"The Atholl Palace is one of my favourite places where each year we meet up with good friends and have fun. It's the perfect place to stay in a perfect setting with lovely people looking after us. What more could a person want?"
Some things in life are named in a manner that simply doesn’t do them justice.
In the garden this might be a sweetly perfumed rose whose name doesn’t even hint at the loveliness of it or a stunning lily or gladiola....there are many examples. What I have in mind, however, is the humble tattie. A keen vegetable grower friend once said to me that the “Golden Wonder” was too wonderful to be called “just a potato”. Oh really?
Well this year we tried Golden Wonder as our main crop and as I write they have just finished flowering. One should really wait a while before lifting these potatoes but I couldn’t wait and dug up a shaw the other night to try them. The first thing I noticed was that the crop was heavy and well grown. A little bit of discolouration due to the wet summer and possibly some blight but nothing to worry about. Some say the GW is not a good boiling tattie because it disintegrates if over-boiled. Well don’t boil it, just simmer it gently for 15mins or so and please don't roast or bake your first few shaws if you decide to grow GW. The GW is a tremendous tattie for roasting and baking but the first shaws should be lightly boiled....only that way can you really connect with the soil that has produced such a marvel in a few short months.
So the small boiling was ready. The tatties were just beginning to flake apart as I drained them and left them to rest for a few minutes. It was like a whisky tasting or wine sniffing, the anticipation was tremendous. No butter, just plain GWs with a little salt. They were earthy, floury and sweet with more than a hint of depth and goodness about them and a lovely after -taste. Quite simply they were delicious and as my friend said, barely able to be described as “just a potato”.
Golden Wonder were discovered as some sort of cross in Arbroath in the early 1900’s.The name has since been sort of highjacked by the crisps, but forget salt,vinegar etc., we are talking about the basic potato here. My father and grandfather farmed in the Strathmore valley where tatties were a main part of our farm rotation and such exotic names as Kerr’s Pink, Pentland Javelin, Duke of York,Edzell Blue and many others were grown. Nowadays many people just buy potatoes with little thought as to variety, and that’s a pity. There are so many varieties and you should try, taste and experiment. They say that the GW gets better with keeping. That might be true but I’m afraid there is little chance of ours getting that chance. They will be lifted, cooked and savoured over the next few weeks and I guarantee that as folk lift the first forkful of GWs to their mouth they will chew a couple of times,possibly sip at a glass of light wine, then sit back in their chairs with a look of pleasant contentment on their faces. The Golden Wonder does that to you! Innes
Innes finished in 04:41:34 and came 1987 out of 4117 who completed the race. A fabulous achievement!
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