10/6/09

Mashed Spuds with Grace!


I'm not sure how I found the A Southern Grace blog last year, but I can tell you that every post is mouth-watering-goodness, straight from Grace's kitchen. Grace is a southern girl, living in upstate New York, who really, really, really, knows how to cook. So take a peek at her blog. I think you just might want to save it to your favorites!

I'm happy to introduce to you Grace, from A Southern Grace.

I've long been a fan of Sandy's blog and her endless supply of entertaining tips, so I was thrilled when she asked if I'd like to do a guest post. She suggested that I try something a little different from my usual "all food, all the time" posting, so although I still focused on food, I tried to offer more of a personal slant in my writing for 4RE. Here goes:

If I had to pick one food that reminds me of my home and childhood, it would be mashed potatoes. Home, creamy home. Specifically, they make me think of lunches at my grandma's house. Often she would be charged with preparing food for whoever happened to be working on the farm that day, and I helped out whenever I could.

We're not talking sandwiches here, folks. We're talking baked steaks or pork chops, along with cornbread and an assortment of sides, such as peas & dumplins, green beans or brown beans, corn on the cob or hominy, baked apples, fried squash, potatoes in white sauce or, my favorite, mashed po-tah-toes.


It always fell to me to take care of the mashed taters since I loved them so. I washed (guess what--they're filthy when they come out of the ground!), peeled, sliced, cooked, flavored (butter, milk, salt, and pepper--our holy quartet for mashed potato goodness), and mashed (with an old-school masher, of course) 'em myself.

It didn't take long for my grandpa to start calling me Tater, and he does so to this day. I think it gives him pleasure to see me enjoying a product that he took from start to (almost) finish. For wailing out loud, the man is 85 years old and he still goes out and plants, tends to, and digs up his potatoes--he's darn proud of his crop, as he should be!

So that's my history with mashed spuds. They're never as good as they are when I'm sitting at my grandma's table, surrounded by the folks I love. Never.

Grace and I would love to hear your favorite way to cook a "tater?"

28 comments:

Bellini Valli said...

My new favouruite way to cook my 'tatties is potato risotto..no rice hits this dish it is just a copy cat method.

ellen b. said...

How delightful to have such a great connection to a potato. You even have a nickname! Very precious memories you've stored up. That's great that your grandpa still goes out and tends his potatoes! I pretty much love potatoes any way they come to me. Potato piroshky are pretty darn good...

mommyknows said...

Mmmm ... my grandma's mashed potatoes were the very best, especially with fried chicken.

A. said...

I agree. Mashed potatoes are only second to biscuits and gravy on my all time comfort food list. There's just something about them that reminds me of home... and fried chicken.

Ingrid said...

Thanks for sharing Grace! Believe or not until the past year or two I didn't like mashed tators but I've seen the light and now really enjoy them!
~ingrid

Anonymous said...

My 3 kids all looooove mashed potatoes. For myself, I found a wonderful potato leek soup recipe online. I can really enjoy eating local fall produce - potatoes, onions, leeks and cream all picked up from the farmers' market, and homemade chicken stock. Top it with a little crispy bacon and it's heavenly!
Leslie in Ontario

oneordinaryday said...

Grace, I totally agree about your perfect quartet for flavoring, but I also do enjoy a twist now and then and toss in some sour cream and cheddar cheese. I like baking those in the oven though and getting the top nice and brown.
I'll take them any way they're offered though. I love 'em.

Kate at Serendipity said...

This makes me think of my grandmother, who always made mashed potatoes when I came to visit. With gravy. And butter. And love.

Thanks.

Barbara said...

Grace is a gem!
NOTHING is more comforting than mashed potatoes!

ValleyGirl said...

Herbed Mashed Potatoes, Crispy Potato Cubes, Creamy Potato Parcel, and Parmesan Baked Potatoes are sure-fire hits around here!!

My husband always plants a gazillion potato plants in our garden ~ one crop that never seems to fail. We keep our potatoes in our basement cold storage so we have garden potatoes year round!

Velva said...

Mashed potatoes! A true southern favorite.

lisa said...

There is nothing like a homegrown potato. I love how they smell when they've just been pulled out of the ground. And, mashing them like this is the perfect way to serve them. Delicious!

Cheryl said...

Ahh what a sweet story, they are indeed dirtier than sin when they come out of the ground! My favorite way is mashed with goat cheese!

Leslie said...

Grace is wonderful! Great post!

Anna said...

Great about your grandfather. Times have changed at my house, my elderly 88yo father moved in because of health issues, and my son was forced out. Not fun for any of us.
Dad loves mashed spuds....so I make a big pot....then make corn and potatoe fritters the next day.
Gotta love those cheap roots for so many things.

Shelly W said...

Another great Grace post. She always brings a smile to my face! Mashed potatoes are a favorite at my house, too.

Fiona said...

mmmmmmm can't beat a good spud/tater!! And they are so cheap here too! Fantastic. I love potatoes any which way - but a neat little trick a chef friend taught me is to pop in a garlic clove when boiling the potatoes, pull it out before mashing and voila, garlic infused mashed potatoes!! Of course you have to have the butter and seasonings as well....

Kirstin said...

My youngest looooovvves mashed potatoes! We peel em, put em in water sometimes with some chicken bouillon, then mash them, either by hand or with the mixer (but gotta leave a few chunks) along with some milk, then season with pepper, garlic powder, a dash of salt. sometimes I add some blue cheese dressing..

Danielle said...

awwww....makes me homesick for my family in Alabama!! LOVE LOVE LOVE mashed taters. (hated having to fetch them for grandmother in the shed down yonder LOL)

LilSis said...

Mashed potatoes are still number one on my list of favorite comfort foods! We grew up on lots and lots of taters, usually on a plate next to a huge Texas Chicken Fried Steak.

{ L } said...

This post was so fun to read and it had so much charm. Now I want some GOOD mashed potatoes!

Paula said...

Hey, Tater Grace! Great post. I so enjoy reading entries like this!

5 Star Foodie said...

Great post! I love mashed potatoes and really all kinds of potatoes but my favorite recipe of all is truffled mashed potatoes!

Cynthia @An Accomplished Woman said...

We love mashed potatoes. I love Southern Grace and she is so Southern!!! Thanks for highlighting her, Sandy. My favorite potato would have to be mashed potatoes but a runner-up would be twice baked potatoes. But let's face it, that is just mashed potatoes in a baked potato shell...

Robin Sue said...

Good to see you over here Grace. Two great bloggers in one!! When I was a little girl I thought babies came from mashed potatoes because we had them almost every night and I soon got a little brother!

Bunny said...

Mashed taters, my hubby's favorite side! Great post Grace!

Lori said...

Great story. Made me feel good inside reading it.

My favorite thing to do with a potato is to make potato pancakes. I am Polish and they were always a fav at my house growing up.

Queen B. said...

my FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD is Mashed Taters :)