The Everyday Lore Project

28 July 2020 – St Botvid’s Day

28 July 2020 – St Botvid’s Day

You have no idea how much I just wanted to go down the chipper for today’s folklore. It’s St Botvid’s Day, aka Old St Kenelm’s Day, but I ignored them both and went back into Spudland, for it’s said that today in 1586, the astronomer, Thomas Harriot (Harriott, Hariot or Heriot) introduced the potato into Britain. And not, as Blackadder and many others would have it, Sir Walter Raleigh.

It was going to be a onefer, which turned into a twofer, and then into a threefer, and all out of two maris pipers. 

  1. Potato Apple Bread. Never cooked it before. I’ve made potato bread, I’ve possibly made apple bread, but never made them both at once. This traditional Northern Irish recipe seems to be a kind of fried mashed potato sandwich with an apple filling (a tiny nod to St Kenelm). Which brings me on to
  2. The water from boiled potatoes is said to be a great way to clean silver. And
  3. Mashed potatoes are said to help with insomnia, and I’m almost on my knees from lack of sleep these last two nights

And because I really am on my knees, I’m going to let the photos do all the heavy lifting:




Folklore for the win! Trust me on this.


I mean, what’s not to like? Fried mashed potatoes, hot cinnamony apple covered in vanilla and sugar. But together? I wasn’t convinced. So I had another slice – I really haven’t slept and need this mash to work. To be fair, the recipe does say to load it up with cream and lemon curd, which I didn’t. And it is yummy, just a little unexpected on the palate. But it does make me look forward to breakfast tomorrow though. If I haven’t completed my transition into total zombie by then, that is.


Cooper, Q. and Sullivan, P. (1994) Maypoles, Martyrs & Mayhem: 366 Days of British Myths, Customs & Eccentricities, London, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Roud, S. (2006) The English Year: A Month-By-Month Guide To The Nation’s Customs and Festivals, From May Day to Mischief Night, London, Penguin Books

Published by Liza Frank

Author of My Celebrity Boyfriend. Obsessed with hula hooping, sons of preachermen and fresh dates, sometimes all at the same time. Curator of Folklore Agony and The Everyday Lore Project.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.