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Getting to the Root of the Problem

Fall is in full swing. Gone are the sauna-like bad hair days of summer. As a reward for enduring the heat and humidity of summer, we get to enjoy crisp, chilly mornings followed by warm afternoons. Instead of sweating through my daily walk where I count the steps until I reach the next patch of shade, now I stomp and crunch leaves underfoot while colorful leaves twirl down around me like Mother Nature’s confetti. The cooler weather also means it is time for seasonal treats like apple cider doughnuts and my favorite type of apple, Macouns. 

On a rainy day, I was out running an errand when I realized a 10 minute detour would take me to the farmstand that sells both my favorite doughnut and apple. Life is all about balance. The farm usually sells out of their doughnuts by late morning, but since it was mid-week, I figured I had a good chance of scoring some despite it being 11am. 

As soon as I got out of my car, I could see the cider doughnuts piled high on the table. Woohoo!! Thanks to Co-Vid, gone are the days of using a communal pair of tongs to select individual doughnuts. They are now packaged 6 to a container. Oh, the sacrifices we have all had to make because of the virus! Doughnuts acquired, I began wandering amongst the huge variety of apples looking for the Macouns. In my search, I came across a small green basket filled with knobby, dirt-speckled, brown roots. Ginger! I grabbed a piece the size of my thumb so I could use it to make some tea to go along with my doughnut. Right next to the ginger, I found a bushel full of Macouns. I selected a few apples and practically skipped to the counter with my bounty of fall treats. It was going to be a good afternoon despite the chilly rain!

When I arrived home, I called up to Oregano working in the office and told him that I had a surprise for him when he was ready for his snack break. A half hour later, a very long half hour during which I stared longingly at, but did not eat the cider doughnuts, Oregano came downstairs to claim his surprise.

I was sitting on the couch in the living room distracting myself from the doughnuts by writing an email when I heard him say, “This is quite a haul! Cider doughnuts and Macouns! But, why did you buy a single tiny potato?” 

“I didn’t buy a potato. That’s a piece of ginger,” I looked up to find him holding the ginger in his hand turning it around and examining it like it was a piece of evidence.

“No. I think this is one of those fingerling potatoes. It really looks like a potato,” he said.

“I’m pretty sure it is ginger. It was in a basket full of other small, brown knobby pieces just like that,” I replied. 

“You mean a basket of other small, brown potatoes,” he smirked, put the potato down and picked up a doughnut. 

With lips covered in cinnamon powdered sugar we debated the characteristics of potatoes versus ginger. 

Doughnut consumed, I said, “There is an easy way to get to the root of this problem. All we need to do is scratch the skin. Ginger is very aromatic. If it is ginger, it will be obvious.” 

Oregano grabbed the questionable root, scratched off a piece of skin, took a whiff and handed it to me, “It’s a potato,” he said matter of factly. 

I held it up to my nose and discerned that it was indeed a potato. I laughed so loud and so hard, I startled all three cats from their naps. 

“I guess, now that it is isolated from the other brown, knobby roots, it does look more potato-like,” I admitted sheepishly. 

“It is not potato-like,” said Oregano savoring his victory, “It IS a potato.” 

I started giggling uncontrollably again, “What do you think the farmer thought when I showed up at the counter with 6 doughnuts, 4 apples and 1 very small potato?” I mused aloud. “I wonder why he didn’t say anything.”

“What would he say? I’m sure he has seen crazier purchases. The better question is what are you going to do with that tiny potato? It’s not like we can share it,” he said.

“That’s easy. I’ll make myself the smallest batch of home fries ever for breakfast tomorrow morning!” 

Hash browns enlarged, not to show texture, but because it was a such a pitifully small pile.
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