Skip to main content

Potato pancakes

I had a birthday recently, and my parents' present this year was a couple of cookbooks to add to my collection.  They are both collections of vegetarian recipes, and manage to incorporate things I would actually cook, which are also slightly different to what I cook all the time.  Cottage pie?  Sure.  Indian spiced vegetarian cottage pie?  Now that sounds interesting.




So the other day I was feeling adventurous, and came across a recipe for potato pancakes with spiced beetroot in the Accidental Vegetarian.  Is it me, or has beetroot become fashionable all of a sudden?  I can't remember when I last ate beetroot, never mind cooked with it.  In my head it was firmly tucked away with other weird muddy knobbly vegetables like celeriac and artichokes, that you've vaguely heard of but wouldn't have a clue what to do with.  And then suddenly you pick up a supermarket magazine and the cover story is something like, 10 best things to do with beetroot!

Anyway, the beetroot?  All well and good.  Turns out you can pick up a packet of it for about 80p, all ready-cooked and peeled and everything.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy, as Toby is fond of saying.

The potato pancakes?  Well, have you had those moments where you're halfway through some process and it's taken twice as long as you thought already and you wonder why you ever started?  Yeeaaahhh.  One of those.

Boil potatoes.  Yup.  Easy enough.  Pass through potato ricer or sieve.  Umm, I'm sure a potato ricer is very useful and all, but it's not something I've ever felt led to spend money on.  Until now, when I'm discovering exactly how tedious it is to try and push potatoes through a sieve.  Jesus talked about camels going through the eye of a needle; I could give him another illustration if he needed it.  Not being a chef, he probably never even considered that anyone might be dumb enough to want to sieve a potato.  (Although - how dumb do you have to be to want to get a camel through a needle, either?)

After much bashing and scraping, I gave up and tossed the rest of the potato into the mixing bowl.  If I mix it with the electric mixer, that'll work, won't it?  Add the flour.  Add the milk, gradually.  Aaagghhh!  The mixture's not only clogging up the beaters, it's creeeeeping up the stems and... quick!  Turn the mixer off before it becomes completely engulfed in mashed potato!  Drat.  Drat drat drat drat.

Scrape it all off.  Resort to spatula for mixing.  Wonder how there got to be bits of potato stuff all over the floor, the tiles, the fruit bowl and the pot of baking powder.  Look guiltily at watch and realise the boy should have got up from his nap twenty minutes ago, but hey, he's still sleeping and I. will. not. let. this. beat. me.  Somehow, this bowl of lumpy oatmeal slop is going to turn into pancakes.

Heat up frying pan.  Realise that the recipe's "large spoonful" equates to about a half-cup measure.  In what world is that a large spoonful?  Pour in the mixture.  Spread it out...

You know what?  Somehow, it did turn into pancakes.  They weren't bad, either, and the recipe made lots, so I have some in the freezer that I can pull out and serve without the two hours of crazy mess-making work.  Even Toby ate them (and appears to like beetroot, of all things) and he is being incredibly fussy about eating dinner right now.

Lest you think it was a completely happy ending... Toby still wasn't up when Graham got home from work, which is far too late, and he'd napped so long he woke up wet and incredibly cranky, and I felt like a horrible mum, and... oh yes, it was all fun and games for a few minutes.

But look!  I tried a new recipe!  I didn't get a photo of the beetroot version, and it really wasn't as photogenic as the beautiful picture in the book, anyway.  So here's the breakfast incarnation.  Greek yoghurt, fresh pineapple and a drizzle of maple syrup.  Mmmmm.


Anyone have a potato ricer they want to give me?

Comments

Sally Eyre said…
We love ours, pop over and borrow it if you want? Having gone through a couple of metal ones which bent out of shape, plastic is the way to go.

Popular posts from this blog

Reading for Spiritual Formation

Do you read books in order to live a better life? I read books for lots of reasons, ranging from escapism and enjoyment to information and obligation.  In some sense, every book we read lodges somewhere inside us, affecting who we are and how we react to life.  I am the product of many books (far too many, some would say!) Not my library! (Image: Pixabay) Last year, though, I read four books with the specific intention of growing spiritually.  These four books were chosen by the Renovaré Book Club.  Renovaré Book Club Renovaré wasn't a name I'd come across before.  Turns out that it's a Christian group founded by Richard Foster (who wrote Celebration of Discipline ) and involving Dallas Willard (who wrote The Spirit of the Disciplines ), which probably gives you a good idea of their emphasis!  I was impressed with the quality of resources offered with the book club - podcasts, articles, discussion boards, online Q&A - and I also thought they'd done a good job get

Baby Language

For some reason baby equipment is an area in which American English differs markedly from British English. As well as learning how to care for a baby, we had to learn a whole new vocabulary! Fortunately we are now fluently bilingual, and I have compiled a handy US-UK baby dictionary for you. Diaper n. Nappy Mom says if you can read this change my diaper. The first time you change one of these you will be all thumbs and stick the little adhesive tabs to yourself, the baby and probably the changing mat before you get them where they ought to go. A few years later you will be able to lasso a running toddler and change them before they even know what's happened (yes, I have seen it done). You will also get through more diapers than you ever thought possible, creating scary amounts of expense and waste. Hence we are now mostly using: Cloth diaper n. Reusable nappy Cool baby. No longer those terry squares, the main drawback is that there are now so many types it can be qu

our new apartment

Moving was a slightly surreal experience given that our new place looks almost exactly the same as the old one, except for being a different layout. That's what you get for living in a throw-'em-up-and-pack-'em-in apartment complex I guess - albeit a very nice one. So, entering apartment 433: To your right is the master bedroom: with en-suite bathroom: and looking back, from your left, that's a walk-in closet, door to the hallway and door to the bathroom: Following the layout so far? OK, go back to the hallway and put your back to the front door again, and this time walk straight forwards into the sitting room: As you can see, ahead of you is the door to the balcony: for which I have grand plans for a herb garden and other plants. Leading off the living room is the dining area: and if you walk through that and round to your right you reach the kitchen: Go back through the living room again: and if you turn right (