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Monday, 30 December 2013

Potatoes

Our daughter loves potatoes; boiled, baked, fried, mashed, or any of the myriad ways the cook books describe.  This love affair began when she was a baby.  We were lucky enough to live near a family who provided day care for Claire in their home, just a few feet from our home in Buchans, Newfoundland.  

In this family, the father, Jim, worked with the mining company in the town and came home every day for lunch.  His wife, Betty, always cooked the noon meal, dinner to Newfoundlanders.  Claire began her love affair there and it was reinforced with the cooked meal that we made for supper.  Claire didn't have a chance against the noble potato.  Furthermore, not only was the potato a constant for Claire, she also loved ketchup and it too was a fixture at meal times.

It was curious then for our family when Claire moved to Prince Edward Island to work when she finished her Nursing degree.  She lived in a place famous for its potatoes.  This beautiful little garden island produces over 30 percent of the potatoes consumed in Canada every year.  Many of the potatoes she consumed were from PEI.

One of Canada's musical treasures is a man called Stompin' Tom Connors. He came from PEI and sang about his island home among other very Canadian topics.  His song "Bud the Spud" has a happy message.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNEg65rlnu4
Sep 1, 2007 - Uploaded by canuckmaleman
StompinTom Connors - Bud The Spud Live From Hamilton Ontario Concert 

On our first visit to PEI after Claire moved here, we made the pilgrimage to the Potato Museum in O'Leary.  We really enjoyed the history of the potato, the machinery used in the planting and harvesting, and the discussion of the economic impact of the "spud" on the island.  We took pride in our contribution to the province's economy!

Here we are nine years later, living in PEI near Claire, Ben and their family.  We have two grandchildren who are "potato island" girls.  That starchy wonder has had a tremendous impact on our lives just like the family in "The Ketchup Song,"  also by Stompin' Tom Connors.

In this song, Ketchup is from Leamington, Ontario, where a huge Heinz ketchup plant employed many people.  (Sadly now, the plant is closing, leaving many people out of work.). However, in the song, the marriage of Ketchup and "Padaedes" as Islanders say it, makes for a happy like.  Very true!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkZ62XvJHVQ
Sep 2, 2007 - Uploaded by canuckmaleman
StompinTom Connors - The Ketchup Song Live From Hamilton Ontario Concert 2005

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