There is great diversity of opinion in regard to the value of the potato as a food. Some, because of its belonging to the family of the deadly night shade, the same family as tobacco, think it should be used sparingly if at all, while others consider it (when baked, at least) one of the most wholesome foods. Its use is often prohibited by physicians in some forms of indigestion and for those rheumatically inclined.

The solid part of the potato is almost entirely starch, so it serves as bulk in combination with nitrogenous foods.

"Potatoes which have grown on the surface of the ground or which have been exposed to the light frequently turn green, and such tubers contain abnormal amounts of solanin, as do old and shriveled potatoes which have sprouted. It is best not to use such old potatoes, but if they are eaten the flesh around the sprouts should be cut away, as this portion is particularly liable to contain solanin."-C. F. Langworthy, Ph. D. Farmers' Bulletin, 295. U. S. Dept. of Agriculture.

Solinine is a vegetable alkaloid which may produce serious results as it is of about the same nature as belladonna and other poisons of that class.

Soak new potatoes for a short time only in cold water before cooking, but old ones for at least 2-3 hours.

In paring potatoes, put them into cold water so that the dirt will not adhere to the flesh. Pare not too thick and throw at once into clear cold water.

When salt is sprinkled over potatoes after cooking it absorbs the moisture and renders them more mealy.

Boiled Early Potatoes

Put pared potatoes into rapidly boiling, salted water. Do not allow water to stop boiling. When nearly done add 1/2 - 1 cup cold water. Drain as soon as done. Shake and dry uncovered, over fire. Serve in napkin. When obliged to stand for a few minutes, throw a clean towel over the uncovered kettle to absorb the steam.

Boiled Late or Winter Potatoes

Put potatoes into cold, slightly salted water. Bring to the boiling point as quickly as possible. When half done, drain, add cold water and boil again. Drain as soon as done, sprinkle with salt, shake over fire until dry. Serve in napkin or uncovered dish.

The Irish Way

Put potatoes in slightly salted cold water; when the water boils add a small quantity of cold water; repeat this process 2 or 3 times; when done, drain, shake until dry and send a few at a time to the table.

Potatoes in Jackets Wash thoroughly, peel off a narrow strip around the potatoes the long way. When tender, drain, sprinkle with salt, shake, peel and serve, or serve without peeling. Taking off the strip around the potatoes causes them to burst and become mealy, and makes them easier to peel while still giving the flavor so much liked by many.

Steamed Potatoes

Cook, without paring or with a narrow strip only taken off, in steamer over hot water with a few sprigs of fresh mint. Dry in the oven.

Allow at least 10 m. more for steaming potatoes, either with or without their "coats," than for boiling.

Small New Potatoes

Wash small new potatoes, boil or steam, sprinkle with salt, shake over fire until skins begin to crack, serve in napkin.

Or, rub the skins off with a coarse towel (coarse salt in the towel helps) or scrape the potatoes. After cooking and draining, crack each by pressing lightly with the back of a spoon. Lay in dish, pour hot cream or milk and butter over and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Creamed Stewed Potatoes

Cut potatoes into small pieces or slice not too thin; cook until almost tender; drain, put into cream sauce in double boiler and cook 1/2 hour longer. Whole small potatoes or large ones in quarters cooked until tender may be served in cream sauce the same.

Creamed Warmed-Over Potatoes

Cold baked potatoes are much the best for warming over. Slice baked or boiled potatoes or cut into small pieces and put into cream sauce, with or without celery salt or stalk or a little chopped onion, and simmer slowly 15 m. Sprinkle with parsley in serving.

Or, pour milk over potatoes, cover and heat slowly 15-20 m. If raw nut milk is used heat a half hour. A little onion may be added if desired.

Water Creamed Potatoes

Thicken boiling water slightly with flour, add salt, onion or celery if desired, and sliced potatoes. Simmer 15-20 m.

Or, put a little oil or butter into the saucepan, add flour, then boiling water and potatoes.

Hashed Creamed Potatoes

Chop cold potatoes, mix with cream sauce, put into baking dish, sprinkle with crumbs and brown in oven.

Hashed Browned Potatoes

Mix cream, oil or melted butter and salt with chopped potatoes. Spread evenly in well oiled frying pan, pour a very little water over if oil or butter are used, cover and heat slowly without stirring. When delicately browned on the bottom, fold or roll like an omelet and serve on a hot platter with celery tops or a sprig of parsley.

Or, pour brown sauce over potatoes in baking dish, sprinkle with oil and heat in oven. A little milk or consommé may be added.

Improved Parisian Potatoes

Cut balls out of large pared potatoes with vegetable scoop.

Cook in boiling salted water until just or hardly tender. Drain, roll and shake in thin drawn butter or cream sauce, sprinkle with parsley, serve as border of timbales or as garnish for other meat dishes.