As this over 100-year-old food article demonstrates, the great variety of ways to serve potatoes is completely timeless. Turns out your great-great-grandmother’s potato-cooking methods have never gone out of style, even if her hemlines and corsets are long gone!
Appetizing ways of serving white potatoes (from 1912)
From the The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California) June 23, 1912
This mode of cooking potatoes is now much in vogue, particularly where they are wanted on a large scale, it being so very convenient.
Pare the potatoes, throw them into cold water as they are peeled, then put them into a steamer. Place the steamer over a saucepan of boiling water and steam the potatoes from 20 to 40 minutes, according to the size and sort. When the fork goes easily through them they are done; then take them up, dish and serve very quickly.
Boil white potatoes until tender, then mash, adding a little butter as you do so. When very smooth, rub through a colander or strainer upon a heated dish, molding them high upon this. Set in the oven until the apex of the mound begins to brown lightly, then serve.
Crisp potatoes recipe
Cut cold raw potatoes into shavings, cubes or any small shape. Throw them a few at a time into boiling fat and toss them about with a knife until they are a uniform light brown; drain and season with salt and pepper. Fat is never hot enough while bubbling. When it is ready, it is still and smoking, but should never burn.
Boiled new potatoes
Wash them well, rub off the skins with a coarse cloth or scrape and put them into salted boiling water. Let them boil until tender; try them with a fork, and when done pour off the water.
Let them stand by the side of the fire with lid of saucepan partially removed, and when potatoes are thoroughly dry, put them in a hot vegetable dish with a piece of butter the size of a walnut. Pile the potatoes over this and serve.
New potatoes and cream recipe
Wash and rub new potatoes with a coarse cloth or scrubbing brush; drop into boiling water and boil briskly until done, and no more. Press a potato against the side of the kettle with a fork. If done, it will yield to a gentle pressure.
In a saucepan, have ready some butter and cream hot, not boiling; a little green parsley, pepper and salt. Drain the potatoes, add the mixture, put over hot water for a minute or two and serve.
French fried potatoes recipe
Peel and cut potatoes into narrow strips lengthwise; wash and drain them dry upon a napkin; then plunge into hot fat and fry to a nice brown. Take out with a wire skimmer, drain in a colander, sprinkle with salt and serve hot.
Potato puffs recipe
Cook the potatoes as directed for mashed potatoes. While hot, shape in balls about the size of an egg. Have a tin sheet well buttered and place the balls on it. As soon as all are done, brush over with a beaten egg. Brown in the oven. When done, slip a knife under them and slide them upon a hot platter. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
Browned potatoes recipe
Mash them the same as above, put them into a dish that they are to be served in, smooth over the top and brush over with the yolk of an egg or spread on a bountiful supply of butter and dust with flour. Set in the oven to brown, which will be 15 minutes with a quick fire.
Take the quantity needed, pare off the skins and lay them in cold water half an hour; then put them into a saucepan with a little salt; cover with water and boil until done.
Drain off water and mash them fine with a potato masher. Have ready a piece of butter the size of an egg melted in half a cup of boiling hot milk and a good pinch of salt. Mix it well with the mashed potatoes until they are a smooth paste, taking care they are not too wet.
Put them into a vegetable dish, heap them up and smooth over the top, putting a small piece of butter on the top in the center and have dots of pepper here and there on the surface as large as a half dime.
Mashed potatoes warmed over (leftovers)
To two cups of cold mashed potatoes, add half a cup of milk, a pinch of salt, a tablespoon of butter, two tablespoons of flour and two eggs beaten to a froth.
Mix the whole until thoroughly light; then put into a pudding or vegetable dish, spread a little butter over the top and bake a golden brown. The quality depends upon very thoroughly beating the eggs before adding them so that the potato will remain light and porous after baking, similar to sponge cake.
Homemade potato chips – Saratoga chips
Peel good-sized potatoes and slice them as evenly as possible. Drop them into ice water; have a kettle of very hot lard as for cakes; put a few at a time into a towel and shake to dry the moisture out of them and then drop them into the boiling lard.
Stir them occasionally, and when of a light brown take them out with a skimmer and they will be crisp and not greasy. Sprinkle salt over them while hot.
Potato snow recipe
Choose some mealy potatoes that will boil exceedingly white; pare and cook them well, but not so as to be watery; drain and mash and season them well.
Put in the saucepan in which they are dressed so as to keep them as hot as possible; then press them through a wire sieve into the dish in which they are to be served; strew a little fine salt upon them previous to sending them to table. French cooks also add a small quantity of pounded loaf sugar while they are being mashed.
Fried raw potatoes recipe
Peel half a dozen medium-sized potatoes very evenly, cutting them in slices as thin as an eggshell, and be sure and cut them from the breadth, not the length, of the potato.
Put a tablespoon each of butter and sweet lard into a frying pan, and as soon as it boils add the sliced potatoes, sprinkling over them salt and pepper to season them.
Cover them with a tight-fitting lid and let the steam partly cook them and let them fry a light golden color, shaking and turning them carefully so as to brown evenly and equally. Serve very hot.
Scalloped potatoes (Kentucky style)
Peel and slice raw potatoes thin, the same as for frying. Butter an earthen dish, put in a layer of potatoes and season with salt, pepper, butter, a bit of onion chopped fine if liked; sprinkle a little flour. Now put another layer of potatoes and the seasoning. Continue in this way till the dish is filled.
Just before putting into the oven, pour a quart of hot milk over. Bake three-quarters of an hour. Cold boiled potatoes may be cooked the same. It requires less time to bake them, but they are delicious either way.
Stuffed potato boats
Bake potatoes and cut them with a sharp knife in halves lengthwise. Scoop out the insides and mash with a little cream, melted butter and salt and white pepper to taste. Pack this mixture back into the halved cases, laying them in rows on a platter.
On the top of each potato “boat” thus made, put a great spoonful of meringue made by heating the whites of two eggs very light. Set at once in the oven and leave there just long enough for the meringue to color at the edges.
Potatoes a la creme
Heat a cup of milk; stir in a heaping tablespoon of butter and cut up in as much flour. Stir until smooth and thick; pepper and salt and add two cups of sliced cold boiled potatoes and a little very finely chopped parsley. Shake over the fire until the potatoes are hot all through and pour into a deep dish.
Favorite warmed potatoes
The potatoes should be boiled whole with the skins or in plenty of water well-salted, and are much better if boiled the day before needed. Care should be taken that they are not overcooked.
Strip off the skins (not paring them with a knife) and slice nearly a quarter of an inch thick. Place them in a chopping bowl and sprinkle over them sufficient salt and pepper to season them well. Chop them all one way, then turn the chopping bowl halfway around and chop across them, cutting them into little square pieces the shape of dice.
About 25 minutes before serving time, place on the stove a saucepan (or any suitable dish) containing a piece of butter the size of an egg. When it begins to melt and run over the bottom of the dish, put to a cup of rich sweet milk.
When this boils up in the chopped potatoes, there should be about a quart of them; stir them a little so that they become moistened through with the milk; then cover and place them on back of the stove or in a moderate oven, where they will heat through gradually.
When heated through, stir carefully from the bottom with a spoon and cover tightly again. Keep hot until ready to serve.
Wash, peel and put four large potatoes in cold water with a pinch of salt and set them over a brisk fire; when done pour off all the water and mash them. Take another saucepan and put in it ten tablespoons of milk and a lump of butter half the size of an egg. Put it over a brisk fire and as soon as the milk comes to a boil, pour the potatoes into it and stir them very fast with a wooden spoon.
When thoroughly mixed, take them from the fire and put them on a dish. Take a tablespoonful, roll it in a clean towel, making it oval in shape. Dip it in a well-beaten egg and then in bread crumbs and drop it into hot drippings or lard.
Proceed in this manner till all the potato is used, four potatoes making six croquettes. Fry them a light brown all over, turning them gently as may be necessary. When they are done, lay them on brown paper or a hair sieve to drain off all fat, then serve on a napkin.
Pare and slice the potatoes thin; cut them if you like in small fillets about a quarter of an inch square and as long as the potato will admit. Keep them in cold water until wanted, then drop them into boiling lard.
When nearly done, take them out with a skimmer and drain them; boil up the lard again, drop the potatoes back and fry till done. This operation causes the fillets to swell up and puff.
Lyonnaise potatoes recipe
Take eight or ten good sized potatoes (cold boiled), slice them endwise, then crosswise, making them like dice in small squares. When ready to cook them, heat some butter or good drippings in a frying pan; fry in it a small onion chopped fine until it begins to change color and look yellow.
Now put in your potatoes, sprinkle well with salt and pepper, stir well and cook about five minutes, taking care not to break them. They must not brown.
Just before taking up stir in a tablespoon of minced parsley. Drain dry by shaking in a heated colander. Serve very hot.