those end stubs and cook them for a fresh potato dish with supper. In this case, I added a few shredded carrots and some leftover raw cabbage.
A BLANCHING TIP
Save a Step
As you may already know, blanching potatoes requires several steps:
- Slice them
- Blanch in boiling water for about three minutes
- Plunge them into cold water to stop the cooking process
- Spin them to get most of the water off
- Place in the dehydrator
Originally, after blanching I would place them in a bowl and transfer them to the cold-water bath. Then I would drain them and place in salad spinner.
- It’s much easier to simply place them directly into the salad spinner insert, which you plunge into the cold water bath. Pull the out of the water and directly into the spinner. Saves a step, and a bit of fumbling and fussing.