Sunday, February 24, 2013

Idaho Potato Lovers Month

If you didn't already know, now you do: February is Idaho Potato Lovers Month.

I think it is wonderful that every thing seems to have it's own special day or month. Potatoes are one of those things that I don't think about a lot, but really seem to include in many of my meals. Perhaps it is my mid-western upbringing. Meat and potatoes seem to dominate many of the meals. There is some seasonality, to my typical potato usage, but others that seem to be more universal to all seasons.

Mashed potatoes, for example, seem to be most associated with the winter months for me. They go so well with roast, pan fried pork chops, baked chicken and more. We have those meals sometimes, in the summer, but not as often. Parsley-ed potatoes seem to fall into a similar category.

Hash browns (you can find my homemade hash browns recipe here) are more universal to all seasons, but usually associated with either breakfast food (even at dinner time) or sausage. We prefer to have our hash browns topped - cheese, tomatoes, onions and other toppings. One combination that you might consider is to add shredded cheese and bacon (or even easier, just add Hormel bacon toppings) to your hash browns to make it a meal on its own or as a side to your eggs or waffles.

French Fries are certainly a multi-season treat. We like them with our chicken fingers and hamburgers off the grill. I have made french fries from potatoes, but most frequently, I purchase them already cut and ready to bake.

Baked potatoes are one of my favorite ways to enjoy potatoes. Typically, I prefer them hot off the grill, topped with cold butter and sour cream with a dash of salt and pepper. There is something about the cold/hot and the creamy/salty combination that is so appealing. I eat the whole potato - skin and all (whether it is true or not, I have always heard that there is a lot of nutritional value to the skins)

Sometimes though, I like to enjoy a baked potato bar. Turn the potato into a meal! I like my baked potato topped with steamed broccoli, shredded cheese and bacon. Of course, I don't skip the butter, sour cream, salt and pepper...I just add to them. At work, they typically also have cheese sauce, scallions and other toppings to choose from. To make life simpler, when we make them at home, we usually keep it simple with broccoli, scallions, a bag of shredded cheese and Hormel bacon pieces or Hormel crumbled bacon bits on our potato bar. How do you top your potato?

Of course, if you remove the potato pulp and fill the skins with cheese and bacon, they transform from a meal to an appetizer or party treat. I just wonder what you do with the potato when you make potato skins. Have you ever made homemade potato skins? What do you do with the potato?

I was just studying my weekly ad and see that Idaho Potatoes and broccoli are on sale, maybe I should plan for a potato bar soon!

How will you celebrate Idaho Potato Lovers Month?

No compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed are mine or those of my family. I am completing this post as a participant in the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger program. Hormel Foods provided some of the information for this post.


Sarah Park said...

Potato is one of the very few veggies kids don't hesitate to eat.