Potatoes beyond compare

Ina Garten just broke my heart.

For those of you who work and thus may not know, Ina Garten is the Barefoot Contessa, a cook extraordinaire on the Food Network. And she is one of my favorites.

But today she uttered these soul-killing words: “Potatoes are kind of boring.”


Ina, wash your mouth out with chicken stock. What were you thinking.

I  should have known because there she was at her kitchen counter in the process of ruining a perfectly good couple pounds of potatoes by turning them into potato salad. Her reasoning was that adding mayonnaise, dill and chives would all help the potatoes to achieve a greater stardom than they could achieve on their own.

Though I dearly love to watch Ina cook, I should have known someone living in the Hamptons would know more about seafood than she does about the humble potato.

The potato is my main food group. When I was in my 20s, I was out for a couple days when I had a wisdom tooth pulled. Upon my return to work, I was presented with a depiction of myself as Geri Potato head, drawn by Tribune artist Bob Hess. Everyone signed it and I’ve saved that get-well grocery bag card all these years because it was such a great reminder of how well people at work knew me.

I like my potatoes hashed, mashed, roasted, baked, fried, french fried, boiled and covered in butter and cheese.

Mashed is probably the best because the one enhancement that any good potato would enjoy is a finely mixed gravy.

Don’t even speak to me of mayonnaise. Save it for your chip dips and your chicken salad. It’s my least favorite way to eat potatoes and you won’t ever find potato salad on my dinner table.

While I accept Ina’s right to fix potato salad (needless as that may be), I can’t accept her denigration of the wonderful spud.

Potatoes are not boring so take it back, Ina. I could be watching HGTV right now. It’s not too late to switch.


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