Sunday, 11 September 2011

Life on Pig Row - Potatoes

Little D is not a fan of potatoes.


 


Out and about in our local town, my wife and I, always treat ourselves to a guilty pleasure, a chip butty. We normally have to buy Little D a banana as he looks on with disgust at our gluttony. He may chomp on some of our bread, a stolen piece from my wife, a cadged bit from me but a chip is always spat out. If he could he would reach for my shirt and wipe his tongue on it. This is how much our son loathes potatoes. Strangely, for awhile it was his favourite word. Pig Row for several months rang out with Little D's thumping feet inside and outside whilst he chanted 'Po-tate-toe'. This is exactly how he said it, 'Po-tate-toe'. Digging over the beds in the allotment was accompanied by 'Po-tate-toe', the inflection at the end of the word. For several months we had to avoid any Irish friends for fear he would greet them with 'Po-tate-toe'. He didn't ever seem to put the humble potato together with his 'Po-tate-toe'. When I showed him a potato that I was planting he ran away crying. 


Then two weeks ago I dug up my Shetland Black potatoes, a heritage variety with a purple skin, white fluffy skin and a purple ring running through the flesh. They make great ugly chips, great ugly roast potatoes and great ugly mash. They taste like no other potato you will ever eat. So, with this in mind we tried to introduce Little D to it.


We served it up with his favourite meal, the Sunday lunch. This is a meal that is not just eaten, it is a war zone of food, stand too close and you will be on the menu. Come to Pig Row on Sunday and you will find Little D in high chair, a tarpaulin spread beneath it and the surrounding room splattered in green beans, gravy and Yorkshire pudding. This will be hoovered up by his little fingers for over an hour as he watches Countryfile and Antique Roadshow. Antiques Roadshow is amongst his favourite shows, along with Mr Tumble accompanied with oranges and Show Me Show Me accompanied with Weetabix or crumpets but Antiques Roadshow is always Sunday lunch. Later that night the hills surrounding Pig Row will ring with the smacking of Little D's lips as he revisits the meat and two veg. Even in his sleep we can hear over the baby monitor, his smacking lips and yum yum sounds. 


The only casualty in the Sunday lunch has been the potato. The poor potato is normally squished between Little D's fingers and thrown onto the tarpaulin. If he could he would get out of his high chair and grind it under his chubby heels. Last Sunday we tried him with our own potatoes, the Shetland Blacks. We lovingly mashed them and then we hid them under lashings of gravy and green beans. Little D found them, he studied them between finger and thumb, checking their stickiness, he then studied the rest of his lunch, he ate all the potato and discarded the rest of his meal. Green beans became disgusting to him. Yorkshire pudding resulted in wailing. Chicken was abandoned with a squeak but the potatoes, purple, awful, ugly looking mash on the plate where eaten with abandonment that I have never seen in a toddler. 


It appears that Little D only likes potatoes that we have grown because last Friday we went into town, ate our chip butties and Little D chomped on his banana shaking his head in disgust every time we offered him a chip and reaching for my shirt with his tongue.