On these cold winter days we find ourselves surrounded. Earthy vegetables are scattered throughout the cool and dry spots of the house in boxes, baskets, and paper bags, the rest jammed in the fridge. Our winter cache is beginning to dwindle to the hardiest of produce: carrots, celeriac, beets, parsnips and potatoes, all of which taste sweeter than standard grocery fair from the magic/science of starches, sugars, and cold weather. Winter is the only time of year I truly enjoy peeling vegetables, for the stunning aromas of these wonders encompass my head like a perfume. The smell of a winter celeriac freshly diced is a gift that makes me weak at the knees.
Today we’re working with a northern standby, the potato. Not as aromatic and seductive as other earthen vegetables at first whiff, yet the warmth and comfort associated with the potato, not to mention its versatility, makes it a true staple of virtually all styles of cooking. I feel like something a little different this time. Let’s make some pancakes.