Sunday, October 10, 2010

Diane's Produce & Roast Potatoes

If you are local to Vancouver, WA, you really should check out Diane's Produce Market.  It is owned by Diane, go figure, who is in the store every time I'm there.  This is the type of business I want to shop at.  She is making a go of small business ownership, like me.  She is local.  She remembers me when I go there.  Okay, it isn't like going to the produce section at Freddy's or Safeway, but I'm starting to really not care.

You can find Diane's at 7702 NE 94th Avenue.  On the corner of 76th Street and 94th Avenue, just South of Padden Parkway, East of 205.
Here's what I bought there yesterday.

Elephant Garlic.  I haven't used it much, but I've got some that needs to get planted right now.  This one had just a little oniony smell which is very nice.  I'm looking forward to my early summer crop, assuming I get mine planted.

Red potatoes. A 15 lb sack.  It says number 2 on the sack, but they are nice and round and firm and clean.  The sack says they were distributed by a company in Sherwood, OR.

Willamette Egg Farm Eggs.  I'm becoming convinced that this is my egg source for now.  It is clear that I'm not going to do the backyard chicken thing.  The neighborhood association would flip.  But also, I have about as much responsibility as I can handle right now.  If one of them died, I'd feel horrible.

Grape Seed Oil.  I have bought olive oil from her, but she didn't have any.  I've had this stuff before.  It is not as distinct a taste as olive oil, but it is nice.

And I bought some apples which I'm going to use to make my mom's recipe for Raw Apple Cake, a fall thing for me.  I live in, well near, apple country.  Eating apples in the fall is natural.  Buying apples which were grown in Australia isn't.  I'm really getting so off of the Granny Smith thing.

Roast Potatoes are a nice change, tasty and special.  It starts with scrubbing the potatoes within an inch of their lives.  If you don't have a vegetable brush, I recommend one.  If you find a spot that you don't want to eat, now is the time to remove it with a small paring knife.

And some of that good garlic, finely chopped.

The potatoes get cut up and put on a large flat pan lined with two layers of foil.  I recommend cutting the potatoes fairly small.  You want a lot of potato surface to season and to get browned.

Add good lot of the oil, then a little more.  If you use good quality oil, don't think of it as a bad thing.  And salt and pepper.  Go ahead and season it well, unless you need to cut back on those types of things.  It's good.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.  Or fresh Rosemary finely chopped, if you have it.

Into a 450 oven.  Yes, this is hot, but it gets you the texture of roast potatoes.  Crispy some places, soft to the bite.  And here is the important part.  Take it out every 10 minutes or so and turn the potato pieces as much as you can.  Flip them over, move them around, then back in the oven.  You are looking at about an hour depending upon how many potatoes you have and what size you cut them.

You want the crispy browned edges.  That's what this is all about.

This together with a big chuck roast from our frozen stash of local beef made a feast and a good reward for my hard working man.

Remember to look your food in the eyes.

This post was linked to Hearth and Soul Blog Hop.  Check it out.


  1. Thanks for the update, looking forward to going there myself. And the potatoes, yum!

  2. What a great haul! And your potatoes look scrumptious! Crispy is the way I love them! Thanks for sharing with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop!

  3. Those small produce shops are becoming too rare. My favorite one closed down last year. Thank you for sharing with the Hearth and Soul hop, let's hope we can get Diane some more business coming her way.

    And thanks for the little reminder that it's time to plant garlic!

  4. Hi Leann, you will be amazed to know that I HAVE been to Vancouver washington and eaten at Who song and Larry's on the river. What a beautiful spot you live in! i have friends who live in tri-cities! It is great to have a wonderful "LOCAL" veggie market. I have one in the summers, but winter is harder to deal with, so I preserve as much as I can. Your roast potatoes look awesome. Thanks for sharing on the hearth and soul hop this week. All the best! Alex@amoderatelife

  5. I wanted to thank you again for participating in the Hearth and Soul Hop. Your shout out to your local produce store really touched me, so I will be featuring your post among my picks for Best of the Blog Hop this week.