Author Topic: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it  (Read 14160 times)

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Jones

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2012, 10:33:15 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.

mechtilde

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #31 on: November 19, 2012, 10:55:50 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.
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magicdomino

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #32 on: November 19, 2012, 11:06:27 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

CakeBeret

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #33 on: November 19, 2012, 11:51:50 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.
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sparksals

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #34 on: November 19, 2012, 02:36:35 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. 

Deetee

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2012, 02:54:57 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.

mechtilde

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #36 on: November 19, 2012, 02:56:55 PM »
And- for your delectation- the original Smash instant mashed potatoes advert:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ND8Bbn9V6as&feature=related
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CakeBeret

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #37 on: November 19, 2012, 03:35:33 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...
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hobish

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #38 on: November 19, 2012, 04:03:51 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.
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #39 on: November 19, 2012, 04:09:59 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.
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gingerzing

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #40 on: November 19, 2012, 04:18:07 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.)

CakeBeret

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #41 on: November 19, 2012, 04:20:14 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.
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jmarvellous

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #42 on: November 19, 2012, 04:26:57 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.

sourwolf

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #43 on: November 19, 2012, 04:42:38 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.

IslandMama

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Re: Mashed potatoes... I don't get it
« Reply #44 on: November 19, 2012, 04:54:55 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.  :)
« Last Edit: November 19, 2012, 04:58:31 PM by IslandMama »