Potato Blessing

I was going to go off on another rant about marketing today, but I have been distracted by potatos. Be grateful…you’re spared that diatribe for another day.

On Sunday, our church informed us that we had been blessed with potatos. Several tons of potatos had been dropped off last week and volunteers had bagged them up on Saturday, so could everyone please take some home? I sent one of my sons to get a bag after church and was horrified to see him lugging a plastic garbage bag full of runty muddy potatos and heaving it into the back of the car. My secret thought was, "ah, more fodder for the husband’s compost heaps!" My he-man son dutifully stored them under the kitchen sink for me…still in the plastic bag.

Today as I was getting ready to make soup, I decided I’d best deal with the potatos before they began to rot. With some grumbling, I wrestled the bag onto the counter. My ungrateful head was full of nightmare images from when I was a starving college student. How many times had I sworn I would never eat rotten vegetables again? I mean, who gives rotted cauliflower to a food bank? Someone does — I know. I’ve been the recipient of it. And yes, in a pinch, you can eat it. That is survival…especially when you are as malnourished as I was at the time. Images of dumpster diving in my early married years came to mind…that was the last time the stock market hit this level. Were we really here again? I sighed. No, but with my husband working 3 jobs to make ends meet, I certainly shouldn’t complain about having to wash my potatos.

I gritted my teeth and pulled out one of the small, mud-encrusted bundles. With a sigh, I began peeling it…and stopped. Beneath the dried mud was a beautiful red skin. Confused, I pulled out the vegetable brush and began scrubbing away the mud — all thought of sparing the plumming vanished. Instead of finding the runty russet potatos I’d expected, here were some of the most delectible looking red potatos I’d ever seen. I looked back at the bag in shock. I’ve never had so many red potatos in my house at one time…being a cheapskate, I rarely buy them at all, but my husband loves them. Now my mind was taken back to the drive through the fields last fall when I got stuck behind the potato truck. At the time, I’d wondered what those potatos would taste like fresh from the ground.

The potatos were no longer a reminder of bad times. Instead, I remembered that day my daughter and I had spent driving through the farmland and muching on fresh-picked apples. I made a big pot of potato soup for dinner — my boys adore potato soup — and baked a couple for the munchkin and I to snack on in the meantime. She climbed up on her stool and helped Mommy wash that mountain of potatos. We were muddy. We were wet. We were laughing like loons.

The counter is covered with drying potatos. I’ve emailed the husband to bring home more sour cream, and I am planning for a week of potato recipies.

I hope I don’t forget to be grateful for the blessings God sends…even when they come wrapped in mud.

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