Potatoes are a New World root vegetable in the nightshade family. All green parts of the plant are poisonous. That is why potatoes should be stored in the dark. In sunlight, they turn green and become dangerous to eat.

Since potatoes were introduced in Europe, they have become a staple food to the extent that bad harvest years are known to have caused famines.

a. growing potatoes at home


The most important is to plant only disease-free planting potatoes. If you plant store-bought food potatoes, you're guaranteed to contaminate your potato patch with blight disease.

Potatoes never did very well for me here in the NM desert. The temperate growing season isn't long enough to form large tubers. Once the summer heat hit, potatoes died off and went dormant. 


This is what you need:

  • disease-free planting potatoes
  • preferably a temperate climate
  • heavy fertile soil
Pic1: potato harvest from compost heap potatoes



Pic2-4: 2014 growing potatoes on the compost heap


Pic5: 2015-06-06 — second-year potatoes
Pic6: 2017-02-25 — start potatoes early in a pot, then plant them deep
Pic7: 2015-04-05 — volunteer potato plant

b. boiled potatoes

This is probably the most common way of cooking potatoes.

See: boiled potatoes


Pic8: boiled potatoes
Pic9: tossed potatoes
Pic10: served, boiled vs. deep-fried

c. mashed potatoes

See: mashed potatoes


Pic11: boiled potatoes, tossed
Pic12: mashing the potatoes
Pic13: smoother with milk and nutmeg

d. baked potatoes

See: baked potatoes.


Pic14: bake
Pic15: add butter
Pic16: served

e. pan-fried potatoes

Before pan- or deep-frying potatoes, boil or at least parboil them. Pan-fried raw potatoes won't cook properly and don't taste very good because they cannot absorb salt like they do when boiling in water. 

See: pan-fried potatoes


Pic17-19: pan-frying boiled potatoes

f. deep-fried potatoes: fries

See: potato fries 

Pic20: heavy-duty fry-cutter
Pic21: my 2-quart deep-fryer
Pic22: keep dreaming — internet picture   :-)

g. scalloped potatoes

See: scalloped potatoes


Pic23: potatoes, cream / sauce
Pic24: cheese on top
Pic25: served

h. potato croquettes

See: potato croquettes

Pic26: deep-frying
Pic27: deep-fried, perfect
Pic28: burst croquettes = potatoes are too wet