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Something that, as of late, has unfailingly proved a nuisance to me is the way people neglect the power of the potato or at least abuse its many uses.
Consider the number of potatoes that are consumed daily in the USA, which is probably a higher number than most of us care to count. What form do you suppose most of them are taking?
If you guessed “French fries” and “potato chips,” you would be correct.
To me, this is devastating, because there are many other far more delectable methods of preparing potatoes than frying them.
At the same time, there appears to be a near universal cultural bias of not putting potatoes, in any form, in sandwiches. What sense does that make? Potato chips are fine as a side to a sandwich, to a meal, but for some reason, if you suggest putting the chips directly on the sandwich, people cringe.
Let me give you a small secret of one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever made: cole slaw and potato chip sandwiches with spicy yellow mustard. (Cheese is optional.)
That was definitely one of the best ideas I’ve ever had, if I do say so myself. Cole slaw and potato chips go together well.
None the less, this entry is meant to oppose the feeding of the potato chip frenzy, so let’s get cracking, shall we?
Mashed potatoes, also known as creamed potatoes, are an excellent way to eat potatoes. The process can be a bit time-consuming, so I understand why making mashed potatoes may seem daunting and not worthwhile to some.
The story of the excellent mashed potatoes I ate last night and today begins out in the country, isolated from even neighbors by huge stretches of land, dirt roads, and cows.
Enter my friend Caleb, and enter my friend’s grandmother who is affectionately known to all as Maw-Maw.
I wasn’t planning to leave home last night, but at Caleb’s insistence of wanting to try out my Wii, along with the bribery of Maw-Maw preparing her famous mashed potatoes for us, I left semi-reluctantly from house and drove over. After playing Wii for a while, Caleb and I began cooking.
I sauteed mushrooms while Caleb peeled potatoes.
Of course, there were far more potatoes than these.
Also, we decided to make cheese biscuits with leftover biscuits Maw-Maw made earlier in the week at another great feast at their house.
In the South, we have a tradition of putting our biscuits in a basket, then putting a kitchen towel in the basket to cover them up. I have no idea where this practice originates. I do know that I’ve seen it done in several old Southern homes, and it’s definitely creates a sense of familiarity to have the bread in a basket and towel.
There is no after photo of the biscuits- because we burnt them. Badly. That’s what we get for not paying attention and putting the oven on broil…
Prior to being prepared, mushrooms obviously have a drier look to them and a lighter color:
The mushrooms were cooked by yours truly in olive oil, with salt, pepper, garlic salt, and soy sauce. After I finished them, I had to add more garlic salt for taste, because they were a bit bland, though not terrible.
After preparation, sauteed mushrooms should both be darker in color and have a glossier look to them.
Maw-Maw took the potatoes, placed them in a pot, and then worked her magic, which includes using a good handful of salt to boil the water and lots of garlic in the potatoes.
In addition, she used mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, salt, and pepper.
The result is a delicious, creamy treat that makes you want to do a rain dance, slap a puppy, and praise Jesus all at the same time.
Mashed potatoes and sauteed mushrooms as the finished product can be seen above. That’s actually my plate, and I went back for seconds and thirds of the potatoes. Even better, I got to take home half of the mashed potatoes with me, and that turned into another adventure, one that I haven’t totally finished yet, and about which I’ll blog tomorrow!
Yeah, you know you’re looking forward to it.
With Regards and a Great Appetite,