My mother-in-law taught me her omi’s recipe for potato balls last night, and as she was peeling potatoes with a knife she said, “Now, you can do this the more economical way,” and demonstrated how the skins of steamed/boiled potatoes can be peeled right off the potato without any loss of the starchy goodness itself. “But that takes more time, and…you know,” she said, continuing on with her knife and a wry shake of her head, “my father is probably rolling over in his grave right now. ‘That’s perfectly good potato!’ he’d say –grew up during the Depression, you know–this was one of his pet peeves.”
And of course he wasn’t talking about the peels themselves, but the extra flesh you lose when you don’t painstakingly strip the potato. And you certainly wouldn’t want potato skins in potato balls–the potato makes a dough, and the skins would change the consistency. But I still laughed to myself at how terribly apropos the comment was.
“I won’t tell if you won’t,” I said, and she chuckled. “Whichever one of us gets to heaven first won’t tell Grandfather.”
“Agreed,” she said, and we left it at that.