Planting potatoes and moonshine

by Jessie K on April 14, 2012

A baby.  A man.  A dog from Afghanistan.  And a big bag of potatoes.

It’s springtime at my place.

Can’t forget the hoe.

Now that Jake is home, my goal for 2012 is to become a more accomplished gardener (read, the muscle is home), so Jake and I called over Bill, our neighbor and resident “spud expert” for planting advice. Bill has been growing potatoes his whole life and harvests enough each summer to last an entire year.

See that thing I’m holding?  It’s not a headless, de-feathered chicken.  It’s a sweet potato.  From Bill’s garden.  He gave it to me several weeks ago and I still can’t figure out what to do with it. Except maybe carve it and stick a burning candle inside it like a jack-o-lantern.

Bill is also really good at maintaining a perfectly preserved cigarette ash, a skill that requires steady nerves and Ninja focus.

In the midst of planting, Bill brought out a jar of a ruby red liquid.  He offered me a sip.  The taste was delicate and tart and earthy.

“Oh, that’s smooth,” I said. “Real smooth.”  I handed the jar to Jake.  “I already feel drunk.  Am I drunk?  Here, hon, take a hit of ‘shine.”

I looked at Bill, like I too was part of the bootlegger operation.  Bill stifled a smile.

“It’s so smooth,” I said, smacking my lips.  “Yeah, I’m drunk.  I feel so free.  And it tastes like there’s no alcohol in it.”

Bill flicked his three inch ash, and smiled.  “That’s ’cause it’s iced tea.”

Like I said, springtime at my place.

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