December 24, 2009

No Promises

My efforts at blogging always start out with such good intentions... I think of stuff to say for a while. Then all at once I realize it's been 6 months since I posted, and anybody who might have been reading has no doubt (rightfully) given up.

This time, I'm on a big cooking kick. I've found so much joy in learning to fix simple dishes from fresh ingredients. I feel better, my husband feels better, we've both lost a little weight and just can't fathom going back to a diet of prepackaged processed crap. As a bonus, we're spending about half of what we used to on food.

It would be nice to centralize and share my growing collection of recipes. Also, I kind of hope I can be an inspiration. Cooking from scratch sounds hard. Dirty. Unpleasant.

Okay, so it can get a little dirty -- just this week I slung mashed potatoes all over the kitchen with a hand mixer. Dang. That never happens with dry taters from a box. Oo, but they're so much tastier! Totally worth it! 

Basic Mashed Taters
  • Peel 4 large potatoes and cut them into chunks.
  • Put the chunks in a big pot and cover them with water.
  • Add salt, put a lid on the pot, and set over medium/high heat.
  • Bring the water up to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until you can cut through the largest chunks with a spatula.
  • Drain the water (save it if you're a gravy or chowder fan -- the starchy water makes a lovely thickener).
  • Put the cooked chunks in a large mixing bowl, add a stick of butter and about a cup of milk.
  • OPTIONAL: Add more salt, black pepper, garlic powder, shredded cheddar, sour cream, chopped green onions, parsley -- whatever turns your crank.
  • Start the mixer on low speed and work your way up. If the taters look dry or aren't mixing easily, dump in more milk.
(This is where I went awry. I was in a hurry so I jumped right in on high speed. Presto. Potato volcano.)
  • Keep at it with the mixer until the potatoes are your ideal consistency. I like them a little lumpy. Some folks prefer smooth.
  • Serve with extra butter, sour cream, chopped green onions... You get the drift.
This recipe makes about 6-8 generous servings (depending, of course, on the size of your potatoes).

It ain't rocket science. And it doesn't have to be gourmet, either. What I've learned in the past few months is, if you use fresh ingredients, and stick to simple combinations, it's almost impossible to screw it up.

All it takes is courage!

1 comment:

  1. My friend in grad school used to add a packet of Hidden Valley powdered ranch dressing to her mashed potatoes. Delish!

    I agree that from scratch sounds hard, but it is surprisingly easy, delicious, and cheaper!


Blog lurkers bum me out. Speak your mind, s'il vous plait.