My mother and I recently had dinner at the home of our minister, Cara Hochhalter, and her husband Jeff. They live in a little red house in the middle of Charlemont, Massachusetts. The building is cleverly hidden away from the busy road by bushes and a fence; inside you’d never know you were close to traffic! Best of all, its main view is a private vista looking toward a brook at the back of the house.
Cara and Jeff arrived in town last summer. They spent their first few months in a nearby cottage while Jeff engaged in a flurry of construction on the new house. He replaced the heating system, insulated the walls, worked on the roof, paneled and painted the indoors, and generally made a wreck of a house into a cozy home.
He can cook, too! He invented this simple, tasty dish and dared me to discern the secret ingredient. I knew I liked it, but the cinnamon was too subtle for me to identify!
2 large Idaho potatoes
2 sweet potatoes of similar size
salt to taste
a splash of olive oil
1 stick cinnamon
2 to 4 tablespoons (1/4 to 1/2 stick) sweet butter (or butter to taste) at room temperature
Wash the potatoes and cut them into pieces. (Jeff leaves the skins on but trims them if necessary.)
Place the potato pieces in a medium pot of water; add the salt, olive oil, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are tender.
Drain and mash or whip with a beater, adding the butter as you mash. Serves 4 to 6.
By the way, for any of you who were wondering about the “up to 48 hours” my blog was supposed to be offline, it lasted about 90 seconds……..