Yesterday I wrote about the little city of Wells and its bustling market. I should also mention that it has a quantity of great charity shops. In one of these I found a potato ricer. An Austrian lady beside me said "Excellent buy - they make vunderful potato cakes".
When checking out potato ricers elsewhere I came across this fantastic picture of Julia Child and her potato ricer - " the potato goes in and you go schoooom and out she comes!"
I come originally from Northern Ireland, and our potato cakes are called "farls", because they are shaped as quarters of a round when baked on a griddle. ("Farl" comes from the Scots "fardel", which means a fourth of something.) Potato farls are a vital constituent of the famous Ulster Fry, essential if you are about to spend all day cutting peat in a bog...
You don't really need a recipe for potato farls, but it goes something like this
2 lb/ 1 kg/ 2 cups freshly mashed potatoes
4 oz/ 125 g/ 1 cup plain flour
2 tbsp butter
Mix the butter into the potatoes with the salt. Work in the flour quickly but thoroughly and knead lightly. Divide in two and roll out each half on a floured board to form a circle about the size of a large dinner plate. Cut in quarters (farls) and cook for about 3 minutes on each side on a griddle or in a heavy frying pan in a little bacon fat.