Oh NO! Not spud peeling
I can easily breeze through repetitious work. Take sowing seeds and potting on cuttings for example, especially when I was growing seeds for a living. I’d sit on my stool in the tunnel throughout the cold cold winters (violins can start now) and I’d patiently pot up the plants and lay them out in an orderly fashion for them to grow on.
This patience doesn’t end in the garden, I realise it’s the journey not the destination. For that reason I can cope with most mundane jobs in the house, washing, vacuuming and dusting.
So can anyone tell me why, oh why do I break out into a cold sweat when I am asked to peel spuds? From getting the first potato in my hand and starting to peel until the last one plops into the pan, I detest the process. My chest tightens up, blood pressure goes up and I feel like I need to scream. You can probably guess that I am not asked to do this very often and if left to my own devices I will always make pasta, rice or noodles.
If I am in a shop buying vegetables I will usually go for the ones that look as though they have come out of the ground with a bit of soil on them - unless they are potatoes. Just in case for some unexplained reason that I am asked to peel them I will go for the cleanest, biggest (that’s important too as it’s less fiddly) least recessed eyes and the ones with as little or no blemishes as possible. Less work and anxiety for me. I don’t even look where they have been grown. Shame on me, but when my health is at stake I can’t be too careful, I won't even grow them! I think maybe my spud peeling resistance is something to do with valuing my time and thinking I should be doing something more useful than peeling off imperfections.
Taking your time
I remember a friend of mine filling up some large flower containers using a dessert spoon to scoop out the compost from the bag and place it gently into the pot. I suggested she could do it faster by tipping the compost straight into the pot from the bag. It’d save her time I thought. “Why would I want to do that?” she said “I am enjoying doing it this way.” Maybe I ought to employ the same philosophy when it comes to peeling spuds. The only way I can cope is by throwing them straight into the oven “as is” and bake them for an hour.
It’s all about the timing
I’m very conscious of timing in the garden this year. For some reason the season is moving forward at a seemingly faster rate than usual, it must be an age thing. I’m following Klaus’s growing and planting guidelines on his seed packets and so far have planted everything he suggests to the end of April. I now have basil, peas, mange tout, kale, onions, spring onions and sweetcorn in. I still have a lot more seeds to sow but I am taking my time, especially with the French beans, they won’t need to go in until the end of May.
I’ve made the finishing touches to the granite set walls I built last week. It’s made a great place for the dogs to sit as the sieved soil is nice and warm for them. They can also get to look straight into the kitchen window at me longingly looking for food. As the beds are near to the back door I will be planting them up with herbs we can pick whilst cooking. I also thought a bit of lawn chamomile might go well in between the cracks in the slabs. The highly scented plants will serve a few other purposes too. They will give off a pleasant aroma when walked on of brushed past. Secondly, if the dogs insist on still sitting in the same spots after the herbs are planted, it might help to make them smell a bit sweeter. It might not come as much of a surprise but the dogs don’t half pong, especially when they have just come out of the river.