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Author Topic: Are mashed potatoes a big deal for you?  (Read 6621 times)

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EllenS

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Re: Are mashed potatoes a big deal for you?
« Reply #105 on: November 29, 2014, 09:19:39 PM »
From the Deep South US here. We had mashed potatoes quite often growing up, I loved to lick the mixer afterward. Nowadays, I find them boring and bland, and rarely make them. DH likes them so I will make them occasionally. I do not consider them special-occasion food (see above, boring and bland).

My stepmother requested them this year for Thanksgiving, so I made them. It seemed like a big deal to her.

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Are mashed potatoes a big deal for you?
« Reply #106 on: November 29, 2014, 09:47:52 PM »
From the Deep South US here. We had mashed potatoes quite often growing up, I loved to lick the mixer afterward. Nowadays, I find them boring and bland, and rarely make them. DH likes them so I will make them occasionally. I do not consider them special-occasion food (see above, boring and bland).

My stepmother requested them this year for Thanksgiving, so I made them. It seemed like a big deal to her.

Mashed potatoes are like slices of white bread: by themselves, usually dull.  It's what put on and in it that makes it a meal.
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Re: Are mashed potatoes a big deal for you?
« Reply #107 on: November 30, 2014, 11:47:00 AM »
From the Deep South US here. We had mashed potatoes quite often growing up, I loved to lick the mixer afterward. Nowadays, I find them boring and bland, and rarely make them. DH likes them so I will make them occasionally. I do not consider them special-occasion food (see above, boring and bland).

My stepmother requested them this year for Thanksgiving, so I made them. It seemed like a big deal to her.

Mashed potatoes are like slices of white bread: by themselves, usually dull.  It's what put on and in it that makes it a meal.

Growing up, (1970s) plain mashed potatoes were never served unless there was gravy to go on top. When you served your plate, you'd create a well to put the gravy in. When I was in HS, I was visiting a family in Washington state. I put the potatoes on my plate, made my well and waited for the gravy to be passed. None came around. First time I knew people ate them without gravy.

But worse I was out of college before I learned that in other places ate baked potatos with only butter. I'd never seen them served without a sour cream, cheese, bacon, and chives being added or offered.

lowspark

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Re: Are mashed potatoes a big deal for you?
« Reply #108 on: December 01, 2014, 10:12:32 AM »
We've come close before.

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=122666.0

Ha Ha. My comment on that thread was pretty close to the same thing I said here.  ;D

I think what both threads prove is that no one likes to be lumped into a generality about a specific group/region/geographic location. When 10 people post about "real mashed potatoes", well, that's 10 people. But it doesn't represent an entire neighborhood, I'd venture to guess, much less an entire city, state, or country. It's just 10 anecdotes. It's easy to jump to the conclusion that if 10, or even 50, or even a thousand residents of a certain country say something, that the same thing is true for everyone. But consider that there are something like 316 million people living in a hugely diverse geographic  and cultural area so yeah, there is very little, if anything, that holds true for everyone here.  ;)
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Thipu1

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Re: Are mashed potatoes a big deal for you?
« Reply #109 on: December 01, 2014, 01:06:54 PM »
How true!

The beauty of a place like this is that you can learn so much that's interesting (and often delicious) from people who live in different parts of the world. 

Like most other foods, mashed potatoes are a very personal taste. SIL adds so much cayenne pepper to hers that I can't eat them.  Some like their mash absolutely smooth, others like 'em lumpy with plenty of skins. 

nayberry

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Re: Are mashed potatoes a big deal for you?
« Reply #110 on: December 07, 2014, 11:36:29 AM »
was reminded of this thread last night as i mashed away,  hmmm steak and mash nomnomnom

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Are mashed potatoes a big deal for you?
« Reply #111 on: December 14, 2014, 09:11:52 AM »
My DH makes beautiful mash, soft and creamy with butter, garlic and Parmesan cheese.

I've tried the instant. I think it's awful.

apoptosis

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Re: Are mashed potatoes a big deal for you?
« Reply #112 on: December 26, 2014, 10:45:17 PM »
In answer to the question are mashed potatoes a big deal in the US, especially at Thanksgiving, the answer is an absolute yes, but there are qualifiers. Generic mashed potatoes are mere side dishes. I find instant mashed potatoes an abomination (but some love them.)

What makes mashed potatoes a big deal is the occasion and they way they are prepared on special occasions. I truly look forward to the mashed potatoes and gravy more than the turkey at Thanksgiving. What is funny, every family has their own way that is mandatory. We LOVE lumpy mashed potatoes especially with some skin in the mix. I had always heard you should never have lumps. One year I didn't stir long enough, had lumps and loved it. Special occasions tend to mean special gravy which makes the dish delicious.

Not long after World War II, I had potatoes in England, and they were a different dish than in America, so that may be part of the difference. On whether potatoes can be a big deal, I bet if you tried to take an Englishman's chips away from his fish and chips meal, you would have a fight.

Making perfect mashed potatoes is an art. I'm not able to do it, but my daughter is wonderful at it. She uses a professional-grade mixer. 

On the other hand, a glob of mashed potatoes in a cafeteria line, no thank you.

I remember the first time at the relatively old age of 12 I ever was asked to eat the skin. It sounded absurd to me, but I instantly loved it. It wasn't until the 70's and 80's that skin got to be popular. Now it's a treasured side dish by itself...just skin.....usually filled with cheese and butter.


KimberlyM

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Re: Are mashed potatoes a big deal for you?
« Reply #113 on: December 29, 2014, 11:33:12 AM »
They're usually a holiday staple in my family.  We had 4 separate Christmas celebrations this year, and didn't have any.  I did, however, make both au gratin and twice baked. Both were amazing, but I kinda missed the mashed potatoes and gravy. 

oogyda

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Re: Are mashed potatoes a big deal for you?
« Reply #114 on: February 06, 2015, 01:48:00 PM »
How true!

The beauty of a place like this is that you can learn so much that's interesting (and often delicious) from people who live in different parts of the world. 

Like most other foods, mashed potatoes are a very personal taste. SIL adds so much cayenne pepper to hers that I can't eat them.  Some like their mash absolutely smooth, others like 'em lumpy with plenty of skins.
Last year, at a rare family gathering, SIL and I made a (also rare) holiday-type meal.  I made the mashed potatoes.  BIL thought they were too thick and expressed his opinion (Insert eye roll since he criticizes everything).  I simply stated that I prefer thicker mashed potatoes since you can use the leftovers in other things easier.  SIL asked what I make with them and I told her "potato pancakes and perogi filling".  Since she has the social graces her husband lacks, she wanted more information about those items as she had never heard of them. 2 days later, I showed her how I do potato pancakes when we cooked another meal.  BIL tried one but said they were awful.  However, he has since (on more than 1 occasion) requested SIL make them.
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TootsNYC

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Re: Are mashed potatoes a big deal for you?
« Reply #115 on: February 06, 2015, 01:54:58 PM »
If you use a ricer, you don't need to peel the potatoes. Just put potato pieces into the ricer. The potatoes are extruded out & the peels stay behind. I

This is my favorite memory of my mom and the ricer--how the peel sticks to the plunger.

Quote
Cook's Illustrated recommends adding butter first, to sort of coat the starch so it doesn't combine with the water component of milk or cream or whatever & turn the potatoes gluey. I get really lazy--I put pats of room temperature butter into the ricer with the hot potatoes and extrude them together. Makes it really easy to mix in the butter. If I'm adding garlic, I just rice the cooked cloves with the potatoes.

Ooooh, I love this! that's the kind of "lazy" I am--it translates into efficiency, really.

It would also mean you could end up with room-temp butter pretty rapidly, if you had cold butter--just every now and then put the cold butter in the ricer by itself and squish it through, then go back to potatoes. The little pieces would warm up quickly (sort of like grating cold or frozen butter to get room-temp quickly for baking).

IslandMama

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Re: Are mashed potatoes a big deal for you?
« Reply #116 on: February 07, 2015, 05:52:24 PM »
I got part way through this thread and had a massive craving for mashed potatoes... and it's not quite 9am.  I was going to have sausages and poached eggs with toast for breakfast (I love a cooked breakfast on Sundays) and ended up with sausages, mashed potatoes and gravy instead.  Oh well, it's just hash browns gone wrong, I guess.  :)