Thursday, March 8, 2012

St. Patrick's Day: Potatoes For All

Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity. ~Sean O'Casey

In the 18th Century the potato became a staple for the poor in Ireland, though it had been introduced before that to the upper class. The Irish people were frugal in order to survive, and used the food that was most readily available to them. The potato was easy to grow, filling and had multiple uses which made it an important addition to a family table. Ireland has a rich history, and it's people survived against incredible odds, especially during the 1700's. With St. Patrick's Day around the corner I thought I would share a few recipes from my older cookbooks that use potatoes.

Rumford Complete Cook Book, 1934
Potato Griddle Scones

2 cups flour
1/2 level tsp. salt
3 level tsp. Rumford Baking Powder
2 level tbsp. shortening
1 egg
About 3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup mashed potatoes

Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder; rub the shortening in lightly, add the potatoes and mix to a soft dough with the milk and beaten egg. Roll out about 3/4 of an inch thick, cut into three cornered cakes and cook on a hot, well-greased griddle.

Rumford Complete Cook Book
Potato Dressing

3 cups hot mashed potato
1 cup stale bread crumbs
1 grated onion
1 egg
1/2 cup finely chopped salt pork
1 tsp. powdered sage
salt and pepper to taste

Mash the potato, add the bread crumbs, onion, pork, sage, salt and pepper. Mix with the egg lightly beaten. Use as a dressing for goose, duck or pork.

Magic Chef Cooking, 1938
Mashed Potato Puff

1/3 cup hot milk
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
3 cups mashed potatoes
2 egg whites

Add the hot milk, butter and seasonings to the mashed potatoes (left-over may be used) and beat until smooth. Fold in the beaten egg whites and put into a greased baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. 6 servings.

International Cook Book, 1929
Potato Biscuits

1 cup potato water
1/2 cup mashed potato
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup sugar
1 yeast cake
1 tsp. salt
4 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup shortening

Crumble yeast; add salt, sugar and water. Add potato and potato water. Stir in enough flour to make a stiff sponge. Add melted shortening. Add remainder of flour and knead until smooth. Put into greased bowl. Let rise for two hours. Knead. Let rise for 45 minutes. Shape into round balls. Put in muffin pans. Let rise again for about 30 minutes and bake at 425 degrees F.

Note: 1 yeast cake equals 2 1/4 tsp. dry yeast. Use in place of the crumbled yeast cake.


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