Friday, November 20, 2009

Mashed Potatoes from Scratch

This is another one of those recipes that probably doesn't need shared. But I'm choosing to do so for two reasons.

1. Up until about two years ago, I had no clue how to make mashed potatoes from scratch. One of my good friends had to teach me.

2. Because what would be a Thanksgiving dinner without mashed potatoes?

3. Because homemade from scratch mashed potatoes beat the pants off of boxed potatoes.

okay. okay. so that's three. don't send me hate mail since I can't count...

Seriously though. Homemade (from scratch!) mashed potatoes are divine. By far better than the boxed stuff. Plus, you can control what goes in them. No harsh preservatives here!!

So if you are in charge of the potatoes for this years Thanksgiving (or any holiday meal for that matter), here's a tutorial on doing it the "old fashioned way"...

First, you must wash and peel your potatoes. The amount you need depends on their size. I just peel and place in the pot until the potatoes cover the bottom of the pot.

Then cover the potatoes with water, adding enough water to have a few inches of standing water above the potatoes. Turn your burner on high heat and let potatoes boil until they are softened. Once things get rolling and really boiling, you will most likely have to turn the heat down a notch or two so you don't have a boiled over mess.
I can't give you an accurate time to how long this process will take. It depends on how big your potatoes are. I used a mix of small and big potatoes and it took about a half hour of boiling once things got going. I test the potatoes for doneness with a fork. When the potatoes are soft and the fork can go through with no problem, the potatoes are done and need removed from the heat.

Place the potatoes in a large bowl and add milk. The amount of milk depends on how smooth you like your potatoes. Start small and keep adding until you are content with the consistency. At this point, you can also add butter and salt. I personally do not add these to the whole batch, I only add milk. I let my guests add the butter and salt if they wish. With so many different diet restrictions these days due to cholesterol, etc. it's just much easier that way. Plus, I eat these for a snack often, and prefer them to be a bit healthier, so I don't like to have butter and salt in mine.

Serve! There are so many different options for this! Add some Thanksgiving gravy, or some butter/salt/sour cream, or some ranch dressing (mmmm! my favorite!). The possibilities are endless!
To see other great Thanksgiving ideas and recipes check out the Thanksgiving on a Budget linky roundup over at Money Saving Mom!

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