Monster or exotic plant?

Do you know what this plant is?


Those with disorganised habits like mine will recognise it as a potato in an advanced bid for freedom from the store cupboard.  The story behind this one is that I found it on the road outside our house. I rescued it from the gutter and was about to bring it in to cook it. At that point it had not grown tentacles and I reckoned it was ok since it had probably been dropped by the local organic growers who deliver our vegetable box once a week.  However, the assistant gardeners were mortally embarrassed by such a suggestion and insisted instead that we plant it to grow more potatoes.  Somehow we forgot though and found it again in this lovely state a few weeks later.

This reminded me of a time a few years ago when we acquired an entire sack of ageing potatoes and took them to our family caravan to process. What better to do on a sunny summer day than to take some small assistant gardeners, a few blunt knives and happily remove the roots and skins from the potatoes and make soup from what was left?  Our neighbour in the next caravan was passing and saw us at this happy task:

‘Oh my goodness, those are interesting vegetables.  What on earth are they?’

She was a retired botanist and thought we were planning something most unusual for our evening meal. She was disappointed to discover they were only elderly potatoes.  They made good soup.  I think the one in the picture ended up in the compost bin though.

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