It was a dreary day yesterday…so cold for the middle of May. I’ve been craving something yummy in the mornings before my bus run, something with potatoes and eggs…like my first Spanish tortilla, purchased in a Barcelona bar before a bus trip to visit a Black Madonna in a mountain monastery. The bartender cut a fat wedge of some pale yellow layered “cake” that was under a glass dome on the counter. I didn’t know what it was, but the first bite was heaven–creamy eggs, layers of starchy potatoes and crunchy onions–absolutely the best thing I’d ever had for breakfast, especially with a hot sweet cup of tea. I’ve never been able to successfully re-create this; it is a fear of using so much oil to “boil” the potatoes. And of course, you can never go back. I know the taste is bound up in the whole experience of the early morning light on the mountains heading up to the Monastery of Montserrat, the beauty of the black wooden statue, worn smooth by the thousands of hands that caressed the orb the Virgin holds–it is no doubt encased in glass now, when I was there, it was open and accessible.
So I settled for second best. I grow a large garden but my storage facilities are lacking–I keep my potatoes in the pump house which is alternately too hot and too cold. This time of year my spuds are wrinkled shrivelled shadows of their former selves, spouting knobs that may have been a potato in a former life. A friend of mine, whose storage facilities are superior to mine, gave me a bag of Purple Carribes. They are solid, smooth purple, dusty with soil–looking for all the world like they had just been dug up minutes ago. Add some farm eggs, garden onions (which seem to like the nasty conditions in the pump house and keep quite well), leftover ham, creamy Havarti, and voila–breakfast for the next week!