Nearly every housekeeper fancies she can cook a potato, and yet we have so many soggy and poor-flavored potatoes brought to our tables. The potato is composed chiefly of starch and water. When subjected to heat the starch cells burst and the potato becomes tender. If removed from the water or oven as soon as the starch is set free the potato will be mealy and dry, but if allowed to cook longer the starch will absorb the moisture and the potato be soggy.

Boiled Potatoes

If cooking new potatoes, boil them in their jackets; old potatoes, scrub, pare and let stand in cold water two or three hours to freshen them; cover with boiling water, to which a teaspoonful of salt has been added, and boil gently from twenty to thirty minutes; medium-sized potatoes will require thirty minutes; rapid boiling will break the potatoes; when cooked drain off every drop of water; remove the cover and shake the saucepan over the fire until the potatoes are dry and mealy; serve immediately. The potatoes should be put on to boil just one-half hour before they are to be served. If they must stand, set the saucepan on the back part of the stove and cover with a towel until serving time. The towel will absorb the moisture.

Mashed Potatoes

Boil six medium-sized potatoes; drain and shake over the fire; mash fine; add one teaspoonful of salt and one level tablespoonful of butter and beat well; heat a quarter of a cupful of milk; pour the hot milk over the potatoes and beat until light and creamy; pile on a hot dish; do not smooth the mound, but leave it irregular; serve immediately.

Riced Potatoes

Prepare the potatoes as for mashed potatoes; press through a potato-ricer into a hot dish; put the dish in the oven for five minutes.

Baked Potatoes

Select potatoes of uniform size; scrub and remove any imperfections in the skin; wipe dry and put into a hot oven; bake about forty-five minutes, or until the potato feels soft when pressed between the fingers; when baked cut a slit lengthwise in the potato and press the potato gently; remove immediately from the oven; cover with a towel until serving time; send baked potatoes to the table covered with a doily to protect them from the cold air.

Baked Potatoes With Roast Beef

Pare small potatoes and put into the pan with the roast beef about half an hour before the meat is cooked; arrange on the dish with the beef.

French Fried Potatoes

Pare and cut into six pieces on the length of the potato; let stand in cold water two or three hours; wipe, and fry in very hot fat; drain; dust with salt and serve with steaks or chops.

Potato Balls

Pare eight or ten large potatoes; with a vegetable scoop cut little balls from the potato; drop them into cold water and let stand two or three hours; wipe and put in the frying basket; lower gently into very hot fat; cook until nicely browned - about five minutes; drain; dredge with salt and serve very hot.

Creamed Potatoes

One quart of cold boiled potatoes cut in half-inch dice; one pint of thin white sauce; one tablespoonful of minced parsley; pepper and salt; season the potatoes with pepper and salt; add to the white sauce and cook slowly until the potatoes are hot; add the parsley and stir carefully; serve immediately.

Lyonnaise Potatoes

One quart of cold boiled potatoes, cut into dice,

Three tablespoonfuls of clarified butter.

Two tablespoonfuls minced onion, One tablespoonful minced parsley, Salt and pepper.

Season the potatoes with salt and pepper: brown the onion lightly in the clarified butter; add the potatoes and the parsley, cooking until nicely browned, being careful not to break them; serve immediately on a hot dish.

Sweet Potatoes

Wash and cover with boiling sailed water; boil gently until tender, or parboil the potatoes; pare and cut in halves; dust lightly with sugar, salt and pepper; put two tablespoonfuls of clarified butter into a small dripping pan; lay the potatoes on the pan and bake in a hot oven.