August 19 is National Potato Day. That means the vegetable is celebrated as a popular food that has been part of people's diets for centuries no matter where they live. The potato is one food that is available around the world and has become a staple in most households. The question is, "How do you like your potatoes?"

More than 45 billion pounds of potatoes produced every year. There are only a few types in your local grocery store, but there are more than 200 varieties in the United States. Of these many types, there are only seven categories.

They include russet, white, yellow, red, blue/purple, petite and fingerling named because they actually look like a stubby finger.

There are many different ways to cook potatoes. Some households have favorite ways, and some families like to vary the way they cook theirs. In fact, they can be cooked a different way every day of the week without any method being repeated.

Ways to cook

If you ask kids how they like their potatoes, more than likely they will say they like French Fries. Adults also like French fries. There are shoe string fries, steak fries, tater tots, and hash browns.

Families make baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, potato au gratin, and potato soup. They make potato salad, and they use potatoes in stews.

For a savory snack, potato chips are at the top of most people's list.

The spuds are not only good, but they have many valuable nutrients. For example, the vegetable contains Vitamin C, potassium, and iron.

Not just for eating

Potatoes are not just for eating. There are many uses for raw potatoes. You can use them on puffy eyes because they are made up of 79 percent water that draws the puffiness from under the skin.

They are good for soothing a minor burn. If you put too much salt in your soup, throw in some cubes to absorb the salt. Many people take aspirins for a headache, but by simply rubbing a raw potato on your temple, the headache will soon disappear. Raw potatoes are also good for itchy skin. Simply rub a slice on the itch and see what happens.

There are so many ways to celebrate National Potato Day. Choose a way to prepare potatoes for your family and enjoy them. If you really want to celebrate in style, you can prepare them for every meal of the day. For breakfast, fried potatoes or hash browns would go great with the other foods on the menu. For lunch, have French fries with your hamburger. For dinner, there is nothing better than a baked potato with butter, sour cream and chives to go along with that juicy steak.