There can be little in the gardening calendar to rival the delicious moment when you push back the earth to reveal the first crop of the year’s potatoes. Straight indoors they must go for a preliminary wash in cold water and then into a steamer. They may take as little as 10 minutes, depending on the size. As soon as softness is achieved bring them to the table.
Serve the steamed new potatoes at once with the other ingredients offered on the side.
‘The annual emigration to the end of 1845 was 61,242 persons. Such, however, was the effect of the potato blight and the warning voice of the pestilence, that the number rose to 105,953 in 1846, after which the emigration seemed to partake of the nature of an epidemic and in 1847, the numbers who left the country more than doubled those in the previous year … Emigration reached its highest point in 1851, when the numbers amounted to 249,721.’
From Census of Ireland, 1851.
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