Idaho - The Gem State
Updated: Jun 14, 2021
Official Motto “Be Eternal”
Suggested Motto: “Where the weather's made up and seasons don’t matter”
Two Truths and a Lie
Idaho’s serpentine border with Montana is formed by the Continental Divide -- the divide extends from Alaska’s Bering Strait to Chile’s Straight of Magellan. All water on the west of the divide flows towards the Pacific Ocean, whereas rivers and streams to the east head toward the Atlantic Ocean (Mostly anyway, there is a bit of controversy on whether the Hudson Bay counts as part of the Atlantic or the Arctic Ocean)
Idaho is a great place for star-gazing. Central Idaho is home to the nation’s first gold-tier international dark sky reserve where visitors can view the Milky Way, meteor showers, and even the international space station.
The Recipe - Loaded Potato Gems
Idaho famously grows a lot of potatoes, they have near-perfect conditions for the spuds thanks to warm summer days, cool nights, and soil rich with volcanic ash. I knew I had to use the tubers in a cookie somehow. The resulting recipe is hard to classify. First I peeled, chopped, and boiled a russet potato until a knife poked through easily. I drained the water (and set it aside to cool and eventually used it to water an herb garden). I whipped the warm potatoes with a generous amount of butter, essentially making mashed potatoes.
Then I mixed in flour and baking powder and kneaded it all into a smooth dough. That needed a long rest in the fridge until it was cool and pliable. I rolled and cut out diamond shapes because so many precious and rare gems have been mined in the state including smoky quartz, aquamarine, and star garnets.
While the cookies (they’re too soft to count as a biscuit or cracker, but not sweet at all, what should I call these?) cooled, I whipped goat cheese, butter, and honey into a spreadable consistency. I also opened a jar of huckleberry (Idaho’s state fruit) jam. The cookies were a good texture but rather bland until I loaded them up with layers of cheese and jam. The combination was dynamite. I served them for dinner on the patio with roasted peppers and pan-fried trout. A good bottle of wine rounded out this delightful tribute to scenic Idaho.
Want to experience Idaho for yourself? Then Teresa recommends ...
In my teens, I attended a family reunion in Coeur d’Alene, I remember the lake was both beautiful and bone-rattling cold. In 2019, my cousin and I drove along the picturesque Snake River valley and stayed the night in Boise. It has a hip downtown where we ordered cocktails from a fire-breathing bartender. I wish I had taken more pictures of this lovely state, but all I could find was a parking-lot selfie, at least you can see how jazzed we were to be there. If you can’t make it there, but want to watch a really odd film set there, check out “Napoleon Dynamite.”
Time for the whole truth
The Bitterroot Mountain range forms the border between Montanna and Idaho, some Idahoans thought it was going to be the continental divide. It's a long story, check the link.
(By the way, you can click on any of the 2 truths and a lie statements to visit the source of the trivia)