In a similar vein: I Am A Simple Frenchman of the Soil…I Wish Only To Tend To My Beans In Peace.
Sometimes for dinner the need is just one potato, one big potato. Kitchen is one wooden spoon, big, one merry fire in hearth, open, jug of herbs in corner, one big pot for stew, always stew, wine bottle cork in no label, yellow butter in crock, a big round bread, knife for holding, little cup, one plate, kitchen is finished. My meal is a potato, big, for a big and simple hunger, my plain hunger by the sea. For many years there have been troubles in my country, but I do not worry myself about them – the problems of noblemen, with their many rich sauces, and silken gravies, their multi-coursed subtleties and armies of capons charging across a saffron-spiced battlefield - I content myself only with the problems of the potato. The satisfaction of the potato too; the inside of a potato is steam’d with honor and dignity and is fluffed into peace. With tahini and soy sauce makes for a most savory potato. A potato is enfleshed but unblooded, the greatest calming-meat among her cousins the vegetables. A potato is the hearty nut-daughter of the soil and her skin makes for a most peaceful cracking.
Or a simple shallot vinaigrette, lemon in, and a scoopspoon of yogurt for a potato of refreshment, of freshness. All the pleasures of nutcracking are in a potato: a thrust of knife, a crack of body, a plushing-out of innards. A potato-dinner is a dinner of steam and marvel most marvelous! The rock takes a bath and becomes flesh – she scoops into velvet, my potato friend who is so merrily eaten. She is humble, my potato dinner, but still she possesses cultivation (heh!) and refinement of tone, mixing easily in all company. Encream the flesh! Or dash it with vinegars and spices; tone the potato or flood it with fat. The potato will encompass all! Here I am, my simple self with my simple potato, who yet can proudly wear the finest adornments without blush. My lovely scheme of a supper!
My bigness of a hunger can be satisfied only by the stretch of the soil of the farm entire. Not for tonight do I desire a dish strewn with ingredients, courses to the left and right of me, cheese to finish, fruit to ponder and digest. Tonight is a big simpleness! Of which there will be much and much and then, finally, enough. Wholesome is my potato supper, full too, she fortifies but does not overwhelm. Singe her in the coals, then quietly roast in a little bundle off to the side of the fire’s hot heart; a little Café de Paris butter, anchovy in; a finishment, a finality of eating. All the fineness of bread, all the richness of a good brown nut, all the fleshiness of a parcel of good meat, a happy home for butter, is in a potato; sprinkle her with a good greenness and she will bring you vitamin joy. The mouth is tender, eating potato, the face is slack and happy and relaxment with good potato taste, flesh of hot white snow, skin taut with oil and flecks of salt. Potato is good; eat it for your hunger.