I promised to share some gardening content with you. We've grown a garden and quite a bit in containers for years. Last year, I have to admit, we got a little freaked out by empty grocery shelves and all the unknowns. We stepped up our game to see how much of the vegetables we eat we could grow on a small, residential lot (with bad soil). It turned out to be quite a bit. But as you can imagine not everything worked out.
One of the most fun things we grow last year were sweet potatoes. Digging them out of the ground after the long wait and getting much more of a harvest than we expected was the highlight of my 2020 gardening season. And it started with a complete gardening fail.
Late in the winter, I had a couple of sweet potatoes from the store left that were starting to sprout. I'd read how easy it was to sprout sweet potato slips from them in nothing more than a glass of water, so I gave it a try.
The end result was a half-rotten sweet potato and not a single usable slip :(
A few days later, we found a tray of beautiful slips at the garden center and bought them. Not the most frugal way to grow sweet potatoes, but I think my husband felt sorry for me and encouraged me to get them. We went home and planted half of them in our hard soil, and the other half in two large containers.
After a few days, the vines started to grow. And they grew and grew. I learned that the leaves and stems are edible and let me tell you. They are delicious sauteed in a little olive oil with some garlic. I blanched and froze quite a few of the leaves and we've been using them in soups throughout the winter. They make a great spinach substitute.
Other than that, we waited a good 120 days. Unlike Irish potatoes, sweet potato plants stay green and keep growing even after the potatoes themselves are done. Around here you let them grow about 110 to 120 days (depending on variety) and then dig them up after a few dry days when the soil is no longer wet. That turned out to be one of our biggest challenges, but we finally dug them up, expecting a handful or two of small potatoes. And that's what we found.
Until we started digging deeper.
Our natural soil, amended with some aged compost, did okay. It's sandy and dense and hard to grow in. The containers blew us out of the water. I swear there was more potatoes than soil. And the size! Let's just say we got a little exited as we dug up sweet potato after sweet potato.
For the next two weeks every counter and table in my house was covered in sweet potatoes to allow them to cure. And then the real fun started, cooking and baking with them. I got to try and develop quite a few new recipes and thought I'd share one from the brand new If You Give A Housewife A Sweet Potato cookbook, available on Amazon Kindle.
And a few others from the HBHW archives. Let's dive right in. Don't these potato wedges look amazing?