2.08.2009

Mashed Potatoes, Anyone?

I try to avoid processed foods and buy fresh, local foods as much as possible. If I can make something at home without it taking up most of my day and making a big mess, I probably will.

But... I have discovered the joy of instant mashed potatoes. I'm almost embarrassed to admit it. I had never made instant potatoes until a few months ago. Here's how it happened:
During one of Mollie's steroid binges, she demanded mashed potatoes. So, I got potatoes, boiled them, smashed them. She didn't like them. She wanted the kind they have in the hospital, so we tried instant. Cheap, Publix private label, homestyle potato flakes. I can't remember if Mollie liked them (something about gravy...), but Matt and I enjoyed them. Less time. Less mess. Fewer spoiled, sprouting potatoes.

I will probably stick to the real thing for the holidays, but for our occasional mashed potato eating needs, I'm going with instant.

7 comments:

nicola said...

don't be embarrassed! you are not the first person to say this. in fact, box mashed potatoes can be used in a really good fridge bread dough recipe!

salsita said...

My sister loves boxed mashed potatoes. I was shocked to see a box in our pantry. Maybe I will put them to good use now that I have gotten a second thumbs up.

Lauren said...

ok not to be a product pusher but i just tried Oreida Steam and Mash. It's frozen, peeled, cut and blanched potatoes that you steam in the bag in the MW for 10 min. Then you pour the cooked and cubed taters into your mixer and add your milk and butter. It's not perfect but it is better than the instant potatoes and a lot quicker than scratch. i'd call them weeknight mashed potatoes. I'd be curious to see what you think and how this compares to the instant for you.

PleaseRecycle said...

Lauren... I'm a little scared of those steam in the microwave things. I don't like heating food in plastic. What's the food scientist's perspective? Thanks for the tip though... I will have to compare (guess I could microwave them in glass).

Forgot to mention the other reason I like the flakes is that I have more pantry space than fridge/freezer space.

Lauren said...

I thought you might be worried about that- I haven't seen conclusive data that shows issues with that ( many respected groups say it is safe including this manufacturer) and frankly i don't do it very often so it doesn't really bother me when i do. There's an easy solution if you are concerned: you could take them out and put them in a bowl and cover that and MW. You could then mash them in that bowl as well.

There are a lot of contaminants in our environment now and it's really hard who to trust and how to understand what is a concern and what is not. As a scientist, i feel conflicted because traditional science says a lot of things are safe but i don't rule out the possibility that there can be other effects etc- that may be hard to observe by these traditional methods. It's a tough thing and I don't have all of the answers. I just try to approach the situation with a curious mind that is open to new hypotheses but still considers the science.

Jill said...

Mashed potatoes are one of my favorite foods, but it's way too much of a pain to make them from scratch all the time. I used to eat instant mashed potatoes (Betty Crocker's Potato Buds)all the time, at least once a week for lunch during vet school and afterwards. I've gotten away from it recently, but they still have a special place in my heart. Also, if you use heavy whipping cream instead of milk, they taste just as good as mashed potatoes from scratch. Not in the least bit healthy, though.

BookyG said...

If it makes you feel any better, boxed macaroni & cheese is truly my second favorite meal (after lasagna).