CASE: The Red Potato Caper

DATE: 04/22/2017

SUSPECTS: Grocery Store Produce Clerk, database manager, hacker? (God Bless You)


  • Faulty price gun?
  • Misprinted SKU number?
  • How could 6.50 worth of red potatoes be priced at 3.79? (And later, at the register, ring up 2.99?!)

It began perfectly normal… a grocery shopping trip.

Not my absolute favorite thing, but tolerable.

I swooped in, list in hand, short-mini-cart ahead of me… a general idea of what might be for dinner that evening. And. Ready to gather my items and escape as soon as humanly possible.

We were in the produce aisle at the local store.

Not my favorite produce supplier, but, well, sometimes they had some good stock. It was worth a check, before the obligatory follow-up to The-Store-Who-Knows-How-to-Store-Fresh-produce…

Admittedly, my nose was a little turned up at the pale cabbage. The fresh green beans in this particular venue had been off of my shopping list for some time.

I had seen too many toddlers and preschoolers, with distracted, distraught mother in tow… running grimy fingers through them. Who puts that stuff on the bottom shelf? Really? I even saw one precocious 4 year old pick up a bean, lick it, and put it back in the bin.

“The beans look good today…” My husband offered.

I snorted out a laugh… “Look? Yeah… not on the list.” He had NO idea….

Then I turned the cart, and the organics aisle was laid out before me, freshly stocked. Mmhmm… what. Is. This?

I pursed my lips in subtle, surprised approval. Not bad guys.

The asparagus was stored upright, tightly packed in ice chips.

The kale had a slight glimmer to its dark green texture.

The overhead lighting reflected off of a full row of yellow onions, red onions (giant, if I may say), and some russet potatoes.

I glanced down at the price for the 3 pound bag of russets and another snort laugh erupted. Pah! 5.99? Geez. Cheaper at Whole Foods, honey.

Then I saw it… a fresh, gleaming 5 pound bag of fresh, perfectly chosen, red potatoes.





I snagged them off the shelf before the final digit, 9, even registered in my short-term memory.

My husband stopped and turned, looking at me confused.

I was hugging the bag of red potatoes to my chest – a prized and earned possession. I smiled and carefully laid them in the basket, looking around to see who might be see… I gave him a wink.

He laughed. “You look like you just got away with something…”

“I did… Oh… I did…” My smile still in place, I steered the cart out of the organics section before a produce clerk could realize their mistake.

The “honest” name? No irony is ever lost on me… *snicker*

The good news? The rules of the game are: if it rings up that price, you get that price… if it rings up more? You get the first item FREE… (You didn’t hear that from me, by the way…)

Moving past my olden days of coupon clipping and retail grocery rights… I had a solemn task before me…

Turn this into a story.


Red Potatoes…

…and Capers.

It’s oddly warm weather, so… a cookout is looming. Hmm… what goes good with grilled veggie dogs?

Potato Salad.

I searched all of my cookbooks, and even online… no go.

All the same… mustard, mayo, sugar, eggs… ick.

We required Capers… and, something… peppery… and yet sweet. I started smelling spices…

Ooohh…. capers… yeah…. and dill…

…and BASIL.


Time to prep the potatoes:


Tip: Chop smallish, bite-sized… and BLANCH. Do NOT Boil…

In this case? I brought the potatoes to a boil, and turned them off. Left them in the hot water while I prepped the other ingredients:

Oh… yeah… that’s just celery and red onion… and this:

vegan mayo and your basic Italian dressing/marinade
…whisked together, and mixed in with the aforementioned onions and celery.

Once the potatoes were just soft enough to yield to a poke with a fork?

Drain, and mix it all together…

Let it sit in the fridge… we’ll say – about an hour… at least… Then enjoy…

But… while you wait?

Put in this:

And open a bottle of this:

(No, I didn’t get paid to say any of this.)

As always… I hope this makes you more brave in the kitchen. And I hope you will take the time to watch for those singular opportunities to make organic, red potato salad… for the price of conventional russets.

Cheers! 🙂