I swear on my grandmother’s grave that there’s no problem that can’t be addressed by potatoes roasted with oil, salt, lemon and rosemary. I can make such a statement because that’s something my late grandmother herself used to say, virtually on a daily basis. She used to make me roast potatoes when I’d go to her house after school on Friday afternoons, and eating them came to mark the beginning of my weekend. I still like to make them on Friday nights when I can.
Usually, I’ll pinch myself a sprig from the aromatic rosemary plant that hangs over onto the footpath around the corner – seems like fair game to me. And there’s an overhanging lemon tree in a laneway that I pass on my walk home, which occasionally has a fruit or two up for grabs. There’s also some parsley growing on the nature strip at the moment, a block down from me; it looks like it’s self-sown. So I’ve been availing myself of that.
I get a buzz from the feeling of having foraged something, albeit in a fairly minor capacity. I’m starting to think I could go further in this direction by cultivating some produce for myself. Specifically, I’m interested in growing potato plants from seed. I don’t know the first thing about it, but it can’t be rocket science. Most of my friends who garden seem to see it largely as a process of trial and error, in spite of their abundance of technical know-how.
One garden-loving pal in particular, whose primary interest is in keeping exotic cacti, has recently gotten deep into growing garlic. Some people seem to develop a special affinity for specific plants, and become really absorbed in the intricacies of their growing mechanisms. So, I’m wondering: what if I’m a potato man? The potato man, even. I definitely have affinity for eating potatoes, made in my grandmother’s special way.
I don’t know. What I do know is that I must remember to chase up Mike about getting in on his garlic harvest this year.