Have you ever come across a vegetable as versatile as the potato? I haven’t, that’s for sure. And I’m not a one vegetable man, oh no, I’ve sampled many others including peas, carrots, onions and, er, many, many more.
Now, don’t get me wrong. By championing the versatility of the potato, my intention certainly isn’t to be disparaging about the versatility of alternative vegetable choices. Cauliflower, turnip, broccoli can all be incorporated in meals in a multitude of ways.
But let us not waste precious time considering the preparation, presentation and consumption of lesser vegetables; let us return once more, to the not so humble potato (it’s blatantly aware of its versatility, which is matched only by its big-headiness).
Even a cursory glance at potatoes gives those who glance a hint of the versatility before them. Boiled, mashed, fried, roasted, baked, croquetted…do I need to continue? The underlying power of the potato becomes very clear, very quickly when one gives them even a moment’s thought.
So overwhelmed am I by the awesome versatility of the potato that I shall need to take a break from the all encompassing potato thoughts passing through my head at the moment. Potatoes, wow!
Nothing can prepare one for the moment when one appreciates that one may have lost one’s hot air balloon. Nothing. But that is what I have done. I have lost my hot air balloon.
How, one might wonder, does one possibly lose one’s hot air balloon? This is a fair question. After all, I’m sure that we’d all agree that on the face of it, a hot air balloon would be a somewhat difficult possession to lose. A hot air balloon is typically very large (the most popular sport balloons are approximately 55 feet wide and 70 feet high, according to Vermont’s hot air balloonists). Hot air balloons are frequently presented in garish colours (all the better to be seen by, one might think). Hot air balloons are not the most subtle things.
However, one doesn’t need a 71 foot high building to hide a hot air balloon behind, does one? Nor does it have to be 56 feet wide, does it? That’s what makes hot air balloons so devilishly easy to lose, they can be deflated, though preferably only when on the ground. A hot air balloon consumes a fair amount of fuel. A hot air balloon is also a very noisy bugger. Therefore, it makes all the sense in the world to deflate after landing. That’s fine, if you’ve landed in your usual spot in your garden, you’ll know exactly where your balloon is. But it’s not so simple of you’ve nipped to the shops, is it? Most towns have a multitude of parking spaces, don’t they?
One day I shall find my hot air balloon. And if I don’t, then maybe I shall buy another. I like hot air ballooning.