I didn't know it was possible to ruin mashed potatoes. I watched my mom make from-scratch mashed potatoes for years, and have made them myself many times, with great success. But, tonight my mashed potatoes turned out wrong. They were smooth and creamy, but gummy -- almost the consistency of play dough. Very strange! I'm pretty sure I know what I did wrong, though. I used the hand mixer and mashed the hot potatoes with some butter added... and then poured in a little cold milk. Voila! Gummy potato play dough!
The good news? My roast beef turned out perfect, I felt *so accomplished* that dinner was started (in the crock pot) at 6 AM (yes, we're very early risers! :P), and it made the house smell good all day. The scary part is that I had over 4 pounds of chuck roast in the crock pot (for just our family!) and our leftovers were less than 1 cup of meat! I guess we'll be having beef vegetable soup heavy-on-the-vegetables next week. ;)
Potatoes can do funny things when put in the blender, too. I never knew this until a couple weeks ago when I was making blended potato soup for dinner after Joshua's wisdom tooth extractions. Ahh, the science of food! Apparently I had/have a lot to learn about potato starch! ;) Note: Don't try to mash potatoes using a blender or food processor, as it will make them gummy due to the blade breaking down the starch... ;)
I'm still using fresh parsley from my pot outside! I've loved having a few fresh herbs on-demand. Many thanks to my friend Kathryn who gave me starts this year! :)
How my mom makes her amazing mashed potatoes:
Peel potatoes and cut into halves or fourths. Put them in a BIG pot (bigger than you think you need!), cover with water, and add some salt (like when cooking pasta or beans!).
Tip: To keep potatoes from boiling over when cooking, put a streak of butter around the pot on the inside, at the top. I've found this works, unless I've really over-filled my pot.
With the lid on, bring potatoes to a boil and then simmer until tender. Drain water from pan.
Tip: You can save a dish by using the pan's lid, slightly ajar, to drain the water. But, USE POTHOLDERS and be careful doing this! :) My mom's great at it, but I usually just grab a colander to drain the potatoes and then return them to the pan.
Return pan and potatoes to the stove. Add butter and milk and heat on low until milk is hot. Remove from heat, mash as desired, and add salt and pepper to taste.
My mom's other standby mashed potatoes: Parsley Potatoes!
My favorite mashed potato casserole: Gourmet Potatoes!
Eliyahu (5), so excited that he got to measure, rinse, and start some beans in the crock pot for me (with only a little help). :) Joshua's taking beans (with sour cream, cheese, and hot sauce) in his lunches this week.
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1. Tip for greasing pans (Willa at Armstrong Family Fare)
2. Olive Oil Tasting 101 (The Local Cook)
3. Keeping lettuce fresh and crisp (Heather at Feel Good About Dinner)
4. Tips for making a self-basting turkey (SnoWhite at Finding Joy in My Kitchen)
5. What to do with empty butter wrappers (Stacy at Stacy Makes Cents)
6. Keeping hot dogs warm (Kolfinna's Korner)
7. Labeling spices (Living So Abundantly)