St. Anne’s Guest Home524 N. 17th St.Grand Forks, ND 58203
When cooking purple potatoes, this past week, we discovered an electrical problem with the little stove-top in our conference room kitchenette. Actually, the smell wafted all the way out to the front desk area.
When the burner was removed it was very black and in desperate need of a good cleaning. After soaking it for a long time, there was still plenty of black remaining.
Sr. Christina thought some vinegar might work well, but there was none handy. However, she was taking out a jar of pickles anyway to have at supper and decided to pour some pickle brine to soak on the burner.
When this had soaked thus through the evening and over night, a lot more of the black “gunk” was removed.
Little did we know all the wonders of pickle brine!
When doing an online search for uses of pickle brine, one finds a multitude of suggestions:
Pickle brine is suggested as a meat tenderizer as well as for enhancing other foods, such as barbecue sauce and “mac and cheese,” fish, veggies, and salad dressing. It can be used in homemade rye bread, cocktails, sports drinks, and even pickle soup. Pickle juice can be used for acidifying soil, cleaning copper, trapping fruit flies, making copper sparkle, killing weeds, stopping hiccups, and curing heartburn. It can also serve as a laxative and to treat an upset stomach.
This past weekend, we had a little surprise visit from our administrator’s (Sr. Rebecca) brother and sister-in-law. Along with the gift of their mere presence, they also brought us a bag of special spuds – purple potatoes!
We’d never seen the like before. The visitors assured us that they taste just like any other potato; if you were blindfolded, you’d never know the difference.
Wednesday afternoon, Sr. Christina set to work with one of our residents who loves to “keep busy,” waiting eagerly to see the lady’s reaction when she discovered that they were purple potatoes. Soon, others in the activity room were being shown the never-before-seen specimen.
Every Thursday, we have mashed potatoes as part of the lunch menu. So it is that Sr. Rebecca is planning to cook up and mash the peeled potatoes to see what kind of reaction she gets.
Purple potatoes, though deep violet on the inside, have ink-colored skins. They are good for baking or mashing, being dry and starchy.
They are rich in a certain antioxidant called anthocyanin which is also found in berries and pomegranates, helpful to the immune system and in preventing some cancers. Purple potatoes also have energy-rich properties, lots of vitamins, proteins, fiber and antioxidants. They can help with your blood pressure and prevent blood clots as well. Purple potatoes have been grown for hundreds of years in areas like Peru and Bolivia.
There are even recipes available for using these pretty little gems, including home-style green beans and purple potatoes, purple potatoes with caramelized onions and shiitake mushrooms, mashed purple potatoes, and roasted purple potatoes and cauliflower.