Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange => Food => Topic started by: IslandMama on November 19, 2012, 05:08:25 AM

Title: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: IslandMama on November 19, 2012, 05:08:25 AM
Reading all the Thanksgiving threads about what's being served and there seems to be a heap of comments about "Mashed potatoes, made from scratch" or "Real mashed potatoes" and it confuses me.  Is it the norm to use a packet of the powdered potato stuff? 

Speaking only for my family and friends (and I'm in Australia if it makes any difference) but I can't think of anyone who does mashed potato from a powder.  We just peel, chop and boil the potatoes and then mash with some butter, pepper and a bit more salt... or any variation like adding sour cream and chives, garlic, parmesan... whatever takes your fancy, really.  And yet it seems we're the anomaly?
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: sparksals on November 19, 2012, 05:11:11 AM
Yes there are powdered mashed potatoes but I didn't realize so many used them.  I wouldn't ever consider using boxed ever and I don't know anyone who does.   Unless it is a cheap alternative.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Venus193 on November 19, 2012, 05:11:34 AM
No; you're not an anomaly.  My foodie friends don't use the powder, flakes, or buds.  I suspect those products are popular with people who live alone or only with one other person because it's easier to control the quantity of the end result.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: mechtilde on November 19, 2012, 05:33:48 AM
One of my friends uses vacuum sealed mashed potatoes in sort of plastic pouch things and really likes them- she lives on her own and has arthritis so making them from scratch can be quite inconvenient for her.

I found them to be far too salty and stodgy for me, but then I make mine about 50/50 with swede because it is much lighter texture and has a better flavour IMO. Add pepper and chives to make it into the Scottish dish clapshot- a traditional accompaniment to haggis.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Two Ravens on November 19, 2012, 05:37:49 AM
I'll be the weird one and say that I love powdered mashed potatoes and usually prefer them to the "made from scratch" kind. It is actually one of my favorite comfort foods. I usually also like to add a dash of balsamic vinegar to them as well. Yum, a big bowl of carby goodness.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: camlan on November 19, 2012, 05:50:56 AM
I grew  up on powdered mashed potatoes. I will never willingly eat them again.

I'm not sure how many people in the US eat mashed potatoes on a regular basis. Lots of people are avoiding potatoes entirely these days, because of their carb content. So the disclaimers about only eating "real" mashed potatoes might be a factor of that. As in, they only get to eat mashed potatoes a few times a year, so they are going to make darned sure that they are real, and that they taste as good as possible.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Thipu1 on November 19, 2012, 05:54:01 AM
We often had rhe instant mashed potatoes when I was a child.  It was modern, don't you know.   ;)

Now, it's always scratch mashed potatoes made from Yukon Golds.  We leave some of the skins in and add a dab of horseradish. 
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Sharnita on November 19, 2012, 07:00:43 AM
I think when people ention "real" versus the other kind they are often talking about what they enounter ouside the home.  Prepared food can sometimes use the other kind and once or twice I have heard of restaurants that mix real and instant.  Instant is probably cheaper so in large quantities that is the way businesses go.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Jones on November 19, 2012, 07:01:56 AM
I prefer the powdered kind, with garlic salt and butter.

It's a texture thing. I don't much care for lumps in my potatoes. I'll eat them when I find them of course, but I prefer no lumps.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Sharnita on November 19, 2012, 07:04:06 AM
I prefer the powdered kind, with garlic salt and butter.

It's a texture thing. I don't much care for lumps in my potatoes. I'll eat them when I find them of course, but I prefer no lumps.

I don't usually have lumps when they are made from real potatoes.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: KenveeB on November 19, 2012, 07:13:26 AM
I don't know many people who use powdered or instant mashed potatoes. But I do know plenty who only get mashed potatoes as take-out or something, so maybe they mean "home made, not from a restaurant" when they say "made from scratch"?
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: SleepyKitty on November 19, 2012, 07:14:38 AM
I eat instant ones when I'm just making a normal dinner - as Venus said, I live alone, so there is really no point in going through all the trouble of making real mashed potatoes from scratch for one single serving, and I won't eat through enough leftovers to make it worth it.

But when I have someone to cook for, I make the real thing. I strongly prefer the real thing, but powdered isn't bad. It's just not as good. I doctor up the powdered stuff with herbs and garlic, but the real stuff I usually just stick to butter and a little salt.

Yumm, can't wait for Thanksgiving.  :)
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Jones on November 19, 2012, 07:31:29 AM
I prefer the powdered kind, with garlic salt and butter.

It's a texture thing. I don't much care for lumps in my potatoes. I'll eat them when I find them of course, but I prefer no lumps.

I don't usually have lumps when they are made from real potatoes.
And I can't say I've ever eaten any that didn't have lumps, at family dinners. There was once a local restaurant that very proudly proclaimed their mashed was made from real as well; it had lumps. I was under the assumption it was normal since it's all I've experienced in "made from scratch" potatoes.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: sourwolf on November 19, 2012, 07:35:30 AM
I don't peel my potatoes when I mash them, so I find that it's almost the same amount of effort as making them from a box.   I'm not a fan of instant and I always ask in a restaurant if they are instant (most of the time the answer is yes) so I don't accidentally get them. 

As for portion control, the size of the potato doesn't really change once it's mashed, so I just pick the potato (or two) that looks like the amount of mashed potatoes I'd like to have that night.  Plus leftover mashed potatoes make great fish cakes so I don't mind if there is extra.

As for lumps - I tend to do a "rough mash" so some of the potatoes are in larger chunks than others, that might be what the poster was referring to.  My mom likes really smooth potatoes so she mashes hers much more thoroughly.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Harriet Jones on November 19, 2012, 07:43:04 AM
I don't use the instant mashed potatoes, but I also don't make *real* mashed potatoes that often.  I use a ricer to mash the potatoes and it can be a big effort sometimes.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: mechtilde on November 19, 2012, 07:43:28 AM
To avoid lumps, use floury potatoes which don't hold together as the waxy potatoes do. Make sure they are properly cooked (but don't let them disintegrate!) to be absolutely sure, use a potato ricer.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Sharnita on November 19, 2012, 07:46:04 AM
I use a hand mixer with milk and butter.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 19, 2012, 08:24:28 AM
A good hand blender will make quick work of mashed potatoes and get rid of most of the lumps.

We never had instant mashed potatoes growing up but we did used the boxed mixes for scalloped potatoes.  I made them from scratch a while ago and my family prefers the boxed kind.   ::)
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Hmmmmm on November 19, 2012, 08:31:27 AM
Back in the 70's early 80's, my mom would keep the powdered kind on hand for us to make with dinner if she wasn't around.  My favorite food when I was feeling ill was to make up a packet of them thicker than normal, mix in a ton of sour cream, butter, sharp cheddar cheese and bacon bits and bake in the oven. 

I still keep a box around for using as a thickner in some soups or to coat fish before baking.  I've also used them in place of bread crumbs when cooking for those avoiding gluten.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: RebeccainGA on November 19, 2012, 08:33:23 AM
DP won't eat the potato flakes - but loves the boxed 'scalloped potatoes' mixes. I grew up on boxed mashed potatoes, and won't eat them as an adult - if I don't want to make them, I buy the plastic tubs at the grocery store (the garlic Country Crock ones are the best).
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: amylouky on November 19, 2012, 08:36:44 AM
I much prefer real mashed potatoes.. I don't peel them, and I add salt, pepper, garlic powder, milk, sour cream, and a bit of ranch dressing before blending them with a hand mixer.
BUT.. I do use potato flakes when I don't have the 45 minutes it takes to make "real" ones, as in, late getting home from work and the kids need to eat. I also keep them on hand for if I accidentally add too much milk to the real ones, just to thicken them up. I don't like liquidy mashed potatoes.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: emwithme on November 19, 2012, 08:44:39 AM
The best thing I ever bought for mashing potatoes was my potato ricer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potato_ricer).

My disabilities make me tire very easily but I can make enough mashed potato to cover a four-person cottage pie in five minutes; it's just squeeze the potatoes, add a little milk, some butter and freshly ground black pepper, maybe some mustard powder, and give it all a stir with a big spoon. 

However, we do have some instant mash powder in the house, for those occasions when I'm not well enough to handle knives or haven't got the energy to make proper potatoes, and DH isn't around.  It's not the same but sometimes you just have to make sacrifices. 
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Luci on November 19, 2012, 08:49:13 AM
I made 20 lbs of mashed potatoes for our pre-Thanksgiving extended family meal last Sunday. Instead of a potatoe ricer, I used the food mill I use when canning.

The worst restaurant  I ever ate in had instant iced tea, frozen meatballs, and instant mashed potatoes. It is loudly proclaimed because it has a sod roof and goats graze on it. Blech!
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Margo on November 19, 2012, 08:50:35 AM
I'm finding this an interesting discussion as it would never occur to me to think of mashed potato as something which was difficult or particularly time consuming to make. I guess if you are cooking for a large number of people the actual mashing could take a while, if you don't have any cooks-minions or a food mixer.

I like to mash mine with a bit of celeriac, to add to the flavour. floury potatoes are best if you want to avoid lumps.

I've had the instant kind, but only as part of school lunches (and hated them - they always seem incredibly salty and tasteless to me!) Have they improved any in the last 25 years?

Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: #borecore on November 19, 2012, 08:52:49 AM
I never realized until I was an adult why some potatoes tasted 'off' -- it was because they were powdered. We never had them at home, and I wasn't even aware they existed. I bought those Country Crock ones in a tub when I got my wisdom teeth out, and no thank you very much!

I love mashed potatoes with about a 1:1 potato to garlic clove ratio. Olive oil or soy margarine, plain soy milk and lots of salt and pepper, and they are as good as vegan food gets. (I've gotten in the habit of making them vegan for the restricted eaters in my family, but a bit of sour cream is great if your family's not quite that restrained.)  I don't mind lumps and like some soft bits of skin.

Alas, my chief regret about spending the rest of my life with my boyfriend is that he does not like mashed potatoes.  ;D
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 19, 2012, 09:07:46 AM
With my Mom gone, I'm the chief cook for our family holiday dinners.  I get to just holler from the kitchen, 'I need a masher!' and someone shows up, usually one of my nephews.   ;D

I don't make them just for myself because they don't freeze well and when I cook, I cook a lot and freeze the leftovers in my own 'TV' dinners to take for lunch at work.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: mechtilde on November 19, 2012, 09:12:28 AM
There is one way to use frozen mash- put them in the oven so they get a lovely browned top and call them duchesse potatoes!
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: exitzero on November 19, 2012, 09:18:27 AM
My mother was the world's worst cook. Seriously.

I had no idea that potatoes came any other way but in a box. The results were, runny, water, flavorless puddles of white glue.

I also didn't know that there were vegetables besides canned peas, corn and string beans. I can remember the first time I had broccoli. It was like the heavens opened up and deposited food of the angels on my palate.

I also had no idea that lasagna wasn't supposed to crunch until I got to college.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Redneck Gravy on November 19, 2012, 09:26:25 AM
For a meal for guests I start with real potatoes, peel them, boil them, add milk & butter and use a hand mixer to mash them - never lumpy.

For just me I use boxed potato flakes made with chicken broth mixed with butter and half & half and a tad of cheese - I can't really tell the difference in small quantities. 

I prefer real but then again, I will eat almost anything set in front of me without complaint.

Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 19, 2012, 09:32:12 AM
My mother was the world's worst cook. Seriously.

I had no idea that potatoes came any other way but in a box. The results were, runny, water, flavorless puddles of white glue.

I also didn't know that there were vegetables besides canned peas, corn and string beans. I can remember the first time I had broccoli. It was like the heavens opened up and deposited food of the angels on my palate.

I also had no idea that lasagna wasn't supposed to crunch until I got to college.

Wow.  You poor child.

My Mom wasn't a gourmet cook by any means but she exposed us to a lot of different foods, including a wide range of vegetables.  They were often just steamed with a little butter, salt and pepper.  When I got to university, I was much more able to eat a wide variety of things in the cafeteria than were my dorm mates.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Jones on November 19, 2012, 09:33:15 AM
I must ask...what is a "floury" potato and what is a "waxy" potato?

I usually just buy big bags of brown local grown potatoes, no clue beyond that.  :-\

Also I am pretty sure that my grandparents, and mother, and now me, have only ever used a hand masher to make our mashed potatoes. If I can experiment with a ricer I may revolutionize family dinners. I don't think I have a hand mixer at this time. Lots of attachments but haven't seen the unit itself in a while.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: mechtilde on November 19, 2012, 09:55:50 AM
Different varieties have different properties. Some are "waxy" and hold together well when boiled. Some are floury and come apart slightly when boiled. If you boil floury potatoes too long they turn into an unappetising mush. Floury potatoes make better chips/fries, baked potatoes or mashed potatoes. Waxy potatoes are better if you just want boiled potatoes.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: magicdomino on November 19, 2012, 10:06:27 AM
Dry or floury potato:  Russet (dry, rough skin, also used for baking)

Waxy potato:  New spring potatoes, red potatoes, many smooth-skinned white potatoes.  Often used for potato salad, roasting, or with parsley and butter.

In-between:  Yukon Gold yellow potatoes.  Use for darn near everything.

I rarely make mashed potatoes for myself.  It's easier to nuke a russet potato in the microwave, dry it out a bit in the over, and eat it whole with butter and seasoned salt.  For holidays, I pull out the masher, although the food mill sounds like a great idea.  One year, my nephew and I tried using the electric mixer and created potato-flavored glue.   :P
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: CakeBeret on November 19, 2012, 10:51:50 AM
I live in Boxed Food Central. Potatoes are always prepared from a box. They're easier than real potatoes, I suppose. I won't use them and always make my potatoes from scratch. The only exception is when I had major oral surgery and mashed potatoes were one of the only non-sweet things I could eat. I made instant because I didn't feel up to making the real ones.

My DH prefers instant, generally, because he doesn't like lumpy mashed potatoes.

I did buy potato flakes for this Thanksgiving because my dinner roll recipe uses them.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: sparksals on November 19, 2012, 01:36:35 PM
I prefer the powdered kind, with garlic salt and butter.

It's a texture thing. I don't much care for lumps in my potatoes. I'll eat them when I find them of course, but I prefer no lumps.

I don't usually have lumps when they are made from real potatoes.
And I can't say I've ever eaten any that didn't have lumps, at family dinners. There was once a local restaurant that very proudly proclaimed their mashed was made from real as well; it had lumps. I was under the assumption it was normal since it's all I've experienced in "made from scratch" potatoes.

I grew up with fluffy, lumpless mashed potatoes my dad mashed by hand with lots of movement we remember fondly now that he  has in gone.  He taught me how to make them, but I have never been able to equal his fluffy smooth potatoes.   So lumpless was the norm for me, wish I could get them that way. 
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Deetee on November 19, 2012, 01:54:57 PM
 I assumed that real mashed pototoes meant peeled potatoes with lots of butter and cream, but I realise that is because my everyday mashed potatoes are peel on with milk so holidays are the time for the extra tasty "real" mashed pototoes.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: mechtilde on November 19, 2012, 01:56:55 PM
And- for your delectation- the original Smash instant mashed potatoes advert:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ND8Bbn9V6as&feature=related
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: CakeBeret on November 19, 2012, 02:35:33 PM
My mother was the world's worst cook. Seriously.

I had no idea that potatoes came any other way but in a box. The results were, runny, water, flavorless puddles of white glue.

I also didn't know that there were vegetables besides canned peas, corn and string beans. I can remember the first time I had broccoli. It was like the heavens opened up and deposited food of the angels on my palate.

I also had no idea that lasagna wasn't supposed to crunch until I got to college.


My mom was very much the same. I never even knew that you could make sauces and gravies from scratch. I thought they always came in packets/jars/pouches. The idea of making a dinner from real food (i.e. with no boxes, cans or pouches) was about as foreign as the idea of air travel without an airplane or helicopter.

ETA: My "heavens open up and angels descend" moment was when I discovered fresh garlic. All those years wasted...
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: hobish on November 19, 2012, 03:03:51 PM

I like the boxed kind.
...mostly because i like saying that just to watch people go all apoplectic  >:D


Truly, i don't care. I made potatoes with shredded potatoes this weekend. They were ok. Boxed probably would have been better but i have to use these potoes before they go bad. I have tendonitis pretty badly, so all that cutting and mashing is usually not going to happen. I do not understand the way people seem to feel more virtuous if they make them by hand as opposed to from a mix. Food morality escapes me.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 19, 2012, 03:09:59 PM
For years, the only cakes I made were from Betty Crocker.  I can't tell you how many compliments I got on the cake, never mind the decorating.  And I'd always tell them it was Betty Crocker.  They didn't believe me.  I'd make special ones for my parents' church coffee hour at Easter and Remembrance Day and a couple other occasions throughout the year.  One minister had a real sweet tooth and his wife didn't bake.  He liked to bless the cakes so one time, he added Betty Crocker into the blessing.  It was hysterical.

I've made scratch cakes now - I couldn't bring myself to make Betty Crocker when I was making a friend's wedding cake - and honestly?  For regular chocolate or white cake varieties, I still use Betty Crocker.  I make carrot and spice cakes from scratch because they are better.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: gingerzing on November 19, 2012, 03:18:07 PM
I love mashed potatoes.  (Any time any where)  However, I really have a hard time with the boxed stuff.  A friend of mine gave me a boxed (powdered) of some "great brand".  Yeah, not so much.  I am another one that has to quiz most restaurants since I have had the instant potatoes served at "Down Home" restaurants.  Listen I fully get that KFC is going to be instant potatoes.  But if you are "by scratch" then don't lie to me.
I do have some instant potatoes in my cupboard, but it is a thickener or for a couple of my bread recipes.

Honestly, I have never found them that hard to make.  Or if it is just me, I will microwave a russet and then take the peel off and mash with butter and a dash of milk. 

Okay, total disclosure.  I don't ALWAYS make mashed potatoes from potatoes.  I have used Trader Joe's frozen mashed potatoes, which are pretty darn good. 

I also am okay with some lumps, but am intrigued by the folks who use potato ricers.  (I know that a food processor will tend to turn it into wall paper paste.)
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: CakeBeret on November 19, 2012, 03:20:14 PM
For years, the only cakes I made were from Betty Crocker.  I can't tell you how many compliments I got on the cake, never mind the decorating.  And I'd always tell them it was Betty Crocker.  They didn't believe me.  I'd make special ones for my parents' church coffee hour at Easter and Remembrance Day and a couple other occasions throughout the year.  One minister had a real sweet tooth and his wife didn't bake.  He liked to bless the cakes so one time, he added Betty Crocker into the blessing.  It was hysterical.

I've made scratch cakes now - I couldn't bring myself to make Betty Crocker when I was making a friend's wedding cake - and honestly?  For regular chocolate or white cake varieties, I still use Betty Crocker.  I make carrot and spice cakes from scratch because they are better.

I've had some pretty dang delicious cakes from a mix, and some awful cardboard-y ones made from scratch. I think the issue is what you do with a mix. There's a bakery near me that uses Betty Crocker mix and then adds all sorts of lucious things instead of the typical eggs and oil. Butter, champagne, heavy cream, etc. The cakes turn out just fantastically moist and decadent.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: #borecore on November 19, 2012, 03:26:57 PM

I like the boxed kind.
...mostly because i like saying that just to watch people go all apoplectic  >:D


Truly, i don't care. I made potatoes with shredded potatoes this weekend. They were ok. Boxed probably would have been better but i have to use these potoes before they go bad. I have tendonitis pretty badly, so all that cutting and mashing is usually not going to happen. I do not understand the way people seem to feel more virtuous if they make them by hand as opposed to from a mix. Food morality escapes me.

I guess you're referring to people you know elsewhere, because I haven't seen anyone in the thread equate potatoes with moral superiority. Taste superiority, sure. But that's clearly a matter of, well, taste. My tastebuds can tell the difference between two kinds of mashed potatoes; if yours can't, that doesn't make either of us superior, nor does it mean I'm putting on an act when I mention it.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: sourwolf on November 19, 2012, 03:42:38 PM

I like the boxed kind.
...mostly because i like saying that just to watch people go all apoplectic  >:D


Truly, i don't care. I made potatoes with shredded potatoes this weekend. They were ok. Boxed probably would have been better but i have to use these potoes before they go bad. I have tendonitis pretty badly, so all that cutting and mashing is usually not going to happen. I do not understand the way people seem to feel more virtuous if they make them by hand as opposed to from a mix. Food morality escapes me.

I guess you're referring to people you know elsewhere, because I haven't seen anyone in the thread equate potatoes with moral superiority. Taste superiority, sure. But that's clearly a matter of, well, taste. My tastebuds can tell the difference between two kinds of mashed potatoes; if yours can't, that doesn't make either of us superior, nor does it mean I'm putting on an act when I mention it.

I have to agree with Jmarvellous, my father loves boxed potatoes, I don't think any less  of him for it any more than I do because he likes grapefruit and I don't.  I'll never understand this obsession people seem to have with what others do or don't eat.  You (general) worry about what you are eating and I'll worry about what I'm eating.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: IslandMama on November 19, 2012, 03:54:55 PM

I like the boxed kind.
...mostly because i like saying that just to watch people go all apoplectic  >:D


Truly, i don't care. I made potatoes with shredded potatoes this weekend. They were ok. Boxed probably would have been better but i have to use these potoes before they go bad. I have tendonitis pretty badly, so all that cutting and mashing is usually not going to happen. I do not understand the way people seem to feel more virtuous if they make them by hand as opposed to from a mix. Food morality escapes me.


I guess you're referring to people you know elsewhere, because I haven't seen anyone in the thread equate potatoes with moral superiority. Taste superiority, sure. But that's clearly a matter of, well, taste. My tastebuds can tell the difference between two kinds of mashed potatoes; if yours can't, that doesn't make either of us superior, nor does it mean I'm putting on an act when I mention it.

OP here.  I hope you didn't take my post as a food morality thing, I'm just truly baffled.  That would probably be because we don't really do instant potatoes here in Australia.  There are a couple of packets on a shelf that I've seen somewhere (one is Deb, not sure what the other one was) but it just appears to be more prevalent in the US, hence my question. 

I'm also fascinated by what people add into their potatoes when they mash them.  My DH's favourite involves chopped, fried bacon, parmesan and sour cream... it's known as Heart Attack potatoes in this house.  :)
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: hobish on November 19, 2012, 03:57:01 PM
Maybe i am the only person who has ever met anyone who thinks they are somehow more righteous because they cook from scratch instead of mix. Somehow i doubt it, but if it isn't you then it isn't you. As with most things in life, i find it to be kind of amusing.


Edited because scrstch is not a word :)
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Ms_Cellany on November 19, 2012, 04:13:47 PM
When I make mashed potatoes, I cut the potatoes into 1" cubes for boiling. They take only about 10 minutes that way. I got a second-hand ricer, and it's magic!  The perfect texture for me.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Gwywnnydd on November 19, 2012, 04:27:30 PM
Maybe i am the only person who has ever met anyone who thinks they are somehow more righteous because they cook from scratch instead of mix. Somehow i doubt it, but if it isn't you then it isn't you. As with most things in life, i find it to be kind of amusing.


Edited because scrstch is not a word :)

You are definitely not the only one who has met someone who equates moral superiority with effort in the kitchen =).
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Venus193 on November 19, 2012, 04:41:46 PM
The more you cook from scratch the more you are what?

I do admit that I am sometimes judgmental about whether people cook or not.  If I were to hear someone complain about the cost of take-out food and find out that person never learned to cook, I'd be judgmental.  Either learn or stop complaining.

As to mashed potatoes, "Ain't nothin' like the real thing, baby."
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: WillyNilly on November 19, 2012, 04:46:52 PM
Maybe i am the only person who has ever met anyone who thinks they are somehow more righteous because they cook from scratch instead of mix. Somehow i doubt it, but if it isn't you then it isn't you. As with most things in life, i find it to be kind of amusing.


Edited because scrstch is not a word :)

You are definitely not the only one who has met someone who equates moral superiority with effort in the kitchen =).


Oh I've encountered it plenty and in both directions - as in "oh you cook?  You must think you are so much better!" as well as "really?  Boxed? I make that from scratch!"

I think its a Martha Stewart thing - sure you could buy something or use a shortcut but to do it properly one does it not only from scratch but with extra effort and that makes a person better, smarter, prettier, more refined etc (not really of course, but thats the attitude.)
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Venus193 on November 19, 2012, 05:10:44 PM
I do think Martha Stewart goes overboard.  Making marshmallows to put in your cocoa? 

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61E9YQ1VS7L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Hmmmmm on November 19, 2012, 05:23:20 PM
Maybe i am the only person who has ever met anyone who thinks they are somehow more righteous because they cook from scratch instead of mix. Somehow i doubt it, but if it isn't you then it isn't you. As with most things in life, i find it to be kind of amusing.


Edited because scrstch is not a word :)

I'm facinated by what people eat and it has nothing to do with morals.  And I completely understand why people outside the US are facinated with our array of convienience products.  They don't have them.  And I haven't seen anyone say they were superior to others because they didn't like the taste of powdered potatos on this board. 

But with anything you are going to find someone who will use their views to make judgements about someone else.

Just like:
The person who voted in the last election fills superior to those who didn't.
The person who wactches PBS Jim Lehar vs Fox news channel
The person who drives a Prius vs a gas guzzler
The person who reads biographies vs Harlequin romances
The person who backpacks through the Patagonia vs the 10 day carribean cruiser

But one of the reasons I like this board is because I don't think people make automatic assumptions about others based on preferences or choices.  I'd hate to see it get to the point poeple refrain from stating their likes and dislikes because they are afraid others will view them as passing moral judgement. 
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Luci on November 19, 2012, 06:04:07 PM
I made potatoes with shredded potatoes this weekend. They were ok. Boxed probably would have been better but i have to use these potoes before they go bad. I have tendonitis pretty badly, so all that cutting and mashing is usually not going to happen.

How do you do this? I have a real rough time with a peeler (arthritis), and ricing is just a difficult. If I could cook the shreds in just a little water then use my little hand mixer and end up with an edible product, I would be in heaven! Is that what you do?

I  couldn't have done the 20 lbs all at once last week if my granddaughter hadn't peeled for me and I hadn't had the food mill.

For the record, I like boxed cake mixes more than from scratch. We had once when a friend brought a boxed cake which was light and soft and yummy and another, who is a caterer, brought once of hers. Both were iced/frosted, and the Duncan Hines was far superior.

Cookies are another story!
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: lilfox on November 19, 2012, 06:05:36 PM
I've probably had more instant mashed potatoes than I'm aware of when eating out.  The only time I've noticed is if a restaurant waters down the mix too much or it's grainy.  Otherwise I usually enjoy them especially if there's enough gravy!  And I love KFC potatoes.

At home I always make them by hand because my dad did.  I add some milk, butter or margarine, salt and pepper and mash with a fork because that's what he did.  A few times I have gotten fancy and added sauteed garlic and minced onion but adding garlic powder seemed to do about the same thing (and was much easier).

When I was a kid I liked the boxed au gratin potatoes - I definitely do not like the homemade version though, usually people make them with 'better' cheeses for the flavor.  I unfortunately hate most cheeses so this is not an improvement to me.   :)
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: kckgirl on November 19, 2012, 06:53:11 PM
I mash my potatoes with a non-electric masher with butter, milk or cream, and salt & pepper, and leave lumps on purpose because we like them that way. I'd probably use flakes or buds on occasion if they tasted a little better. As we can see in this discussion, food tastes really are "different strokes for different folks."
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: threedogs on November 19, 2012, 08:08:05 PM
Pretty sure I've made instant mashed potatoes and enjoyed them - both for the taste and for the convenience of spuds in minutes, but now I read ingredient lists and I can't get past all the non-potato ingredients - mono and diglycerides, corn syrup, flavourings and preservatives to name a few - to really enjoy them.

If I want mashed potatoes just for me, I scrub them and boil them whole or cut in half if they're big.  I don't mind my mash with peel, but if I'm making them for someone else I might peel before I boil or remove the skins after they're cooked.  I usually only mash enough for a meal and then save the rest of the boiled potatoes to reheat as 'home-fries' on the weekend with eggs or for homemade potato skins with cheese, bacon and sour cream.  Yum.

Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Wench on November 20, 2012, 07:33:19 AM
Is a ricer like a big garlic press? 

I have to admit I have never tried mashed potatoes made from a box except M & S microwave potatoes.  I usually make mash with any sort of potato and add milk and salt.  I add butter when I'm being bad and sometimes cheese or garlic. 
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Harriet Jones on November 20, 2012, 07:35:02 AM
Is a ricer like a big garlic press? 

yes
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: gingerzing on November 20, 2012, 08:04:09 AM


I'm also fascinated by what people add into their potatoes when they mash them.  My DH's favourite involves chopped, fried bacon, parmesan and sour cream... it's known as Heart Attack potatoes in this house.  :)

Knighthood for mashed potatoes.  YUM.  That sounds delish.
I like roasted garlic in mine.  Or the flavored soft cheese like Laughing Cow wedges (queso fresco and chipotle peppers is really good).  The wedges are sort of like cream cheese or soft goat cheese.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Thipu1 on November 20, 2012, 08:39:09 AM
We do something like the heart attack potatoes with left-over mashed.  We mix in bits of bacon or ham, sautéed onions and cheese.  The whole thing gets baked.

A steak house we liked used to serve this as potato pie.  Nobody who knew the lace would order any other version of potatoes.  The potato pie was always the first thing to disappear from the plate. 
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: lowspark on November 20, 2012, 08:54:32 AM
mmmm.... mashed potatoes....
I love 'em.

Yeah, normally I boil potatoes, unpeeled, mash them with butter & milk & salt. I like the lumps. And the peel. And lots of milk.

Sometimes I'll add garlic, sometimes not.

We go to my sister's house for TG and her husband cooks up a storm. They like their mashed potatoes lump free so he whips them with an electric mixer. They are delicious that way too!

I do keep the boxed flakes on hand for certain uses. For upset-stomach type of illnesses, they are really perfect as a bland, easy-on-the-stomach meal when recovering. They are also great as a thickener for soups. And I have a bread recipe that calls for instant mashed potato flakes.

As far as moral superiority, yes, I do know some folks who feel morally superior for cooking everything from scratch. I kinda wonder, though, if they really do, or if they just say they do, for the sake of flaunting that supposed superiority.

Me? I prefer to cook everything from scratch but the reality is, I don't always have the time or inclination to do so. And sometimes it's actually cheaper not to. Or cheaper and just as good (if not better) to just buy something premade. So, sometimes, it's worth the effort, sometimes not.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Luci on November 20, 2012, 09:21:21 AM
My friend always used potato flakes when her kids were little. I used real. We shared a lot of meals.

Her daughter once asked her mom why Luci's potatoes taste funny.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: hobish on November 20, 2012, 10:09:35 AM
I made potatoes with shredded potatoes this weekend. They were ok. Boxed probably would have been better but i have to use these potoes before they go bad. I have tendonitis pretty badly, so all that cutting and mashing is usually not going to happen.

How do you do this? I have a real rough time with a peeler (arthritis), and ricing is just a difficult. If I could cook the shreds in just a little water then use my little hand mixer and end up with an edible product, I would be in heaven! Is that what you do?

I  couldn't have done the 20 lbs all at once last week if my granddaughter hadn't peeled for me and I hadn't had the food mill.

For the record, I like boxed cake mixes more than from scratch. We had once when a friend brought a boxed cake which was light and soft and yummy and another, who is a caterer, brought once of hers. Both were iced/frosted, and the Duncan Hines was far superior.

Cookies are another story!

Ok, be warned, I am sure this is not the right way to do it. I grabbed a couple raw potatoes and ran them down one of those metal graters you would usually use for cheese – the side that is showing in this picture:
http://static7.depositphotos.com/1001069/716/i/450/dep_7169861-Metal-grater.jpg (http://static7.depositphotos.com/1001069/716/i/450/dep_7169861-Metal-grater.jpg)
I put all the little shreds in a Corningware baking dish, added a little bit of water, just a tablespoon or two, mixed in a little bit of infused olive oil, then baked it for about an hour at 350 or so. Later I defrosted some sausage (broccoli rabe & parmesan sausages – yum) and baked them on top of the potatoes at 400 – covered for another hour. They’re um … well, they are decidedly grey … Gish wouldn’t touch them. Maybe you know what would make them turn grey? Was it the water? I don’t know, but they are tasty. They aren’t quite mashed, but close, and they taste good, so that is my lunch today. Adding some onions probably would be better but it was the day before grocery shopping so I was working with what I had … namely leftover potatoes that needed to be used before they went bad. I’m sure the cooking times could be adjusted; I am not a wizard in the kitchen.
In any case, though, shredding them that way worked out pretty well – except for the greyness, of course – it wasn’t bad on my hands at all. I was pleasantly surprised.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Lorelei_Evil on November 20, 2012, 10:28:44 AM
You could just buy frozen hash browns and them them in a colander, too. 

They probably oxidized on you, that's why they turned a funny color.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on November 20, 2012, 10:52:11 AM
It all depends.

If I want something quick, I go for the flakes (like if I get a sudden desire for mashed potatoes for lunch).  For a big dinner, it's definitely the real thing.

The real question is, though... who else mashes them with the skins?  :)
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 20, 2012, 11:25:57 AM
I make mashed potatoes skinless if we are having gravy. Skin on smashed potatoes with sour cream, cheese, bacon and scallions if there is no gravy. Russet or Yukon golds for skinless, Yukon golds or Red for smashed potatoes.

I have a friend who is a stay-at-home mom with two school age children. She cooks everything from a mix or a bulk of prepared ingredients. Every meal is primarily store-bought and then combined. She is baffled that I, who work full time and go to school full time, cook from scratch. I don't use a chili mix when I make chili and I know how to make nearly anything. I can learn techniques if I don't already know how. I don't consider myself superior for doing so, but I am a foodie, and I have issues with texture and flavor of most convenience products. Also, I find the convenience products to be far more expensive than the real thing.

My mother has never made a sauce from scratch. The word roux is not in her vocabulary. We ate a majority of canned foods growing up.

I had a food epiphany in my early twenties:
Fresh salmon
Broccoli
Asparagus
Sweet Potatoes
Stinky cheeses
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: exitzero on November 20, 2012, 11:50:02 AM
I make mashed potatoes skinless if we are having gravy. Skin on smashed potatoes with sour cream, cheese, bacon and scallions if there is no gravy. Russet or Yukon golds for skinless, Yukon golds or Red for smashed potatoes.

I have a friend who is a stay-at-home mom with two school age children. She cooks everything from a mix or a bulk of prepared ingredients. Every meal is primarily store-bought and then combined. She is baffled that I, who work full time and go to school full time, cook from scratch. I don't use a chili mix when I make chili and I know how to make nearly anything. I can learn techniques if I don't already know how. I don't consider myself superior for doing so, but I am a foodie, and I have issues with texture and flavor of most convenience products. Also, I find the convenience products to be far more expensive than the real thing.

My mother has never made a sauce from scratch. The word roux is not in her vocabulary. We ate a majority of canned foods growing up.

I had a food epiphany in my early twenties:
Fresh salmon
Broccoli
Asparagus
Sweet Potatoes
Stinky cheeses

Yes! I can distinctly remember the first time I had each one of those!
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 20, 2012, 11:57:15 AM
I make mashed potatoes skinless if we are having gravy. Skin on smashed potatoes with sour cream, cheese, bacon and scallions if there is no gravy. Russet or Yukon golds for skinless, Yukon golds or Red for smashed potatoes.

I have a friend who is a stay-at-home mom with two school age children. She cooks everything from a mix or a bulk of prepared ingredients. Every meal is primarily store-bought and then combined. She is baffled that I, who work full time and go to school full time, cook from scratch. I don't use a chili mix when I make chili and I know how to make nearly anything. I can learn techniques if I don't already know how. I don't consider myself superior for doing so, but I am a foodie, and I have issues with texture and flavor of most convenience products. Also, I find the convenience products to be far more expensive than the real thing.

My mother has never made a sauce from scratch. The word roux is not in her vocabulary. We ate a majority of canned foods growing up.

I had a food epiphany in my early twenties:
Fresh salmon
Broccoli
Asparagus
Sweet Potatoes
Stinky cheeses

Yes! I can distinctly remember the first time I had each one of those!

My mom has never liked mushrooms either, so my first properly cooked mushrooms rate high on the list.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: CakeBeret on November 20, 2012, 12:35:22 PM
I had a food epiphany in my early twenties:
Fresh salmon
Broccoli
Asparagus
Sweet Potatoes
Stinky cheeses

I'm with you on everything but the cheese. Somehow, I like cheese less and less as I get older. Melted on something? Yes, absolutely. Eating cheese by itself? I just don't care for it. And I really dislike the flavors and smells of stinky cheese, though I did once have baked Camembert that was divine.

Other food epiphanies I had included brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and sushi.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: KenveeB on November 20, 2012, 12:50:38 PM
I had a food epiphany in my early twenties:
Fresh salmon
Broccoli
Asparagus
Sweet Potatoes
Stinky cheeses

I'm with you on everything but the cheese. Somehow, I like cheese less and less as I get older. Melted on something? Yes, absolutely. Eating cheese by itself? I just don't care for it. And I really dislike the flavors and smells of stinky cheese, though I did once have baked Camembert that was divine.

Other food epiphanies I had included brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and sushi.

I'm the same on cheese now. I used to love it with absolutely everything. Now I don't eat cheese just by itself like I used to, and I use it much more rarely with things. It's still good melted, but I try not to have it too much for weight reasons!

Mmm, Brussels sprouts. I never had them growing up, then I got some with my co-op basket and looked up how to roast them. They were yummy!
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Ms_Cellany on November 20, 2012, 02:32:01 PM

I put all the little shreds in a Corningware baking dish, added a little bit of water, just a tablespoon or two, mixed in a little bit of infused olive oil, then baked it for about an hour at 350 or so. Later I defrosted some sausage (broccoli rabe & parmesan sausages – yum) and baked them on top of the potatoes at 400 – covered for another hour. They’re um … well, they are decidedly grey … Gish wouldn’t touch them. Maybe you know what would make them turn grey?


Potatoes turn color on exposure to air. Grate them directly into water. When ready to use, grab the potatoes with your hands and squeeze out the water. Cook immediately.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: RebeccainGA on November 20, 2012, 02:52:12 PM
For years, the only cakes I made were from Betty Crocker.  I can't tell you how many compliments I got on the cake, never mind the decorating.  And I'd always tell them it was Betty Crocker.  They didn't believe me.  I'd make special ones for my parents' church coffee hour at Easter and Remembrance Day and a couple other occasions throughout the year.  One minister had a real sweet tooth and his wife didn't bake.  He liked to bless the cakes so one time, he added Betty Crocker into the blessing.  It was hysterical.

I've made scratch cakes now - I couldn't bring myself to make Betty Crocker when I was making a friend's wedding cake - and honestly?  For regular chocolate or white cake varieties, I still use Betty Crocker.  I make carrot and spice cakes from scratch because they are better.

I totally agree. When it's a basic thing - white, chocolate, even red velvet, I'm a big fan of just using the ding dangity mix - after all, what's different with Betty Crocker measuring out basic dry ingredients or me doing it? But when it's something that benefits from a bit of 'doctoring', I'm all for doing it from scratch, or just adding to the mix - spice cake mix with some extra cinnamon, some carrots freshly shredded, and lots of walnuts and you have a wonderful carrot cake! Save work where you can, and you have more time to focus on the important things (like making scratch frosting - which is a place I really CAN tell the difference between a can and my homemade from scratch buttercream made with real butter and Madagascar vanilla.

ETA: I have found that adding an extra tablespoon of oil to the mix makes the cake mixes infinately superior to their original form - doesn't add much calorie wise, but seems to help moistness. I also like to wrap quick breads in wax paper before they're totally cool, but still in the pan, as they develop this lovely soft layer on top that tastes almost like there's been a glaze added, but it's just the steam condensation changing the texture. Adds zero calories, but makes the whole loaf a bit denser and moister, and intensifies the flavors somehow. Only do it with SWEET breads, though - a savory bread would just be mushy.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: hobish on November 20, 2012, 02:56:31 PM

I put all the little shreds in a Corningware baking dish, added a little bit of water, just a tablespoon or two, mixed in a little bit of infused olive oil, then baked it for about an hour at 350 or so. Later I defrosted some sausage (broccoli rabe & parmesan sausages – yum) and baked them on top of the potatoes at 400 – covered for another hour. They’re um … well, they are decidedly grey … Gish wouldn’t touch them. Maybe you know what would make them turn grey?


Potatoes turn color on exposure to air. Grate them directly into water. When ready to use, grab the potatoes with your hands and squeeze out the water. Cook immediately.

Ohhhh! LOL, i had it completely backwards, then :) I am eating them right now and des[ite the color and the lack of any tasty onions or peppers to add they are pretty good. Still not quite mashed, but tasty and pain free.
Thank you!! I still have a few of them left so i will do that next time.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 20, 2012, 02:57:27 PM
I bake for fun, and occasionally for money. I always use the "Cake Mix Doctor" recipes with Duncan Hines mixes. They are moister and taste delicious from the day they are made until nearly a week later.

I make all frostings from scratch, with real butter, real sugar, real chocolate, and real vanilla paste.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: veryfluffy on November 20, 2012, 04:51:13 PM
I make mashed potatoes by peeling, quartering and boiling some potatoes with a bit of salt, and then mashing them. I don't add anything. DH likes them plain, sometimes I stir in a bit of horseradish.

I can't use mixes for anything anymore, after reading the ingredients. Making things from scratch means I know exactly what goes in.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Thipu1 on November 20, 2012, 06:43:56 PM
You can get creative with cake mixes.  My mother made something absolutely ambrosial with an angel food cake mix. 

She baked two layers in round cake pans and another layer in a cookie sheet. 

First round layer went on the plate and a layer of dark, bitter, buttery chocolate was applied on top. 

The cookie sheet cake received the same chocolate and was then sliced lengthwise.  That was then coiled to form the second layer of the cake. 

The other round layer was then put on top.  The whole cake was then frosted with mocha whipped cream. 

The result was spectacular.  When sliced, the cake had a middle layer with vertical stripes of chocolate.  Despite the angel food, the cake wasn't very sweet.  It was in great demand for Birthday and Anniversary cakes in our family. 
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 20, 2012, 06:45:40 PM
I read ambrosial as abysmal and then got really confused as I started reading the description because it sounded really good.

I think I need a drink...   :)
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: lowspark on November 21, 2012, 07:21:19 AM
Wow, Thipu. That sounds amazing. Do you have any pictures?
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Thipu1 on November 21, 2012, 08:52:54 AM
Sadly, no.  The last time I had one of those cakes was about 40 years ago.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: gingerzing on November 26, 2012, 09:43:00 AM
I bake for fun, and occasionally for money. I always use the "Cake Mix Doctor" recipes with Duncan Hines mixes. They are moister and taste delicious from the day they are made until nearly a week later.

I make all frostings from scratch, with real butter, real sugar, real chocolate, and real vanilla paste.

My mother gave me Cake Mix Doctor as part of my wedding gift.  Love that book. 
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 26, 2012, 11:59:10 AM
I bake for fun, and occasionally for money. I always use the "Cake Mix Doctor" recipes with Duncan Hines mixes. They are moister and taste delicious from the day they are made until nearly a week later.

I make all frostings from scratch, with real butter, real sugar, real chocolate, and real vanilla paste.

My mother gave me Cake Mix Doctor as part of my wedding gift.  Love that book.

Anne Byrn has 4 books I consider absolutely essential. They are: The Cake Mix Doctor Returns, Cupcakes from the Cake Mix Doctor, The Dinner Doctor, and Entertaining with the Dinner Doctor. I use those recipes very often, without fail.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: datcat on December 11, 2012, 05:14:02 PM
I do cook mash from scratch, but using a hand masher always left me with a sore wrist and slightly lumpy mash so now I use this http://preview.tinyurl.com/dyrzoxa (UK site)  or http://preview.tinyurl.com/US-Site. The Masher gives fantastic fluffy results every time
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: gorplady on December 11, 2012, 10:23:51 PM
I make real mashed potatoes when I have the time and use the packet when I don't. (Idahoan Four-Cheese instant mashed potatoes, if you want to know...)
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: CrochetFanatic on December 12, 2012, 10:09:24 AM
We always have homemade mashed potatoes if it's to be a side dish, but if it's an ingredient in something else - shepherd's pie, for example - it's just easier to use the instant kind.  Once or twice we've lucked out, and had leftover stew and leftover mashed potatoes in the house at the same time. 
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: nayberry on December 27, 2012, 12:56:20 PM
i use flakes when making gnocchi, just means i know how much liquid is in it

otherwise i make my own mash, :) always have and i have an irish background so i'd never be forgiven if i didn't!!
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Bottlecaps on February 09, 2013, 03:16:32 PM
I prefer real mashed potatoes, but due to cost/storage/cooking limitations in my home, I use instant most of the time these days. What I wouldn't give for a heaping bowl of real mashed potatoes though. :) Maybe I should get some potatoes next time we go grocery shopping and experiment with making real mashed potatoes in the microwave. If anyone already knows of a good, tried-and-true way to accomplish this, please give me a heads up! :)
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Thipu1 on February 09, 2013, 05:16:57 PM
It's actually pretty easy.  The secret is to have everything warm.

We wash the potatoes, poke a few holes in them with a fork and microwave them.  Smaller spuds go in about five minutes.  Larger ones are ready in about ten.  Since we like our mashed potatoes with skins, the things can go right into a bowl to be mashed.

Once the potatoes come out, the milk goes into the microwave.  When that's ready we get out the butter, add the milk and mash away.  We've never had a bad batch. 

Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: ladyknight1 on February 09, 2013, 08:44:27 PM
We also like the Simply Potatoes brand of real mashed potatoes, available in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. They were buy 1, get 1 free this week!
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Specky on February 10, 2013, 12:26:07 PM
Haven't had them in a long time, but when we do:  peel on, lots of lumps, butter, fresh milk/cream (depends on what we have), sea salt, maybe fresh sour cream for taste.  When I first met my DH, he had been trained that lumpy potatoes meant you were a horrid cook.  I love the mouth feel of "real", not homogenized into a paste.  Finally retrained him.  For me, it is all about taste and mouthfeel, as well as avoiding ingredients that make me ill.  We have virtually abandoned pre-made, packaged stuff for that reason.  It can be more work, but it keeps me out of the ER.
Title: Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
Post by: Katana_Geldar on February 23, 2013, 04:01:26 PM
dH makes beautiful mashed potatoes from scratch. Better than my mum's which would sometimes have lumps in it.

I've had powdered while I lived on campus at uni. They were ok, but they were the best food besides what they gave us.