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I'll Take an Old Cold Tater and Wait

Updated on October 29, 2015


It's potato digging time here in the mountains of Western North Carolina and although I did not plant any I found three bags of freshly dug potatoes on my carport this week. Who doesn't like potatoes? The potato has long been a part of my diet and can be prepared in so many ways. I smiled when I watched the movie Forrest Gump when his friend Bubba was convincing Forrest to go into the shrimping business with him spending the entire night telling him all the ways shrimp could be prepared and served. The same holds true with good old taters. They can be stewed, baked, fried, sauteed, and casseroled in so many different ways, cook books cannot hold all the recipes.

Today there are also more varieties available and grown specifically for baking or other kitchen uses. As a boy I recall my dad and his friends discussing what kind of seed potatoes they would plant but basically they planted the same variety each year. Planting wasn't hard. The seed potatoes were cut making sure there was an eye on each piece planted which would develop into the plant. Some folks planted in February while most waited to late March or early April here in the Blue Ridge. The potatoes were covered deep but with warm days and spring rains, soon the potatoes grew out of the ground. The rows were mounded and the plants grew fast. Scratching taters could be found by late June or early July. Those first spuds were always a favorite for Sunday dinners and the red variety were most often scratched first.

In the fall with the ground cover having covered the potato patch after having been laid by for sometime and no cultivators plowing the middles the vegetation became brown, the fields were then cleared using a gee whiz and the taters plowed out of the rows that had been mounded. It was fun picking up the fresh taters and we always found great delight finding unique shapes that had grown under those vines which often had as high as 7 or 8 potatoes growing on the bottom of the plant. Last year my brother in law found one in his field which he swore looked like Barrack Obamma and he took it to the state fair as a conversation piece. He carried that tater around until I think it finally rotted.

What would we all do without this great vegetable? Without a doubt Mickey D's and Burger King would soon go out of business should we have a potato famine. For many now, the potato has become a no no. The starches in white potatoes are too high for those of us with Type 2 diabetes and should be eaten sparingly. Yet even with the knowledge we now have about diet, it is hard to push away from those mashed potatoes especially if you or your wife is a great cook.

Country music legend Jimmy Dickens had a hit called I'll Take an Old Cold Tater and Wait that was popular. I think the wait would be harder if we didn't have potatoes. What is your favorite potato dish? Do you eat as many potatoes as you formerly did? I hate instant potatoes, do you like instant potatoes?


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    • iZeko profile image

      iZeko 5 years ago

      Great hub! Potatoes have become somewhat of a public enemy, but they are not that bad when prepared properly.

    • Cousin Fudd profile image

      RobertElias Ballard 5 years ago from From the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina

      Oh yes, you're talking my language.

    • justmyopiniontoo profile image

      justmyopiniontoo 5 years ago

      Well Cuz, over here in Ireland we know all about the humble spud as we call them. The best way to have taters is freshly mashed with a large knob of real butter (not this half an half healthy rubbish) and a drop of milk. Tasty! Yum! Great hub!

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

      I do remember that song well...nothin' like an old cold baked sweet potato when you are really hungry! This is an interesting piece which does a good job of creating a picture of the potato growing process...we just may need it again some day soon. WB

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

      Interesting hub and I agree, there are many many ways to prepare potatoes and many varieties of them. Enjoyed reading about them.

    • profile image

      Justsilvie 5 years ago

      Nice Hub! Potatoes are not only good by healthy too. Going to try my hand a growing some in the spring I think

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Great hub. I like my taters. mashed or roast for me. Never use instant just not the same.

    • profile image

      jami l. pereira 5 years ago

      I love taters too !:) Great Hub Cousin Fudd :) voted up and awesome!:)

    • snakeslane profile image

      snakeslane 5 years ago from Canada

      Hi Cousin Fudd, your heart shaped potatoe drew me in to this potatoe story, good topic, I enjoyed your brief history and information. I guess I like baked best, mashed next. Funny about the instant potatoe, it does get a bad rap, but actually very handy and delicious for a quick side dish to a roast beef or chicken dinner, also good for thickening soups and stews, sorry, just had to add. Regards, snakeslane