Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, July 8, 2016

Are your potatoes boiling over?

Kay's Cooking Corner

Kay Bona

Everyone has problems. There’s so much that can get in the way of what’s real in our life that it’s extremely difficult to stay focused.

Since I cook a lot, I prepare one particular food I can directly relate to life and its problems: boiled potatoes.

I think I boil potatoes much like everyone else I know. I fill a large pot with water, add a bit of salt, put a lid on it, set it on the stovetop, and turn the burner on high so the water will start to boil. Once the water is bubbling hot, I toss in the peeled and quartered potatoes, and then place the lid back on the pot so it will return to a bubbling boil.

Ring! Ring! The phone rings so I go to answer it. The call is a friend I haven’t spoken with in a while, and she’s wanting to catch up on our lives. We talk for a while, enjoying the conversation, when suddenly my distracted self hears the potatoes on the stove sizzling and boiling over. By this time, I can also smell a faint burnt odor.

I get back to the stove and there they are – water spewing and sputtering all over the stove, and the burner is black with burnt-on, starchy potato water. And what’s worse, water has boiled and sputtered so hard and fast, it’s run all over the stove, under the knobs, and down the front.

I quickly move the potatoes off the burner and the boiling stops. But I have left behind a big, black, burnt-on mess. The only way to clean it is to get out my stovetop cleaner (Barkeepers Friend) and my scouring pad. With much elbow grease, the scouring pad, and the cleanser, I’m eventually able to scrub off the mess and leave the stovetop clean and shiny.

Now I can start all over with the potatoes, this time watching them more carefully, not allowing them to boil over. It was a bit of hard work, and the time involved in cleaning put my meal behind a bit, but the mess is gone and the stove looks like new.

Our problems in life are much like potatoes cooking on a burner. If we don’t watch them, take care of them, and keep the heat down, they start boiling over – all over our life. If we get distracted and don’t pay attention to the “real” issues in life, we’ll soon find ourselves standing in the middle of a big, burnt-on mess.

The good thing is we can always get out our scrubber and cleanser, clean it all up, and start over, being more careful and staying more focused.

Today’s recipe is not about boiled potatoes. I just felt like relating that story to you. If you have potatoes boiling on the stove, which most of us do, take care and don’t let them boil over!

This past weekend was the annual Fish Fry at our church, at which some people bring homemade ice cream, topping off the fish dinner perfectly. It’s always such a fun time of eating and fellowship.

Anyway, I adapted a recipe I found in a 2010 issue of Southern Living Magazine, and I think it turned out delicious! That’s the recipe I have for you this week. You can substitute the peaches for just about any fruit you’d like to use – strawberries, cherries, mango, bananas, or blueberries would all work with this recipe, and would taste great with the salted and toasted pecans.


Peaches ‘n’ Cream Ice Cream with Toasted Pecans

1 cup sugar

4 tablespoons cornstarch 

1/4 teaspoon table salt 

4 cups milk 

2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

2 cups fresh peaches, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons light corn syrup 

2 tablespoons butter 

2 cup coarsely chopped pecans 

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Whisk together first three ingredients in a large, heavy saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk and whipping cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 10-12 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat.

Whisk egg yolk until slightly thickened. Gradually whisk about one cup hot cream mixture into yolk. Add yolk mixture to remaining cream mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in vanilla extract. Cool about one hour, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook peaches and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, four to five minutes. Slightly mash and let cool 30 minutes. Stir peach mixture into cooled cream mixture.

Place plastic wrap directly on cream mixture and chill eight to 24 hours.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add pecans, and cook, stirring constantly, eight to nine minutes, or until toasted and fragrant. Remove from heat and sprinkle with kosher salt. Cool pecans in refrigerator.

Pour chilled cream mixture into freezer container of an electric ice-cream maker and then freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Before transferring ice cream to an airtight container for further freezing, stir in pecans. Makes about one gallon.

Kay Bona is  an award-winning columnist and photographer.