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Mashed Potatoes…

001   Over the past week, the conversations tended to drift to “what are you making for Thanksgiving dinner?”  and I was becoming aware of a distinct pattern…all revolving around…mashed potatoes.

They were having instant potatoes, already prepared, baked and lastly potato salad!  When I asked about “home made” mashed potatoes, I got the responses, “oh, they’re too hard to make!  They take too much time!  I hate to mash potatoes.”

Now, mind you, I didn’t come from a household that had mashed potatoes often.  My mother apparently had that aversion as well.  My sister in law only makes instant mashed.  My one girlfriend only will make rice and pasta…mashed potatoes “are too hard” and she buys them ready made.

It  wasen’t until I got married to a “meat and potatoes” kind of guy that I started making mashed potatoes from scratch…and they really are easy to make.

I wonder if it’s the having to peel the potatoes that turns a lot of people off.  I have a really strong peeler and I personally don’t mind peeling…it’s a repetitive action almost akin to meditation…I can daydream a bit while I do it.  I then cut my potatoes into small pieces and place them in a pot of water and they cook quite quickly that way.  I have even done my potatoes in a crockpot.  If they are done unpeeled, the peels come off quite easily after they are cooked.  You could bake them and empty them that way(that’s also how you make the twice baked potatoes by mashing them, adding lots of neat stuff like cheese, bacon, etc. and putting them back into the shells).

I cook my potatoes until I can easily stick a knife into them.  The water is then drained off and I mash with a hand potato masher until I am satisfied with the consistency.  The mashing is therapeutic as well…any irritations you have of the day will lessen after you have been mashing for a while…  Now I add butter/margarine, some salt and some milk until the consistency is the way I want it.  Some don’t add milk because they like the thick mass.  If you are using the potatoes on top of a shepherd’s pie, you would add an egg and some grated cheese as well.

And that’s it.  Leftover mashed potatoes can be made into potato soup(my daughter’s favorite), potato pancakes or potato filling. Adding different extra fillings can make them special as well…cheese, bacon, onions are all nice fillings.

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

til next time…Eva