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Mashers Away!

Mashers Away!


Mashed potatoes are so easy to make, even the kids can manage!


By FamilyTime

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There are times when nothing is better, more comforting, more delicious than mashed potatoes. Most kids love them — the warm, smooth texture and full buttery flavor can’t be beat.

With a little adult supervision, kids can master mashed potatoes in no time. And they will happily eat their creation.

An adult or older sibling will have to start the process: cutting the potatoes, cooking them, and draining. From this point, the younger kids can take over.

The Right Potato

While any potato can be mashed, the best spuds for the job are thin-skinned white or red ones. These are often called all-purpose or boiling potatoes and usually are sold in plastic bags in the market.

Russets or Idahos (which are the same thing) are not as desirable. With their dense, floury texture, these are better for baking. However, if you have only baking potatoes in the house and the kids have a hankering for mashers, don’t let this stop you. The end result will be delish!

If you use thin-skinned potatoes, there is no reason to peel them. You may choose to do so for aesthetic reasons, but don’t worry if the skins stay on the spuds. They will break up during mashing. Russet potatoes are another story. Most people peel them. Some folks like the chewy skins and don’t peel — in the end it’s up to you.

Cook the Potatoes

Begin by cutting the potatoes into small-ish chunks. They do not have to be tiny — an inch or two is fine. Put the cut-up potatoes in a large pot or saucepan and cover them with plenty of water, an inch or two higher than the potatoes is best.

Add a little salt to the water and then bring it to the boil. Reduce the heat and let the potatoes simmer briskly for about 20 minutes. By this time, they will be fork tender, which means a fork inserted into a large piece should enter easily.

Drain the potatoes and return them to the cooking pot. If a little cooking water clings to them or remains in the pan, never mind.

Now comes the fun part. Give the kids a potato masher or similar tool and let them pulverize the cooked spuds. As they do, they can add a little milk, some sour cream and butter, stirring and mashing everything together so that the mixture gets smoother and richer by the minute.

For “healthy mashed potatoes,” add low-fat milk and yogurt in place of sour cream. But really. Why not go for it with the “real thing?” Or perhaps a little butter and a little more yogurt?

Taste the potatoes and season them with salt and pepper. Not too much! They are now ready to take a starring role on a dinner plate.

Spuds for Supper!

A lot of kids and their parents like to dress up mashers with some tasty garnishes. These might be snipped chives, chopped parsley, crumbled bacon or sautéed onions.

And of course mashed potatoes are custom made for a ladleful of gravy.



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