Monday, 18 February 2013

potatastic pomme de terre

I have been blogging for just over six weeks and already I realise that there are as many blog types as there are bloggers. Many bloggers make money through sponsored posts, by placing adverts on their blog pages or get free stuff or get paid to review things.

Heart potato
Heart potato ( not out of the bags I was given!) (Photo credit: cuorhome)
Having 7 children means that we are not rich. My DH works very hard and I do odd jobs here and there and we are very good at stretching the money. Love, of course, is free and our kids have plenty of that!

I am not averse to the idea of getting cash for writing, or even free stuff. Internet research seems to universally say that the best way of being attractive to "brands"  is to make your blog readable and entertaining.

So I was delighted to have my first approach to do a review blog. Ok, It was from another mum I know from school. But still, she had read my blog, liked it,  and thought her client might be interested in linking up with me.

I had no idea what she did for a living or who she represented. My mind hurriedly ran through the possibilities of what I might get to try out for free. Makeup? A holiday? a luxury car? a handbag?
It was none of these.

I got potatoes.

Don't get me wrong - free food is always welcome in the mad household with 9 mouths to feed. But I confess I felt slightly disappointed and wondered how I could make reviewing potatoes interesting.

So my new marketing contact duly delivered two sacks of GreenVale FarmFresh All Rounder potatoes. ( product named - tick).

The bags actually were more attractive than my normal brand and proudly boasted that you could use these potatoes for anything; " rich roasts, smashing mashed, brilliant baked or boiled."

The bag had a string to pull to open it ( which tragically I enjoyed doing) and the potatoes inside were all clean, in good condition and the perfect size for a variety of uses.

So followed a week of suppers based around what I could do with a potato.
Visiting children staying for a sausage, beans and jacket potato tea were quizzed closely on what they thought of their meal, thinking particularly about their potato. They looked a bit nervous at the unexpected inquisition but luckily they know me, have already accepted I'm a bit odd and not really like the other mummys and answered my questions truthfully. " It was nice." "It tasted like potato". Hmm. Not very helpful to the marketing bods eagerly waiting for feedback.

So I made a huge roast dinner a few days later with mash and roast potatoes. The mash was lovely. It came out a bit dryer than normal but I just added a bit more milk and butter and it was perfect. The roast potatoes were gorgeous.

I always par-boil then drain and allow the steam to rise for a minute so the potatoes are nice and dry then add salt and pepper and shake them about a bit before dropping into hot oil. Sometimes potatoes disintegrate at the shaking stage but these behaved beautifully providing a fluffy crumbly outside whilst retaining their firmer core.

Only family eating this time and so I asked again what they thought - potatoes got a positive thumbs up all round.

So all in all I was very pleased with my first review experience. Free potatoes, nice dinners, happy diners. Thankyou GreenVale.

But if there are any brands out there wanting to loan me a luxury car to drive to a posh hotel for a luxury meal which I haven't had to cook I would be very glad to hear from you.

Disclosure; I was provided with two 2.5kg bags
 of GreenVale all rounder potatoes for the purpose
 of this review. Opinions are my own.
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I'd love feedback- but keep it clean and kind.