For Parker

April 28, 2008

Cooking, Journal, Lauren

While waking up the children today, I asked Parker what I should make for dinner. The clever 3-year-old said, “Mashed pothathoes”. “Hmmm, what else?” I asked. “Milk.”

Well, Parker, we didn’t drink milk, but we did make mashed potatoes. This may not be a big deal to any of the rest of you, but I almost never, ever make them. To have potatoes you have to have gravy, and that requires a whole lotta steps. Tonight, though, we feasted like royalty! A tiny roast (hurried along in the process using the Spike Method), green beans, GRAVY and mashed potatoes. Yuh-um.

We’ve got a ricer, which is fun because you don’t have to peel the potatoes. Just chop, boil, smash, and the skins stay behind.

Lock & load


Thanks, Parker. This spud’s for you. (You saw that comin’, huh?)

About Lauren

Lauren Sommerer is a preschool teacher who likes to build prototypes, grow cats, cook things once, save money, reduce, reuse and recycle.

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20 Responses to “For Parker”

  1. Kitt Said on:

    I got a ricer on sale after the holidays and I love how easy it makes the process, especially removing the skins. I still go on to mash in butter and milk for creamier potatoes, but it saves a lot of labor.


  2. Brad Said on:

    Only a good friend could say this, Lauren, but your arm looks kind of hairy in the second picture. Are you taking hormones or something? You might want to think about some sort of bleaching or hair removal technique.


  3. Deanne Said on:

    I am now inspired to get a ricer. [I won’t, of course, because it would just clutter up my very small kitchen, and I’m now heeding Ruth’s advice to CHUCK it ALL.] But I always thought that the ricer had to be like my grandma’s, which was like a great, big cone with little holes in the side. It was kind-of a hassle to rice potatoes with that thing. I like the little squeezy thing.

    Most importantly, you’re one step ahead of cooks Illustrated. In this month’s issue, the say that the very best mashed potatoes are cooked in their skins, riced and then mashed. Lauren, you are my hero!


    • Lauren Said on:

      It’s nice to be someone’s hero -- must be the testosterone.

      I know the old ricer you’re talking about. That’s the one we used when I was a kid. It had the coolest little spring thing that attached the handle. When it was time to wash it I would pretend the spring was Frosty the Snowman’s pipe.


  4. Beth Said on:

    Ricing potatoes? That just ain’t right. That’s nearly as bad as using a hand mixer.
    No sir, not right at all.


    • Jill Said on:

      I’m with you, Beth. If there aren’t any lumps, how do you know they’re real? Riced potatoes taste just like powdered potatoes and that certainly ain’t right.


    • Lloyd Said on:

      I don’t see this as an either/or decision. There is a time to rice and a time to refrain from ricing. If you’ve never had “mashed” potatoes from a ricer, you should try it. There’s no gravy crater to contain the yummy gravy. It is magically wicked up to become one with the potatoey goodness.

      It’s different enough that it should probably have a different name. And area code.


  5. Lauren's dad Said on:

    But a ricer eliminates the potato beans!


  6. Annette Said on:

    Knowing Lauren’s keen daily lesson planning method, I will need to dash back into the classroom around 11am. I’m sure there will be rice-mashed potatoes for lunch.


  7. Peggy Said on:

    I only use my ricer when making potato gnocchis or Cheesey Potatoes. I love watching the potatoes squish thru … it reminds me of playdough days … I love playing with food …

    But let me get this straight … when you rice potatoes for mashed potatoes, you don’t add anything else? No milk? No butter? No salt? And you just eat them in their riced state?


    • Beth Said on:

      That’s what I’m telling you people. It just ain’t right.


    • Lloyd Said on:

      There was definitely butter involved last night, but I think it was more of a, “You got your butter in my potatoes! You got your potatoes in my butter!” type of thing. Knowing Lauren, I’m 98% sure that there was salt in the water that the potatoes were boiling in, but the rest of the salt was supplied by the gravy. As Abraham said, “The gravy will supply the salt.”. There definitely wasn’t any milk involved.


  8. Deanne Said on:

    I’ll have to double-check the Cooks recipe, but I think they had normal mashing after the ricing. The ricing was just used to get the fluffiness going. Personally, we like those skins, so we’re a kitchen-aid family after boiling.

    The other thing I was going to add, because mashed potatoes are a big thing in my family, is that you don’t need gravy. Let me repeat that:

    You don’t need gravy.

    Gravy is yummy and we love it, but it’s merely a bonus to truly great mashed potatoes. We load our squashed spuds with garlic, butter, and sour cream. AND we use half & half instead of just milk. We could eat, like 10 potatoes in one sitting, so we have to restrain ourselves.


  9. Mark Said on:

    We make twice-cooked, cheesy-garlic mashed potatoes once a year. No ricer, so I have to smash the cooked cubes by hand with one of those old ‘pound-em till their dead’ hand mashers, then use a hand-mixer to stir in the Philly cream cheese (lite), milk, gobs of butter, garlic powder and a few other secret ingredients. When it’s all whipped up fluffy, we scoop the mix into a Corning dish and refrigerate overnight. Then the next day we put them in the oven, topped with pats of butter, to bake. It gets this great crispy, cheesy, buttery crust around the edges and the bottom. WOW.

    No gravy needed, but if you must have it the bowl is on the table.


  10. Mark Said on:



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