the year of love, happiness and potatoes

warm potato salad with bresaola

A few years ago, my good mate Missy Helgs and I decided that rather than go through the whole farce of New Years Resolutions that were usually abandoned by Australia Day, we would try something different. We decided to come up with our own personal theme for the year. Something inspirational, something to focus on for the coming 12 months, something a bit more fun than resolving to drink less wine or to start exercising more.

Since then there’s been the year of embracing technology, the year of a new job, the year of fame & fortune, and even the year of ‘more systems’ (Missy Helgs speak for being organized). But my favourite year, without a doubt has been 2008: the year of love & happiness.

This time last year when I was thinking of my theme for 2008, I had no idea that the United Nations had decided that they were going to have the international year of the potato. Nor did I have any clue that the path to love and happiness for me would involve a very cute Irishman who, like most of his countrymen, is a very big fan of the humble spud. I would never have guessed that my year of love and happiness would also in some ways be my year of the potato, but dear reader, I sure am glad that it worked out that way.

Before I met my Irishman, I knew that there was a link between the inhabitants of the Emerald Isle and the potato. I knew that my own ancestors had left Ireland many years ago to escape the tragic potato famine and settle in Australia. What I didn’t realize was just how much the Irish still love their spuds. But being a quick learner, and wanting to woo an Irishman, I found that mysteriously more and more I was including potatoes in my menu planning.

And let’s just say that all those extra spuds (and possibly the Guinness icecream, but that’s another story) seem to have worked. Call it the year of love and happiness or the year of the potato, 2008 has been a mighty fine year. I feel very lucky to have had way more than my share of love and happiness and potatoes. Long may it last.

So I leave you all with our current favourite potato dish, a simple warm potato salad that relies on a little parsley for freshness and your best quality olive oil to enhance the flavour of the potatoes. Here I’ve used it as a starter served with salty meaty bresaola but trust me, these spuds are so good you’ll be wanting to serve them up as a side dish whenever you can…..all good things.
warm potato salad with bresaola
serves 4 as a starter

If you can’t get your hands on bresaola, good quality proscuitto or jamon would also do the trick. If you’re after a vegetarian option you could serve with potatoes on their own or with some roasted red capsicum (peppers).

Being such a simple dish the quality of your ingredients is really critical to success so it’s time to get out your top shelf olive oil.

500g small waxy potatoes (kipflers, pink fir, Nicola or chats)
5T extra virgin olive oil
3 sprigs flat leaf parsley
1t white wine vinegar
8 -12 slices bresaola

Scrub potatoes and place in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water and salt generously. Bring to the boil and simmer until potatoes are tender. Drain and return to the saucepan to allow the potatoes to dry out. When they are no longer steaming but sill warm transfer potatoes to a salad bowl and crush to break them up a little. Toss though oil, and parsley. Cover and allow to stand for a few minutes or up to a few hours.

To serve toss through vinegar and season to taste and serve with bresaola on the side.



Merry Christmas Everyone

To celebrate the 3rd birthday of stonesoup (like my gorgeous new nephew, Jack, this blog was a Christmas baby) I’m taking a break. Look forward to seeing you back here on the 12th January.

Wishing you and your loved ones much joy, peace and of course love and happiness for the new year.

Jules x



  • I love you!
    I love your blog!
    May 2009 be filled with much more love and happiness for us all!

    … and yes, I too have once re-discovered the importance of the humble spud and a man’s heart (albeit an Englishman) despite my Irish escapist heritage! ;)

  • Enjoy your vacation! Looking forward to new posts in a couple of weeks, and this is my favorite kind of potato salad. Thanks for the reminder of such a simple dish!

  • Hi Jules – New to your lovely blog. Love this recipe and will give it a try. Happy New Year. Can’t wait to check in for more delicious postings – recipes and thoughtful writing. Best – Fran

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