There are so many people who have helped with the production of this book to whom I truly owe thanks. I’ve discovered that the potato is a great leveller and the very mention of this book has struck a responsive culinary chord in all sorts of gatherings while I have been collecting and collating potato recipes.
Heartfelt thanks are due to An Bord Glas (now Bord Bia) for the help and patience they showed over the years of putting the first edition of the book together. I’d also like to thank my daughter, Amelia Raben, for her work on the manuscript, Mike O’Toole for his photography and exceptional patience, Gary Smyth of R&S Printers Monaghan, Roberta Reeners, Ally Bun-bury and of course my husband, Johnny, for stoically eating his way through numerous potato dishes, sacrificing his waistline in the process.
Where possible, specific credits appear through the book, but I would like gratefully to acknowledge and thank the following for their kind permission to reprint copyright material: Cambridge University Press for extracts from The History and Social Influence of the Potato by Redcliffe Salaman, published 1949; the estate of James Joyce for a quote from ‘The Dead’; Jill Norman for the lines from ‘An Omelette and a Glass of Wine’ by Elizabeth David, published 1989; Curtis Brown for an extract from Some Experiences of an Irish R.M. by E.Œ. Somerville and Martin Ross, published 1899; Sophie Grigson for an extract from Jane Grigson’s Fruit Book, published 1991; Michael Joseph Ltd for extracts from The Ladies of Llangollen, a Study in Romantic Friendship by Elizabeth Mavor, published 1971; Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz for extracts from The Book of Latin American Cookery, published 1969; and Professor Kevin Whelan of the Royal Irish Academy for material from the Thomas Davis Lecture series.
Unfortunately I have not been able to credit some of the original writers of the recipes since some of these I have been unable to trace. Many of the recipes in this book were sent to me hand-written, but relayed from books and magazines over the years, by friends and often the original sources of the recipes were lost. For omissions I am sorry.