Taste from the past – Potato Straws 1883 recipe

Our mothers and grandmothers did not have all the kitchen tools we have today. This is how they made Potato Straws.

How to Make Potato Straws

(Transcribed from Brewton Banner (Brewton, Alabama June 2, 1883)


Wash a pint of potatoes, peel them very thin, slice them about a quarter of an inch thick, put them into plenty of salted boiling water, and boil them until they are tender, which will be in about ten minutes: when the potatoes are tender pour them into a colander with large holes and let the water drain off; when the potatoes are quite dry, sprinkle over them a tea-spoonful of salt and quarter of salt-spoonful of white pepper; hold the colander over one end of a large platter, and press upon the potatoes with a potato masher, moving the colander toward the other end of the dish as the potatoes are pressed through it so that they will fall upon the dish in long rows; continue to move the colander from one end of the platter to the other until all the potatoes are pressed through and laid in even rows upon the dish; then wipe the edges of the dish with a clean towel, set it in the oven for two or three minutes to heat the potatoes, and then serve them.

See more vintage recipes in Vinegar of the Four Thieves: Recipes & Curious Tips from the Past 

Have you heard excessive brain labor causes baldness or the cure for wrinkles is a tepid bath in bran? 

Do you want to know Thomas Jefferson’s recipe for Vinegar of the Four Thieves or how to make Ox Tail Soup? 

Have you ever had ‘blueberry pickles’, ‘batallia pie’ or ‘snow birds’? You will learn all this and more in “Vinegar of the Four Thieves.”

Our ancestors had to be resilient when they faced obstacles in daily life, from dealing with pests, medical emergencies, caring for clothing, and cleaning shortcuts. Almost everything they used in daily life was homemade. Some ideas were great but some were very strange. 

This book is a collection of household tips, medical cures, clothing care, and old recipes from the 1800s and 1900s. Many of the tips, such as the household cleaners, cooking tips, and ways to control pests, still work and are helpful in today’s ‘green’ environment while others such as ‘how to cure a dog of eating eggs’ will make you laugh. Either way, this book will help you appreciate the difficult life your grandparents endured. 

With Bonus: First two chapters of novel RIBBON OF LOVE: (2nd edition) – A Novel of Colonial America (Book one in Tapestry of Love Series

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