Do not have the POTATOES dug long before they are dressed, as they are never good when they have been out of the ground for some time. Well wash them, rub off the skins with a coarse cloth, and put them in boiling water salted. Let them boil until tender; try them with a fork, and when done pour the water away from them; let them stand by the side of the fire with the lid of the Saucepan partly removed, and when the POTATOES are thoroughly dry, put them in a hot vegetable dish, with a piece of butter the size of a walnut; pile the POTATOES over this and serve. If the POTATOES are too old to have the skins rubbed off; boil them in their jackets; drain, peel and serve them as above, with a piece of butter placed in the midst of them. They require twenty to thirty minutes to cook. Serve them hot and plain, or with melted butter over them.
The Whitehouse Cookbook, by Mrs. F.L. Gillette (Year 1887)