Potato peeling is a task that many of us do not get any joy from.
But, one British department store wants people to pause and enjoy the art form that is potato peeling. It’s part of a campaign by the department store Selfridges, reflecting on our homes and what they mean to us.
Our House, A Home For All explores what the home means in a world “rocked by some major geopolitical changes.” “International migration and the volume of people’s displacement are at their most critical since the Second World War,” reads a Selfridges statement.
Faced with “such a disparate and contrasting picture”, the store wants customers to pause and consider what home means to them by “reflecting on” and “celebrating the essence of what makes a house a home” in addition to the rituals that take place within it. And, that means celebrating the much maligned ritual of potato peeling. How fun!
While this might sound pretentious, some mindfulness techniques incorporate household chores as a way of boosting happiness.
Just good ol’ fashioned peelin’
People can take part in free informal potato peeling workshops run by food anthropologists within a makeshift house installation on Selfridges’ lower ground floor.
Participants will peel three varieties of potatoes: standard Maris Pipers, new potatoes and French purple variety, a Selfridges spokesperson confirmed. And, thankfully, there’ll be no chopping involved, just good ol’ fashioned peelin’.
Peelers can choose from two tools — a traditional metal potato peeler or a paring knife. All peeling is supervised by food anthropologists Suzy Webb and Bea Farrell who act as hosts within the house.
People wanting to partake in the potato peeling must ring a “rustic manual doorbell” at the entrance of the house. To be fully immersed in the potato peeling celebration, participants must remove their shoes and switch off all electronic mobile devices and place them in a fabric backpack provided.
But, the fun doesn’t end there. There are also workshops on making sourdough bread, herb bundling, spice grinding and grain milling.
Ah, the simple pleasures!