I got caught this morning wanting to know why I should put my potatoes in the dishwasher.
Well, after clicking through about 50 other Kitchen hacks—pretty good ones, I finally found the one I wanted. You can wash your vegetables in the dishwasher.
I knew that. Yeah, I’ve heard you can cook a turkey in the dishwasher too, but I’ve never tried that.
I thought I would find some esoteric reason that the dishwasher would remove harmful substances from my potatoes.
Nope. Just wash them. That’s a waste of hot water and electricity.
You see, I have a history with potatoes.
Long-time readers may have read that I killed my two darling hens a few years ago by feeding them potato skins. (A potato peeling will never pass my current chicken’s lips.)
It broke my heart to see my two hens, both dead, the morning after I prepared a Thanksgiving dinner, and thought I was giving them a treat to offer potato peelings.
I’m saying this to tell people, “NEVER GIVE YOUR CHICKENS POTATO SKINS.”
I have not purchased a Russet potato since—although I probably have in a restaurant. And I do love potatoes, and I don’t want to malign them, for you know they have saved many a society. (And The Martian.). After my chicken trauma, though, I purchase only red-skinned ones.
First, I heard that red potatoes are not sprayed, and I seek out organic. Besides, red ones taste better, and I’ve found they work well with everything I want to prepare, including mashed potatoes. Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and turkey gravy is my once-a-year indulgence.
It could have been a spray that killed my hens, for I just bought a prepared bag of commercial potatoes, and I don’t know their origin. I suspect, though, that the Solanine tuberosum, a glycoalkaloid poison found in some species of the nightshade family, esp. abundant in potato skins, was the culprit.
Potato skins contain the same substance that poisoned Chris McCandless, the young man who went into the wilderness to live off the land and died there. (His diary stated he had eaten a poisonous plant.)
I know we have all eaten potatoes, and stuffed potato skins are delicious. If we suffered any side effects, we don’t know about them. People can tolerate larger amounts than can chickens/birds, and our potatoes are normally cooked which largely renders the poison harmless.
Ronald Hamilton posted a paper on the Internet that brings new facts to Chris’s demise. Hamilton, it turns out, discovered evidence that closed the book on McCandless’s death.
To appreciate the brilliance of Hamilton’s investigative work, some backstory is helpful.
McCandless’s diary indicated that beginning on June 24, 1992, the roots of the Hedysarum alpinum plant became a staple of his daily diet. On July 14, he started harvesting and eating Hedysarum alpinum seeds as well. One of his photos depicts a one-gallon Ziploc bag stuffed with these seeds. When Hamilton visited the McCandless’s home, an old school bus, in July 1993, he wrote that wild potato plants were growing everywhere. He filled a one-gallon bag with more than a pound of seeds in less than thirty minutes.
The movie, Into the Wild tells Chris’s story.
To end on a happy note: I never thought when I was growing up on a farm that chickens could be such fun.
My dear son-in-law and grandson moved my little chicken house into the backyard. Hubby and I replaced the roof and shingled it with leftover shingles I found at Habitat for Humanity’s sales outlet. I stained the siding Cedar red and painted the trim green. Now it looks cute, and I can see it from the kitchen window. No more leaving chickens in the Wayback as fodder for the raccoon. All four chickens love being freed into the backyard. They talk to me and let me touch them. Blackie has shown them the pleasure of the shade under the lilac bush and the dust baths she has prepared.
The first episode of my novel Song of Africa, is available on Kindle Vella#. The first three episodes are FREE. After than tokens are required for further reading. I thought this was Kindle’s brilliant idea, for people like to read segments, and this gives a feeling for the book, and gives you the opportunity to keep reading or not.
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I better get crackin’ on Episode 2.