Warhol garden

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Kindra wanted to get some purple sweet potatoes on Saturday, so we set off for the wilds of Oklahoma City, where a health food store had them for about $1.50 a pound.

We bought five or six big ones, enough for a pie or two and some extras for eating.

I am hoping to have a baked one for supper tonight, in fact.

Purple sweet potatoes are a new experience for Kindra, who had never seen one except in books and a photo of one I grew and cooked a few years ago.

She thought they looked cool - and she likes purple - so she decided that we need a purple sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving dinner.

Thus the trip to the health food store.

I used to plant a large garden every year and always planted two or three varieties of sweet potatoes, including purple ones.

My favorite purple variety was the Japanese, which have grayish purple skins and deep purple meat. They are the slightest bit drier than your average orange sweet potato.

Even if they didn’t taste good, they would be worth eating for the visual effect of a chunk of butter melting in a sliced-open purple sweet potato.

I also grew white sweet potatoes, red ones and some that were yellowish.

It’s fun to grow and try vegetables that are out of the ordinary but some people, I discovered, are creeped by food that doesn’t match the typical color chart.

Tomatoes are red, corn is yellow, potatoes are white, radishes are red on the outside and white on the inside and carrots are orange.

They grow uncomfortable when something doesn’t follow the pattern and, as long as we’re being honest, it’s cheap entertainment to serve them, oh, maybe some blue mashed potatoes.

If you know such a person, allow me to suggest Adirondack Blue potatoes as a menu item. They are one of my two favorite potato varieties and are good any way you cook them.

I used to grow them most years, as I did Black Krim tomatoes, the best tomato I have ever tasted.

The more Kindra and I talked about vegetables of unusual hues, the more apparent it became that we need to plan a garden again this year.

So, we’ve been scoping online seed catalogs and figuring out where to locate the garden, since my old spot is overgrown.

She is planning purple carrots, blue potatoes and purple sweet potatoes.

I’m jonesing for all the above, as well as some red okra and brightly colored radishes.

I think it will be the kind of a garden that Andy Warhol would have enjoyed.