Author Topic: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it  (Read 13469 times)

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IslandMama

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Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« on: November 19, 2012, 06:08:25 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?

sparksals

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2012, 06:11:11 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.

Venus193

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2012, 06:11:34 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.

mechtilde

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2012, 06:33:48 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.
NE England

Two Ravens

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2012, 06:37:49 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.

camlan

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2012, 06:50:56 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.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Thipu1

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2012, 06:54:01 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. 

Sharnita

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2012, 08:00:43 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.

Jones

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2012, 08:01:56 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.

Sharnita

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2012, 08:04:06 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.

KenveeB

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2012, 08:13:26 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"?

SleepyKitty

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2012, 08:14:38 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.  :)

Jones

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2012, 08:31:29 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.

sourwolf

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2012, 08:35:30 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.

Harriet Jones

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2012, 08:43:04 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.