Sunday, December 19, 2010

Stroud's potato recipe book

Having sold nearly all the 200 copies of the first edition of the Potato Recipe book we are having a second edition printed right now!

So, you will still have a chance to buy all your friends and family their copy for Christmas. You can buy them from the Stroud Valleys Project shop, Stroud book shop, Woefundale's Dairy, Dennis Gould and by emailing

Wishing you a Potato Fueled Christmas.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Stroud Potato Recipe Book launched

This morning we launched the "Pan-fried, Peeled and Proud Potatoes from Stroud. A Recipe Book." Stroud Town Mayor Andy Read was kind enough to join the launch and press photos.

Photo: Philip Booth with Desiree de Romano

It has some 40 recipes from local people and restaurants including local food write Mathew Fort. Plus nutritional advice re potatoes and folklore - did you know keeping ginger with potatoes helps keep both fresh!

Anyhow well over 20 copies of the book was sold in the first half an hour - and more in the Stroud Market stall where there was a stall of books by local authors. Get your copy soon - ideal Christmas present with profits to Transition Stroud to fund more low carbon events.

The book, selling for £4 (or £3 Stroud pounds) is at the new Stroud Valleys Project shop in Threadneedle Street or Stroud Book Shop or later this week in the Stroud Town Council Offices. See my earlier blog here re quotes about the book and the wonderful support froim many people who made the book possible.

See more about the Stroud Potato Day on 5th February 2011 at our Stroud Potato Day blog at:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Launch of the Stroud Potato Recipe Book

Below is the press release regarding a project we have been working on for some months - come and see us there on Saturday then buy your seed potatoes from us in February.....

A collection of local potato recipes have been brought together in a new book to be launched Saturday 11th December at 10:00.

10:00 to 10:15 Saturday 11th December at the Stroud Valleys Project

Photos: Book cover, Russ cartoon and potatoes on our local allotments

The new book 'Pan-Fried, Peeled and Proud - Potatoes from Stroud. A Recipe Book' is being launched to advertise Stroud's first ever celebration of Potato Day on 5th February 2011.

The book is a Transition Stroud initiative and is edited by the aptly named Maris Piper and Desirée de Romano. Desirée said: "Bringing the different elements of the book together has been a joy. Stroud provided suitably gifted people just when they were needed; Dennis Gould stepped forward to do the cover, photographer Fred Chance heroically offered to do the design and layout, poet and artist Jeff Cloves (AKA Edward Rex) was inspired to write a Potato Pie Poem and to create the beautiful illustrations that bring the book to life.

"The recipes have all come from local people, some professional cooks and some who are experts at creating delicious meals for their friends and family. Woodruffs, J Rool, Mill's Cafe and Guisseppe of Guisseppe's gourmet restaurant all shared their own favourite potato recipes. We even have a recipe from Matthew Fort, food writer in the Guardian and potato fan. It really has been a collaborative effort that has shown the generosity and enthusiasm of the people of the Stroud Valleys. Thanks go to all of them as well as to Stroud Valleys Eco Shop on Threadneedle Street and Stroud Book Shop for selling the book on behalf of Transition Stroud."

Philip Booth, organiser of the Stroud Potato celebrations said: "This recipe book is part of our celebration of the many different varieties of potato and how they can be used. Supermarkets don't offer much choice of potatoes, but growing your own opens up all sorts of opportunities. On Saturday 5th February in Merrywalks we will be selling over half a tonne of different seed potatoes supplied by Dundry Nurseries. This is about encouraging folk to grow different varieties and encouraging people who have never grown veg to give it a try."

Philip Booth added: "There is an issue of food security that we will be hearing more about as oil prices climb, harvests suffer from the changing climate and demand increases from countries like China. 40% of the food we eat is imported: if more people grow their own then we can be less reliant on food imports from other countries."

Stroud Potato Day has launched a new website with details of the event and more at: To find out more about Transition Stroud go to:

The book will sell for £4 (or £3 Stroud Pounds) with all proceeds going to Transition Stroud to support local, low carbon projects. Make Christmas shopping easy and buy one for everyone you know, safe in the knowledge that you are supporting your local community and the environment.

We are hoping it will be available at the new Stroud Valleys Project shop and the Stroud Bookshop from Saturday 11th December. I hope to be able to confirm early this week.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hasselback Potato - more than just a baked potato!

Hasselback Potato recipe

Wash your tattie. Cut into slices without going right through - like leaves in a book. Each slice not thicker than 2mm. A great trick is to cut the potato on a wooden spoon so the knife doesn't go right through (see below).

Brush with olive oil and celery salt. Then depending on size (not too big) cook at 175 degrees centigrade (gas mark 3) until the potato skin look crisp and the flesh feels soft - usually 45 to 60 minutes. Ten minutes before it's cooked, you may wish to sprinkle a generous amount of cheese on top.

This is a Swedish version of baked potatoes named after a dish at the Hasselbacken Hotel's restaurant in Stockholm. My Norwegian partner introduced me to them - just one more reason why I love her!

Philip Booth

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Potatoes in Space

In 1995 potatoes were the first plants to be grown in space when they were taken on board the space shuttle Columbia.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The 60-day Potato diet man

Man cannot live on bread alone, but can he live on nothing but potatoes? That was the question posed by Grist. This is what they wrote:

Chris Voigt, chief of the Washington State Potato Commission, is finding out firsthand by eating nothing but 20 potatoes a day for two months. (Why 20? To eat enough calories to maintain his current weight.)

Voigt was feeling steamed (or perhaps boiled) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's recent spurning of the spud when it blocked the vegetable from a list of subsidized foods in low-income programs. "The potato is not the scourge of the Earth," he said. And with plenty of nutrients like potassium, Vitamin C, and protein, it's definitely not. But going on yet another of America's extreme diets may not exactly be getting to the root of the problem with potatoes. (For that, I'll direct you to the deep-fryer.)

Already practically Mr. Potato Head with a job like his, this stunt will surely bake in that title for Voigt, who admits 20 potatoes a day does not constitute a balanced diet. Half way through the gastronomic experiment, he seems to be feeling rather full and rather bored with only eating potatoes dressed up with a little oil, herbs, or bouillon. Which explains why he's now making videos of mashing potatoes with a potato launcher.

See Grist story plus video here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fish and Chips for Everyone!

During the second world war the minister of food declared that Fish and Chips should be one of the few foods not to be rationed. Do what you like to the British, but don't take away our Fish and Chips!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

sunburn? frost bite? potatoes could be the answer

Whatever the weather does to your skin could the humble potato help you to heal faster? Folklore has it that whether your skin is suffering from too much sun or too much cold applying grated, raw potatoes to sunburn or frost bite can have a soothing and healing effect.
Can anyone verify this? We'd love to hear your potato first aid stories.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

350 day success

10/10/10 saw events in 188 countries joining together to raise awareness about climate change. See more here about In Stroud there was a gathering near Nailsworth at the weekend at the Thistledown centre - in 2009 there were several events.

In relation to this blog in Loja, Ecuador, students from the local school got together to clean up the paths around their school and town, and to harvest the potatoes in their school's organic garden. See here and see photo of the 350 made out of potatoes. Meanwhile here there is a blog on how to do potato cuts to get across the 350 message.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Genetically Modified Potato threat

Over 110 fires are being lit this weekend (9/10 October) all over Poland in "The Great GM Free Potato Celebration." Pots will be boiling and jacket potatoes baking as a symbolic reminder to the nation that our common potato is under threat from contamination by a newly introduced genetically modified potato variety. Also Poles living abroad are planning to organise special potato events.

Scary photo below and logo from the Polish campaign plus two pics from the GM action on Rodborough Common in 2006 and an Irish campaign logo against GM potatoes.

The fires echo other actions that have taken place around Europe over the years - indeed we have had various actions in Stroud including a march through the town, actions to try and stop trials in Gloucestershire and a couple of 'fires' (well candles) on Rodborough Common (see photos).

Hungary, Austria and Luxembourg are taking the European Union to the European Tribunal of Justice for licensing BASF's 'Amflora' GM potato for commercial release in European Union Countries without any consultation with member states. Amflora has been developed in Germany by BASF and is already licensed for production in that Country. England is also trialling a GM potato under strict security conditions at Leeds in Yorkshire. Meanwhile just 2 weeks ago BASF were found growing GM potatoes in Sweden without approval.

More than 70% of Europeans have already rejected GM foods, according to opinion polls. You can register your opposition to GM with an Avaaz poll that has just been extended after it hit over a million people saying no to GM. They now want to see 1.5m. Please consider signing here. It is extraordinary...the public keep saying no to GM yet the big companies keep pushing. See for example here my letter about the threat of the UK GM potatoes back in 2006.

The European Commission is currently looking for a way to de-regulate GM crop introduction within the EU. Under pressure from the World Trade Organisation, the Commission is hoping to devolve responsibility for licensing new GM varieties to member states.
"Allowing genetically modified potatoes out of the laboratory and into our fields is the height of irresponsibility and will lead to the cross contamination of the most widespread staple food in Europe." Sir Julian Rose, President of International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside (ICPPC).

"Countries are right to challenge the European Commission and Poland should be one of them. We are witnessing a dramatic erosion of our human rights to have free access to uncontaminated foods. Only an outright ban of GMO can save our food chain from becoming one vast experiment on human health." Jadwiga Lopata, laureat of Goldman Prize (ecological Nobel) and Vice President of ICPPC.
Meanwhile in Gloucestershire Julie Girling MEP has asked for comments re GM (see more info here). This follows the vote that saw most MEPs vote against labeling of GM (see more here) and the EU Commission approve growing GM crops for the first time in 12 years (see here). Lastly see fact file re GM here and last year see here news that the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) released a landmark position paper signed by physicians across the U.S. calling for a moratorium on GE foods due to possible health risks.