When you over cook potatoes…

you just have to make mashed potatoes. At least, that is what I did. You know, like the lemons and the lemonade.

It was kind of a rough day around here yesterday. Things were bad at Sad House, getting it ready to sell, moving a desk that would only fit in an empty Rose Bowl, getting it stuck on the stairs, crazy kids, etc.

Mr. Smith turned in for the night around 5 pm last night. I made Macaroni and Cheese for dinner and put both kids, and The Wonder Dog to bed. Mr. Smith had conked out with his laptop on my side of bed, and I didn’t have the heart to wake him up, so I slept (or didn’t sleep) in the office. Let it be stated, for the record, that there is so much computer equipment in said office, that I practically woke up with a tan!

Anyway, all this back story to explain that I got virtually no sleep. I did not get to sleep until after 11 pm (started watching Season 3 of Friday Night Lights), Baby C woke up the first time at 3:20 am, H woke up at 4:25, and Baby C finally got up for good at around 6 am. It was a very very very short night.

I was getting the Potato Salad started for tomorrow. I put the potatoes on the stove to boil, sat down and promptly forgot that I had something on the stove…for about an HOUR! Sad when the mind goes…and in one so young!

The potatoes were cooked beyond all recognition. They were collapsing in the colander. It was horrible. I was devastated. I was so looking forward to the potato salad. Mr. Smith, always cool-headed in these situations said, “Make mashed potatoes.”

Brilliant.

So I mashed them, skins and all. Added some horseradish, cream, butter, salt and pepper. Here is the recipe:

3 lbs. Red potatoes
2 teaspoons kosher salt (for the water)

Boil potatoes in salted water in large pot until a knife pierces the potatoes easily. No need to skin the potatoes.

Once the potatoes are thoroughly cooked, drain completely and return to pot you cooked them in (this will get rid of any excess water).

While the potatoes are hot, add 6 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup cream (damn the calories, full speed ahead!), 2 tablespoons horseradish, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Now all that is left to do, sit down in a quiet, happy place and enjoy the hell out of the creamiest mashed potatoes ever.

I am a HUGE fan of mashed potatoes. Always have been.

I went to Lora Little Elementary School in Delaware in the 1970s. It might as well have been a private school in the 1950s. It was such a throwback to another time. It was a neighborhood school, we all walked, no one rode buses. My parents were on the PTA. It was all very Leave it to Beaver.

The school cafeteria was easily the most amazing part of the school. They had this crew of little grandma-types that manned the kitchen. The food was so damn good. Every single thing they made was just the best comfort food you have ever eaten.

They had cookies (chocolate chip, peanut butter, snickerdoodles, oatmeal) that were the size of your head. They mashed potatoes and gravy were easily the best I have ever eaten. I liked them so much that I would buy an extra serving to savor.

Mashed potatoes were always the food I wanted when I was sick. They especially came in handy during my college-hangover days. I never ever ran out of Hungry Jack Instant Mashed Potatoes. They might just be the perfect food.

So endeth the lesson for today.

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