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(post, Ruth Newman)
A couple of weeks ago I discovered the potato lady at the farmers market. A lot of the veggie vendors there have one or two types of potatos but this lady sold potatos almost exclusively with squashes making up the rest of her stall. She had so many kinds it was difficult to pick. There were Blue Russians (which I had been searching for for a couple of years already!), yukon gold, banana fingerlings, pink fleshed and then there were the french fingerlings. So I picked some of each kind and brought them home to try. I scrubbed a bunch of the smaller ones and threw them in the steamer. It was an assorted batch so I could get a taste for each. I doctored them up with butter and salt and started trying them. The Blue Russians were dark purple, with a dry crumbly texture. I knew they would be much better as bakers or mashed up with extra milk. The yukon gold had a nice yellow colour and had a crumbly texture and soaked up the butter and salt very nicely. The banana fingerlings had a smooth texture and the skins were nice and thin. Steaming was probably the best prepration for them. The best however were the french fingerlings. They had red skins and a creamy white flesh and had an extremely smooth texture. It was almost like eating potato custard. I loved them so much I raved about them to everyone I knew and even people I didn't. You would think that the next time I was at the market I would have bought a whole bag of the beauties. You would think I would carefully store them and save them and eat them all winter long. However the next time I was at the market I thought, "oh I still have some left, I'll get some next time." And then I didn't get to go to the market the next week. And then, when I went back just last weekend, there were no more french fingerlings. It was over for the season. I would have to wait til next year to get another taste of the heavenly french fingerling. I was so disappointed I almost cried. But instead I bought two 10 pound bags of the blue russians (the lady said this was the last week for them too) and went home and made Barbie mashed potatos (steamed blue russians and pink fleshed potatos, mashed with butter and milk and salt and placed side by side they are the same colours as a Barbie house! The four-year old I fed them to loved them.) My heart still yearns for those tiny little bundles of God's goodness though, and I promise myself that next year won't take me so much by surprise and that I will buy them every chance I get, because you know the season is just too short.