If there is one thing I can guarantee above all else, is that there will be times, month levels of times where I am not inspired. I’m not inspired to read, I am not inspired to write, and I am certainly not inspired to clean my kitchen. Just do those shallow sorts of cleans were you wipe all around the toaster, knowing full well there is a loafs-worth of crumbs sitting under it, and thinking, ‘that, is a job for another day’.
Of course, the rest of the world does not except that. There are hordes of people who don’t think writers block is a thing. Those people are probably electricians. They probably don’t get kitchen-cleaning-blocks, or electricity-blocks. You really need to have a fragile mind, susceptible to the environment it lives in, ready to give in on a whim. But those minds belong to artists- the ones who don’t have a flow chart of steps to follow when they don’t know what to do next.
So I suppose this is my long winded way of not really apologising for being so very absent online. But none of use care about this, so let’s move along to the theme. Potatoes. Or I guess you could say – its fighting through writers block with a sturdy essay on the world’s dietary staple.
There are a million reasons why potatoes became the most popular crop in Europe. They provide excellent sustenance in the way of vitamins and carbohydrates. They fed more people per acre than nearly any other crop. They were easy to grow and taste pretty fabulous with salt and butter (what doesn’t, am I right). Mostly I think it was bred into the genomes of the Europeans, and it never left. I swear my grandmother is part potato herself, and I’ve seen baby pictures of myself, I even looked like a potato. I am yet to meet an Englishman – or any man, that doesn’t value a potato.
However, the simple potato has quick a number of deaths on its hands. During the mid 1800’s, Ireland, the potato whores, were so incredible poor, they relied solely on the potato to get by. They were probably the healthiest poor people ever. Then when the potatoes suddenly started rotting in the ground, the Irish began to starve. If there is one thing that Voldemort taught me, its too always have a backup plan. Or 7. What happened was this: an airborne fungus drifted over after being freed from ships that had just travelled from North America. Spores settled on the leaf of the plant and infected the potato, which in turn, infected the thousands surrounding it. The potatos fermented in the ground and left off a stench, that could rival that black death. I once found a potato in the back of my cupboard in a similar state. To this date I have not smelt anything worse. I’d rather a small animal crawled into my bed and died there.
In 1853, some railroad dude who was far too big for his boots (to hospitality workers, the customer is always wrong) had a whinge that his potatoes were cut too thickly, and sent them back to the kitchen. I would be angry on behalf of the chef, but what happened next changed the course of potato history. The chef, after a long day of similarly bitchy requests cut the guys chips up paper thin and fried them – probably just to spite him. Though it obviously had the opposite effect.
How the simple potato had grown from mass murderer, to perfect party host. Just goes to show how one vegetable can completely turn around. Makes me feel pretty hopeful. For the sake of this blog anyway.