My friend Carol has a jar of Cherokee Trail of Tears beans in her kitchen windowsill. She also has a huge bucket of potatoes on her kitchen table; or she did yesterday, anyway. I went up for a Getting Things Done day (she finished two projects and undid two, which kind of counts as progress as it needed to happen in order for her to finish them; I cut out a quilt’s worth of fabric pieces and started a short-row toe) and we decided to have potato-leek soup for dinner. So of course we had to dig potatoes for soup.

She grew three kinds: banana fingerlings, All-Blues, and a white kind I can’t remember the name of–Oway?–but that she said she wouldn’t grow again anyway. “The fingerlings are my favorites,” she said as we crouched on either side of her potato bed with trowels. “We eat them roasted with garlic. Does Eric like them?”

“He thinks potatoes made that way are bland,” I said, rooting out some All-Blues. “He mostly just likes mashed potatoes.”

“He thinks roasted with garlic is bland, but mashed isn’t?!” she said, unearthing a hand’s worth of fingerlings.

“I think it’s just what he’s used to,” I said. I’m going to have to see if I can get him to change his mind, though; I have fingerlings of my own (French) and roasting them with garlic and oil and salt sounds marvelous. I haven’t had potatoes much at all this summer, and I’ve missed them.

The potato-leek soup turned out wonderfully: tasty and attractive, lavender soup with light green highlights from the leeks. She says they had lavender mashed potatoes not long ago, too. Hooray for funny-colored food!

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