Idaho and the Blue-Plate Special

Hello there, and welcome to the 17th day of May. If you’ve been with me for a while, then you might remember that May 17th is National Idaho Day. Idaho – home of the Russet Potatoes, stanch Republicans and even the focal point of secession.

The idea of secession is not coming from the folks in Idaho, they like their state just fine, and love their country. No, it seems some of the folks living in Oregon, particularly eastern Oregon, would like to redraw state lines so they can move to Idaho without leaving home.

We’ve had those same grumblings here in California for a while now with the State of Jefferson Movement. That’s a whole different political minefield without any clear resolution. In states such as Oregon and California, people living in the small, rural communities often feel they have no voice in state government or the outcome of federal elections. If you look at those states purely from a geographical prospective, they are largely red, or conservative, with sprinkles of blue where the big cities are. However; from the Majority Takes All, Majority Rules position, since more people reside in the city, with largely liberal viewpoints, they make the rules for everyone else. City folks aren’t evil, they just have a different mindset then country folks, with different needs, values, problems, and solutions. They hold to different codes of conduct, with different loyalities and sense of duty. As long as our elections are based on a majority rule-winner-take-all attitude, country folks will remain without a voice in states such as Oregon and California. Personally, I think it should not be a winner take all but rather that each county have a say. If your state has 20 counties, you have 20 electoral votes. Every voice counts, even that single lone voice. Politicians would then answer to all the people, and represent all if they wish to win elections. That’s my political rant for the day. We aren’t here about politics. We’re here to celebrate Idaho.

For the most part, Idaho is a conservative state. Just because a place is conservative doesn’t mean it isn’t forward thinking. Idaho’s state flag is the only state seal to be designed by a woman. Here’s another interesting fact – with 63% of the state’s land federally funded public land, Idaho is one of the largest public land holders in the nation. And such beautiful land at that.

Idaho’s panhandle, northern Idaho, is unique in that it has a different geology then the entire rest of the state. The climate is much wetter, with vast areas of untouched wilderness. This part of Idaho is know for its lumber. In it’s earlier days, the panhandle flourished with fur trade and mining.

Idaho is also known for its ghost towns. As a result of the great mining boom of the 1860s, settlers built towns all over the panhandle as well as southern points of Idaho. Some of their more famous Ghost Towns today are Burke and Silver City. Both worth exploring if you are fascinated by reminisces of the past.

Since today is all about Idaho, a fitting dish in my opinion would be a true diner’s Blue-Plate Special. Simple folks (and I mean that in the most honorable way) have simple tastes. What could be more down home, down to earth than an Open Face Roast Beef Sandwich and a big mound of Idaho Russet Mashed Potatoes? Yum!

Blue-Plate Special Open Face Roast Beef Sandwiches
Simple Russet Mashed Potatoes
6 medium Russet Potatoes
1/4 cup Milk
4 tablespoons Butter
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste

Peel potatoes, if desired. Cut into 1-inch cubes. Place potatoes in a large pot; add enough water to just cover the potatoes. Sprinkle water with a little salt if desired.

Bring potatoes to a full boil. Lower heat to maintain a rolling boil without boiling over. Cover and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, ro until potatoes are tender.

Drain well, return potatoes to the pan, dry over low heat for about 2 minutes, shaking pank to keep potatoes from sticking.

Heat milk in the microwave. Add half of the butter, one tablespoon at a time, and blend until melted into the hot milk. Set aside.

With a ricer or potato masher, mash potatoes until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add warm, buttery milk. Whip until smooth.

Open Face Roast Beef Sandwiches
1-1/2 lbs shredded Roast Beef
1-1/2 cups Beef Stock, divided
1 envelop Brown Gravy Mix
6 slices Sandwich Bread
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste

Note: Leftover Roast Beef is best for this second meal, or get a chunk of roast beef from the deli.

Slice or shred roast beef as thinly as possible. Place in a skillet over medium heat. Add about 1/2 cup Beef Stock to keep meat moist as it warms. Gently simmer until ready to serve.

Pour remaining cup of beef stock in another sauce pan. Add brown gravy mix. Whisk to blend, heat over medium heat until thick, stirring as needed.

Kitchen Cut Green Beans
1 can Kitchen Cut Green Beans
Pinch Salt

Drain green beans, rinse under cold water. Warm gently in a saucepan over medium-low heat. If desired just before serving, season with a pinch of salt and enjoy.

To serve Blue Plate Special, place 1 or 2 slices of bread on each dinner plate. Divide warm roast beef over the slices of bread. Drizzle with gravy, season with salt and pepper. Serve alongside a scoop of mashed potatoes smothered in brown gravy and some green beans. Enjoy!

Heaven and earth are full of Your glory!

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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