Potatoes Adrienne

Potatoes Adrienne

Writing and cooking in: Pittsburgh, PA

One of my favorite things about the Farmers Market Cooperative of East Liberty is the JL Kennedy Meat Stand. I like eating local and getting local, humanely raised meat at a price that fits my skinny budget can be tough. But I know I can count on Kennedy Meat Stand to have a variety of cuts available every week for a fair price. When my boyfriend told me he would be finishing up his Master’s Portfolio a couple of Saturdays ago, I knew I needed to make him a special treat. One of his favorite dinners is ham, so I set out to cook my first ham. I called my parents and asked how to order a ham because I always sound like such a fool when I call the Kennedy’s to place my order (I’m definitely in the learning stages with cuts of meat) and ordered half a ham. I was delighted at how easy it was to order, carry home, and cook. I didn’t even season the ham (I could smell that it had been brined when I opened the package). I just put it in the oven and let it bake. A couple hours later I had flavorful, sweet ham to serve my guy after he finished his big project. (We also went on a beer run for the occasion.)

But no matter how good the ham is, no one wants to eat just ham for dinner. Well…okay, maybe Kevin would or my friend Jess’ new husband. But not me or my Mom or Jess. We’re side dish people. My Mom and I could eat nothing but the side dishes that accompany a Thanksgiving turkey and be quite happy. For us, the reason to cook the turkey is because the stuffing cooked inside the bird is always the best stuffing. So last week, Kevin and I ate slices of ham with a myriad of side dishes. It was nice only having to cook side dishes all week! My favorite is the dish I am going to call “Potatoes Adrienne” for my friend who brought me a bag of herbs from her garden when I was in the hospital. It’s really more method than recipe, but it deserves its own name because of how delicious it was and how much love went into it. Adrienne and I pulled the potatoes in this dish out of the ground together at Eden Hall farm and then she picked the herbs I used in it just for me. Life really is sweet. By the time I got home, the herbs that were still good for eating were some rosemary, some sage, and a bunch of lavender. I loved the lavender on these potatoes. It was relaxing to breathe in every time I opened the oven door and was a different and fun taste than traditional rosemary potatoes.

Potatoes Adrienne

2-3 pounds of potatoes (I had mostly redskins. You want enough to fill a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with room left to stir potatoes as they cook)

1/4 cup of olive oil (approximately)

1/2 cup of mixed fresh herbs (I had mostly lavender, plus some rosemary and sage. The rosemary and lavender went in as is and I shredded the sage into small pieces)

a large pinch of salt

dash of freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375F. Wash potatoes and cut into chunks/cubes of similar size and place in large baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle herbs, salt, and pepper over all. Stir. Cook for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on them and if the potatoes look really dry you can add a touch more olive oil. Serve warm.

Today’s local ingredients:

Ham, JL Kennedy Meat Stand

Potatoes, Eden Hall Farm

Fresh herbs, Adrienne’s garden

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