Thursday, October 19

Potatofest 2006: Round the World with Potatoes

The Potato Eaters
Vincent van Gogh
I have tried to make it clear how those people, eating their potatoes under the lamplight, have dug the earth with those very hands they put in their dish, and so it speaks of manual labor, and how they have honestly earned their food. I have wanted to give the impression of quite a different way of living than that of us civilized people. Therefore I am not at all anxious for everyone to like it or to admire it at once. (Letter 404, van Gogh)
Van Gogh worked at making this scene a little unpleasant in order to show the harshness of the life of manual labour. Contrast this to the attitude of Millet, who painted the same sort of labourers in a way that emphasized the dignity and beauty of their lives rather than the harshness and unpleasantness.

Recent contributions to Potatofest:
  • Violet of Promptings make a recipe her mother-in-law used to make, and that her husband raved about: Saucy Potato Buns. The recipe is of Ukrainian origin, and they seem a little like perogies made with yeast dough. The photos make them look delicious!

  • We go from Ukrainian to Lebanese with Sprittibee's recipe for Batatah Harrah (Spicy Potatoes).

  • churchpundit has a little Canadian potato trivia:
    . . . in New Brunswick . . . up north where they grow miles of potatoes, the schools are actually closed for two weeks to allow the children to help with the harvest!
  • By way of illustration of churchpundit's trivia, missmellifluous links to a photo of Canadian school children picking potatoes in 1910. (See photo on right, click for larger view from original source.)

  • Discussing the Irish potato famine, missmellifluous tells us a little interesting tidbit of her family history:
    My ancestors survived [the famine] but only just, I think, because my great great grandmother was transported to Australia for stealing a dress in the years after the famine. I always thought it strange that she wasn't caught stealing food. But fashion is very important...? It was a very bleak time in Irish history.

Want to join the party? Here's how:

Post something potato related on your blog
  • a potato recipe
  • a potato photo
  • a potato joke
  • a quote about potatoes
  • a story about potatoes
  • a tip for a unique way to use potatoes
  • a piece of potato art
  • a potato quiz
  • you name it--if its about potatoes, it belongs at Potatofest
and leave the link in the comments or email it to me. I'll link to your potato link (or links) sometime during the month of Potatofest. If you don't have a blog, or feel you don't want to clutter up your blog with potato drivel, then leave your recipe, joke--you name it--in the comments and I'll work it into a post sometime during the month. Somewhere, somehow, I'll even include things as simple as a comment on your favorite way to eat potatoes, or your favorite variety of potatoes.
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