Byron Martin’s Potato Patts

Before the advent of refrigeration and supermarkets, most farm families got by largely on the fruits of their own labour, and there were limited options, especially in winter. Day after day, they made the most of meat, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, onions and preserves, being the produce that would keep or could be butchered as needed. “Waste Not, Want Not” was an everyday reality for most families, and Potato Patts were a tasty way to make the most of leftover meat and mashed potatoes.

Byron Martin grew up on a farm just west of Bobcaygeon, and was well remembered for his family’s maple syrup business and the countless hours he spent working at the Bobcaygeon Arena and Fair. Byron grew up before electricity came to his neighbourhood, and learned to cook on a woodstove. While his family was still young, hydro reached his farm in the late 1940s, earlier than many others, because he lived on the Fenelon Falls to Bobcaygeon Road. When it was his turn to cook lunch, he often made Potato Patts, which were a traditional favourite used by many families in the area. It was the kind of dish that was often not made from a formal recipe, and varied based on what was at hand at the time.


  • Cold mashed potatoes (about 2 cups)
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 onion
  • Butter, oil or grease


  • Take cold mashed potatoes (about 2 cups)
  • Beat in 1 egg
  • Add salt and pepper
  • Add chopped onion
  • Fry in butter or grease
  • Serve with leftover meat

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