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Old 11-16-2014, 05:37 PM   #21
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...By the way, has anybody else here ever wondered why people buy instant mashed potatoes? I certainly do, since they're so easy to make the old fashioned way...
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Because you can make instant mashed in 30 seconds.... My partner does this once in awhile...
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I used to keep a pouch of instant on the shelf.

Transform leftovers into a Shepherd's pie of sorts.
Add to bread recipes.
Potato cakes for breakfast.
A coating for oven fried chicken.
Just plain old taters and gravy.
Cheap 'n easy!

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Old 11-16-2014, 06:06 PM   #22
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Instant taters keep on the shelf longer than fresh taters. The two of us cannot eat a 5 pound bag of taters fast enough before they get old and ucky. Buying fresh taters takes too much planning sometimes.
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:19 PM   #23
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Instant taters keep on the shelf longer than fresh taters. The two of us cannot eat a 5 pound bag of taters fast enough before they get old and ucky. Buying fresh taters takes too much planning sometimes.

Five pound bags of potatoes are too much for me also. I buy potatoes as needed. Two russets, five reds, etc.
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:31 PM   #24
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Baked potato over a bed of sea salt?

We can't use up a whole bunch either, even as much as I love potato salad.
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Old 11-16-2014, 08:20 PM   #25
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...I really like it when people get science involved with cooking....
Potatoes seem to present no end of technical considerations. I suppose because they are heavy on starch, and starches take on various characters during cooking. For instance, mashed potatoes. The become somewhat unappetizing when simply boiled and violently mashed. The starch packets burst under high heat, and this is aggravated by beating, and you get the gluey mash. But starch packets can be stabilized by heating them to a temperature well under boiling, around 160F, if I recall, and then cooled. They can then be boiled, and the packets won't break. Put through a ricer, and they're perfect.

It's funny where stuff comes up. I was at an archeological society meeting last month. Three senior anthropology students were presenting a report on their project, a rock shelter dating back to near the ice age. One way to see what people ate is to analyze the burned rocks from their hearth. You can extract lipids and get information about the animals used. And you can recover starch granules. They cooked vegetables by the hot rock boiling method in a hide-lined depression. The students showed images of raw starch granules and burst granules. But they also showed some that were intact but heavily altered. They were at a loss as to what had happened to those.

If you know about mashed potatoes, you know that those represented what was left from a spill or perhaps were from a rock that had helped bring the water to less than boiling, before being taken out with the altered starch attached. This wasn't from potato, of course, since it was Texas, not Peru, and was probably arrow root of some other tuber.

The other thing is the realization of how people cooked before they had any fireproof vessels. It takes a lot of fire to heat enough rocks to boil water in a useful size pot.
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Old 11-16-2014, 08:26 PM   #26
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I used to keep a pouch of instant on the shelf.

Transform leftovers into a Shepherd's pie of sorts.

Add to bread recipes.

Potato cakes for breakfast.

A coating for oven fried chicken.

Just plain old taters and gravy.

Cheap 'n easy!
And a thickening agent for soups and stews.


As for mashed, I don't have a ricer, but for the past couple of decades I've just drained them and returned them to the pot, put the heat back on and heated them back up until the water steams out. Once they are dry they mash well with a beater and aren't gluey.
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:34 AM   #27
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And a thickening agent for soups and stews.


As for mashed, I don't have a ricer, but for the past couple of decades I've just drained them and returned them to the pot, put the heat back on and heated them back up until the water steams out. Once they are dry they mash well with a beater and aren't gluey.
I use the same method for mashed.

Drying out the potatoes is key!

I use the handheld mixer to bash them about with butter, salt and pepper. I add a little milk at the end, just enough to pull them together.

When I was growing up we had potatoes on the table at almost every meal. This year I've had them twice, it make me sad.
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Old 11-17-2014, 05:25 AM   #28
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Instant taters keep on the shelf longer than fresh taters. The two of us cannot eat a 5 pound bag of taters fast enough before they get old and ucky. Buying fresh taters takes too much planning sometimes.
I bought just two large 'taters last July3rd. I recently tossed them out. More eyes than skin.
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:48 PM   #29
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Okay. Next time I make mashed potatoes I'll start out baking it, and then I'll mash it and add the cream and butter.

I'm single I buy one potato at a time, occasionally two if I am definitely planning on having one that night. I don't have to plan around a 5 pound bag. If I bought that probably 90% would be spoiled.
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