Monday, May 6, 2013

Shriveled potatoes and really old eggs

Sounds appetizing right?

It's May and I still have 2 boxes of shriveled up potatoes that have started sprouting. They look unseemly, I hate to throw them out, but who wants to eat them that way? Well, I do, they are perfect for skin on-mashed potatoes.

Today hubby is making some pork ribs (using the 3, 2, 1 method) in the new smoker I encouraged him to purchase (more cooking for him means less cooking for me, and smoked meat? Yeah, baby.) Skin on potatoes sounded like a perfect fit.

I am so lazy when it comes to actually using potatoes. I don't like scrubbing them or peeling them. Fortunately, God gave me 6 healthy children, so they can do it, besides they eat them all, so I don't feel bad. Skin on are not my husband's favorite kind, so when they are fresher I concede and peel them, but the skin is where all the nutrients are in the potatoes, so I try to sneak in skin in recipes that call for taters. We have to fill our 8qt pot every time we make them, we still don't have leftovers.

Skin-on mashed potatoes

One pot full of potatoes
One stick Butter (or margarine or olive oil)
Salt & Pepper

Optional:
sour cream
cream cheese
dried minced onions
milk

Scrub the potatoes, fill up the pot as you go. Unload the potatoes and cut them up in to large pieces and take off any green that is on the potatoes (the green is from being exposed to light and makes them very bitter and I have heard that it is even poisonous, but that may be a wives tale). Also by May there seem to be more black spots inside the potatoes you need to cut out.

Put only about 4 inches of water in the bottom of your pot. My mother taught me to do it this way, you basically are steaming your potatoes instead of boiling them and leaching out the nutrients into the water.

Cook about 15 minutes, until they are fork tender.

Drain off most of the water, put in a stick of butter, cover the butter with potatoes and let the butter melt for 3 minutes or so. Add salt to taste (I added about 4tsp tonight), pepper (I added 1/2 tsp) and anything else you desire (I added a pint of sour cream tonight, they were really good.)

Mash, taste, adjust salt and pepper, serve hot.
OR
Put them in a 9x13 casserole and re-bake them for a potluck or for dinner the next day. When you re-bake them add more butter to the top and some paprika. Bake covered at 350 for 45 min, then uncovered for about 15 min. I do it this way when I'm going somewhere for Thanksgiving and I usually peel them for Thanksgiving and add the cream cheese and dried minced onions.

Here are my scrubbed, shriveled, soft potatoes being cut up for mashed potatoes.

Top are the potatoes cooking (lid on) and below are the eggs covered with water, lid off, watch them.


Ok, onto the month old "farm fresh" eggs, ha.

If you are Orthodox than you know why I have a plethora of eggs up to one month old. I have given some eggs away and sold some too, but I still have about 12 dozen eggs built up in my fridge. I haven't figured out how to tell my chickens that it's Lent, lay off for a bit... But as I HATE wasting food, it is my mission to find the best way to use month old eggs.

A cool way to tell if an egg is rotten or not is if it floats, if you have a floating egg throw it away. If it stands up on end, it's old, but not rotten. We eat those.

The best way to cook old eggs in my opinion is to make deviled eggs! You float them all in the water, hard boil them, make a bunch of hard boiled eggs, devil them and eat them at your potluck, then make more for snacks for your family. Most people say that the older the egg, the easier it is to peel. Mine should be quite easy to peel!!!

Basic Deviled Eggs, for 24 eggs (48 deviled eggs)

Hard boil eggs (you can reference the internet for more details on hard boiling eggs, but this is what I do):
Cover eggs with 2 inches or so of water, heat them on medium heat, I leave mine uncovered at first and check on them every 5-10 minutes.
When the water just barely starts to bubble, turn off heat and put the lid on the pan, set the timer for 18 minutes.
The other day I put the lid on for 22 minutes and they were overdone. I don't mind for deviled eggs, I'd rather them be overdone than underdone and it's easy to under cook this many eggs when they have all come out of the cold refrigerator. The mass of cold versus the mass of hot water won't let them cook properly, that's why I have started heating them more slowly, it causes the eggs to heat up with the water.

Cool in cold water with ice, wait 'till manageable or completely cooled. Cut eggs in half, pop yolks into a bowl.

Ingredients:

1 cup mayonnaise
4 tsp white vinegar
4 tsp mustard
milk if needed
pepper to taste
paprika

Whip ingredients with a fork, add milk if it's too thick. Taste it! Add salt if you need more. There are also other fun ingredients you could toss in, but when you're making so many eggs and they are good this way I don't go for fancy.

I used a little milk the other day because it was too dry. Then, the next day when I made more, I didn't need any. I also used a quart bag, folded down edges, filled bag with filling, cut the tip off the corner, and squeezed in a heaping portion into each half.

Sprinkle with paprika to make them pretty.

Here are the ribs hubby made today. They. Were. So. Good. I'm not a rib fan, but I'm a fan of these.
By the way, if you want to know if you can give your dogs cooked pork bones, you can't. They are like cooked chicken bones, they will splinter and they can kill them. :(

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