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[VIC] Loz's Potato Pilgrimage, Sun Mar 8th

Discussion in 'VIC' started by ForumBot, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. Added to Calendar by: Loz

    Day ride taking in some scenic Gippsland twisties - but the focus will be on potatoes. Meet @ Stud/Wellington Road servo, 9am for 9.30 lift-off. I know, it's early.

    More details in thread.

    ... more

    This is an automated posting of an Events Calendar entry.
  2. [​IMG]
    Above: This man knows his f*cking potatoes.

    When I was a kid, the family used to travel a few times a year up to Moe to visit my Nanna and Pop - and each time, on the way, I'd laugh at a particular road sign that simply said "THORPDALE POTATO FESTIVAL." A festival. For a potato. It seemed so ridiculous.

    The Epiphany

    Fast forward twenty years later. Just after Christmas, my brother and I were doing the long road trip back from Lakes Entrance to Melbourne, and stopped in at Traralgon for a quarter chicken and chips from the local chook shop. We each bit into a chip at the same time, and the same expression of awe spread across our faces.

    I don't know if you've noticed it - but I sure have - that the basic ingredients of food are losing their flavour. Coriander is a good example; it used to be that a sprig or two would add a mighty zest to a salad or curry, but now I feel like a whole handful isn't enough. It's gone all bland and lifeless, a casualty of agricultural efficiency, you might say.

    Well, I didn't realise that the same thing was happening to potatoes until I bit into that chip in the chicken shop at Traralgon. In what has later been described as a "Ratatouille" moment, the rich, spuddy flavour that burst out of that chip transported me back to when I was a kid and my Pop used to bring down spuds from the farm. They were the only spuds we ate. I can't believe I had forgotten what a god damn potato should taste like. If you have forgotten too, let me tell you - it's f*cking wonderful.

    I leapt up from my table and asked the Chinese lady behind the counter "Where do you get your spuds? These chips are bloody incredible!" She had to ask her boss, who came proudly striding out from the back room to announce "they're Thorpdale potatoes mate, grown in that rich red volcanic soil, you won't find better."

    Above: ladies, this potato is for you.

    The deal is struck

    So - back to Melbourne. Just a week or two ago I was in my favourite BBQ chicken shop in Kensington. The reason I love the place so much is that the bloke behind the counter is one of the most passionate business owners I've ever run across. Nobody can beat his chicken roll, he'll tell you, because he's the only guy in town who will cut breast meat off a fresh roast chook for a chicken roll. That, and he makes his own mayonnaise, which is bloody magnificent.

    I'm chowing down on a chook roll, and we're talking chicken, and my experience in Traralgon pops into my head. "Mate, you've got the best chook going around," I tell him, "And you cook your chips spot on every time, they're the crispiest in all the land. But if you want to really kick a goal, I've got a tip for you: Thorpdale potatoes."

    To cut a super long story back to just long, he says "bring me a bag of 'em, and I'll love you forever."

    Deal, I say, and straightaway get into the calendar to see when I might be able to head down. This Sunday's the first date free. And it happens to be Labour day. Now, the Thorpdale Potato Festival was always on Labour Day - until it collapsed under the burden of public liability insurance in 2002. But I reckon if you rock up to Thorpdale on a Labour Day, there's gonna be something happening. Somebody's gonna be puttin' on a party, potato style.

    Above: man with large potato.

    The Pilgrimage

    So I've discussed this with a few people, and I reckon it's on: a potato pilgrimage to Thorpdale. We'll ride the lush Gippsland twisties, at least the bits that aren't burned, we'll drink beer at a highly recommended local Thorpdale brewery I've been told about, and we'll eat the best f*cking potatoes on god's green earth. Potatoes that can touch a man's soul, make your heart sing and your teeth three shades whiter. I'll bring home a bag or three - you might want to do the same - and if the bloody government won't let people have a f*cking sack race or a potato-and-spoon race without insurance, then I suggest we should go outlaw and organise our f*cking own.

    Great ingredients, bursting with flavour and local pride, aren't easy to come across these days, friends. When you find them, you'd better hold onto them with both hands. And these Thorpdale spuds have got it in spades. With these sort of spuds, you could stick one in the oven, pull it out, butter and salt the bastard, and have a f*cking MEAL. It wasn't watered-down, white-bread, Lindsay Lohan potatoes that sustained our ancestors in the Celtic lands, it was robust balls of tasty goodness like they pull out of the ground every day in Thorpdale.

    We meet at the Stud/Wellington Road servo at 9am, this Sunday the 8th March, and set sail at 9.30am. Route will be chock full of giggles but is TBC. If you have a hessian sack suitable for sack racing (link is NSFW and contains more sacks per racer than is technically necessary), please bring it, and set your rear suspension to cope with a load of spuds on the way home so we can discover if "like a sack of potatoes" is REALLY how we want our pillions to sit.

    Who's with me?

    Roll Call of the Spudsketeers:

    quik blat
  3. "Above: man with large potato." :rofl:
  4. If I can make it, I will.
  5. The potatoe....my favourite vegetable!

    See you at the servo Loz :grin:

    I'll be looking for the 'ladies potatoe' :wink:
  6. Pencil me in
  7. I'm in if I can snag a pillion ride... I'll carry a sack o'potayyytoes as payment and shout lunch. :)

    Gippsland twisties are mostly awesome... with the occasional patch of gravel to keep you on your toes. :biker:
  8. Rob, it would be an honour to take you as my biatch.
  9. The potato is regular sized. It's just the leprechaun beside it is a little on the smaller side. :wink:
  10. Don't forget to shove two spuds down your front Rob to keep him guessing. :wink:
  11. Damn, Cheffie, if only I'd planned this a week earlier.
  12. eh?

    edit: is this a rubber thing?
  13. Loz Bro, it'll be an honour being your biatch :)

    Thanks mate, muchly appreciated!!!!! :)
  14. Nah, I meant I'd order them sacks if they'd get here in time.
  15. aah!!! yeah shame they're in yanky land. I quite like the idea of getting sponsorship for them too :grin:
  16. [​IMG]

    Sounds like a lot of fun, I'd be about a 80% chance at this stage.

    Will keep Cheffie posted.

  17. I'll see you all at the servo. I will also volunteer as TEC
  18. may be in attendance...
    can't miss a good potato opertunity... as all i ate as a kid was "meat and potato's" (none of this greens shit).
  19. Years and years ago we went to a potato festival with my parents. Mum's a journo and she had to cover a story.

    It was in Koo Wee Rup. No idea if they still run it Loz, but might be worth checking out if you're wanting to re-live the festival days :)

    We're going for a weekend ride in the OTHER direction, have a good time :)