Wash the potatoes well; take off only a thin paring, and drop them at once into cold water to prevent their discoloring. Have them of uniform size, or cut the larger ones into pieces the size of the small ones, so they will all be cooked at the same time, for after a potato is cooked it rapidly absorbs water and becomes soggy. If the potatoes are old or withered, put them on to cook in cold water; if fresh and firm, put them into boiling salted water, and boil slowly about thirty minutes, or until they can be easily pierced with a fork. Then at once drain off every drop of water; shake them in the pot a moment to expose all sides to the air; sprinkle with a little salt; cover the pot with a double cloth, and place it on the back of the range for a few minutes to evaporate all the moisture. If treated in this way the potatoes will be dry and mealy.
Violent boiling is likely to break the outside surface and make them ragged in appearance.
New potatoes are boiled with the skins on.