Cold Boiled Potatoes

“Cold Boiled Potatoes” is a multimedia installation by Ellie Markovitch at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) West Hall in Troy, NY during group show REVERSE VERTIGO (2010) December 12 2010, 4PM-7 PM

The installation reflects on a scene from the novella Life in the Iron Mills by
Rebecca Blaine Harding Davis published in 1861.
Today, potato crops feed millions of people around the world. As we
progress through the age of the third Industrial revolution (aka the
information age), potatoes find themselves at the center of the
debate about the safety of genetically engineered foods and the
dangers of relying on monoculture crops.
You are invited to share this meal with Deborah
“The woman Deborah was like him; only her face was even more
ghastly, her lips bluer, her eyes more watery. She wore a faded cotton
gown and a slouching bonnet. When she walked, one could see that
she was deformed, almost a hunchback. She trod softly, so as not to
waken him, and went through into the room beyond. There she found
by the half-extinguished fire an iron saucepan filled with cold boiled
potatoes, which she put upon a broken chair with a pint-cup of ale.
Placing the old candlestick beside this dainty repast, she untied her
bonnet, which hung limp and wet over her face, and prepared to eat
her supper. It was the first food that had touched her lips since
morning. There was enough of it, however: there is not always. She
was hungry,—one could see that easily enough,—and not drunk, as
most of her companions would have been found at this hour. She did
not drink, this woman,—her face told that, too,—nothing stronger
than ale. Perhaps the weak, flaccid wretch had some stimulant in her
pale life to keep her up,—some love or hope, it might be, or urgent
need. When that stimulant was gone, she would take to whiskey. Man
cannot live by work alone. While she was skinning the potatoes, and
munching them, a noise behind her made her stop.”
Life in the Iron-Mills by Rebecca Harding Davis published in the April
You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or
online at

Mid May we put in the ground Adirondack Red, Kennebec and Yukon Gold potatoes for the first time in our garden raised beds.  Gold, Russet and Cobbler we planted outside the fence.

It has been amazing that I only had to make sure the plants are watered regularly and thanks to all the rain we got this year, the potatoes are just growing without much fuss.

We have been cooking them with a little salt and enjoying all their goodness.


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