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I confess, I picked this recipe purely on title. I had a vision of little potatoes in tuxedos, standing around like footman at a formal dinner.

This is also a really good example of how the English language changes over time. One of the things I noticed in my cookbook research is that nearly every book published before 1900 refers to potato skins as “jackets.” Interesting, isn’t it, that we’ve moved from a clothed reference to a naked one!

Really, this is just a version of twice-baked potatoes, except the potatoes stand on their ends (why did I not think of this before)? They were extremely easy and my whole family loved them-I’m sure you will too.

This recipe comes from “Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping”, compiled by Estelle Woods Wilcox and first published in 1880. The recipes are all in paragraphs and rarely list how much of each ingredient to use, so you have to do a little guesswork. Here is the cookbook version:

Bake as many potatoes as are needed; when done, take off a little piece from one end to permit them to stand, from the other end cut a large piece, remove carefully the inside and rub through a fine sieve or mash thoroughly; put on the fire with half an ounce of butter and one ounce of grated cheese to every four fair-sized potatoes; and add boiling milk and pepper and salt as for mashed potatoes; fill the potato shells and sprinkle over mixed bread-crumbs and grated cheese; and put in hot oven and brown. Many prefer to omit cheese and bread-crumbs, filling the shells heaping full and then browning.

Here is my version:

• 5 potatoes
• 2 tablespoons butter
• ½ cup shredded cheese, any variety, divided
• ¼ cup milk
• 1/8 cup bread crumbs
• One teaspoon spice mix (I used Penzey’s Fox Point)

Bake potatoes in the microwave. Cool for a few moments on a cutting board. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

With a knife, cut off one end so the potato can stand on its end.

Cut a bigger piece from the opposite end and scoop out the insides.

Put insides in a saucepan with the butter, milk, spice mix, and ¼ cup of the cheese. Heat and mix until thoroughly heated through. You can mash until smooth if you like, but I prefer lumpy mashed potatoes!

Stuff the potatoes with the heated mix. Top with another ¼ cup of cheese and sprinkle the breadcrumbs over them with your fingers. Place jackets in a greased pan. Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and tops are slightly brown. Serve!

I should have made more-my girls wanted two potatoes each, so be warned and make extra! They are a fun variation on the normal twice-baked potatoes. Enjoy!