There’s a memorable scene in the “Little House on the Prairie” books where Laura Ingalls Wilder and her sister set off for school, trudging through the snow, each carrying a hot baked potato. The potato served as a handwarmer and as lunch at school.

Maybe this association of potatoes with icy weather and frostbitten toes is why eating a hot potato on a brutally hot August day, when sunburn is much more of a threat than frostbite, seems so unappealing. Cool potato dishes straight out of the refrigerator can beat the heat at mealtime.

Bernice Torregrossa:

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