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Delicate & Delectable Fluffy (not starchy) Whipped Potatoes

March 1, 2011
the 44th President of the United States...Bara...

Image by jmtimages via Flickr

Bear with me as I borrow text from another blogger (i.e. Snoring Dog Studio) a blog I follow and enjoy very much.  In today’s post she wrote about how impatient people are these days.  But when she wrote of our food being transformed to accommodate our impatience I found myself saying out loud — Oh you bet it has!

In the course of a few decades, our meals have been transformed into shrink-wrapped, cardboard-boxed edibles. We can serve dinner—not cook it—in a matter of minutes now. Who waits for the potatoes to boil so they can be whipped into a delectable mound of fresh mashed potatoes? Food scientists discovered that anything can be turned into flakes, so now all we have to do is add water and fluff.” … Snoring Dog Studio

I have a few comments to add to hers. I do not think she will not mind.  She spoke of us Americans being so impatient, which we are but we are because we are conditioned to be so.  It began with yesteryear’s soda-jerk serving up a cherry soda in a matter of seconds. It continues today with the drive through window too many American use to quickly satisfy thirst and hunger. We want things in a hurry.  We have become a population of impatient gits. Over the generations I have noticed with great disapproval the ‘I can’t wait’ mentality of most of my fellow Americans.  I notice it while standing in line watching people shuffle back and forth (impatiently and with noticeable sighs to rude sneers) waiting for the person at the counter or checkout in front of them to finish things up. Why this is true is not all that hard to figure out but this blog is devoted to foods we serve at holidays not what I think the American experience is becoming.  So forgive me for my indulgence I am getting to the point of this blog entry, I promise.

Lights totally went off in my head about instant potatoes being used in place of the real freshly peeled ones used in my fluffy whipped potatoes. Honestly, this is not rocket science – a bowl of whipped potatoes is not all that difficult to achieve. But, just in case you are stemmed at the thoughts of actually steaming, baking or boiling them here are a few hints to get you from de nova to pro forma in a culinary sense that is.

Fork tender: The art of putting a fork into a sliced item and knowing if the fork comes back out without bringing that item up with it … it is fork tender. Stop cooking! They are ready for the next step. (potatoes continue to cook after the pot is off the flame for a short time so you do not need to cook them until they break into pieces like I once did but no longer do-knowledge is power!)

Peeled or Unpeeled: My head is spinning over this argument. Having done both I prefer to peel the little gems to avoid having to peel a hot potato later. (we are talking about a mound of whipped potatoes here – for other side dishes where the potatoes are served not whipped do what ever suits your fancy)

Milk or Cream: Really? We even have to go here? The potatoes need a liquid. Give them some. In a pinch I’ve even used some potato water to finish them off.  It’s the whipping that makes them light and fluffy. But for the best taste I always use cream with whole milk a second best.

Margarine or Butter: May I put you straight here, please may I? Margarine is an oil product (hello-have some lights gone off in your head?) Butter is dairy or as I like to say ‘the real deal’ so please splurge a bit and opt for some real butter. The flavor is remarkably better. After all whipped potatoes are a side dish not the main course. I doubt anyone eats the entire bowl in one sitting.

Speaking of butter: Salted or Unsalted: Usually unsalted is used in baking and salted is used for everything else. You can use either for whipped potatoes. Whichever you choose salt should be adjusted accordingly.

Potato masher – potato ricer – Mixer beaters: I think my head just fell off!

the picture in this post has nothing to do with the post: I just happen to like the man! I’m sure he eats potatoes.

  1. Hello / I enjoyed reading all of your blog and was just about to leave and read this above! I tend to call this the addict in all people! this fast food stuff is akin to addict behavior … the so called Junkie hence JUNK FOOD! ! getting the fix and quick! this is what the world has turned into! It is sad! I make things still! I wonder all the time what our forefathers and mothers would think of our days these days! anyways its funny those too names JUNK and JUNKIE come in with food and addiction!

    • to be sure, so true . . . thanks for stopping by my blog and taking time to read once there 😉 Best Wishes for Best Dishes to you!

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