It is sooooo cold here in Minnesota. When we got home from work yesterday it was -18 degrees with a -38 windchill. School was delayed two hours and we have a 3 foot snowdrift in front of the garage so I can't get my car out and we are not sure if the Bobcat will start so we can dig out from all the blown in snow. Good thing the truck was out by the barn so we were able to take that to work. Hermit Crab was ticked off as she had to shovel out the front tires so she could get herself and Drama Queen to school. She thought that we should have plowed out for her. I told her she could take the bus. She promptly quit talking. On a cold day like this, I would prefer to stay in bed with a movie in and eat comfort food. For me, there is nothing that comforts me more than mashed potatoes. I have spoken of my love for my beloved mashed spuds. It is heaven on a fork. My mashed potatoes are simple and only have few ingredients, but I think what makes them so good (I'm boasting I know, but really, they are quite good) is the method used.
4 large baking potatoes
1/3 cup whipping cream, warmed
4 TBSP butter
Peel and cut potatoes in half, then each half in half again. Cut in pieces that are of even size so they cook evenly. Place potatoes in a pan of COLD water. Place on stove and turn on flame. Salt the water with a good pinch or two of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, about 15 to 17 minutes.
Drain water from pan and place back over low heat. Shake pan over the low heat for about 30 seconds to dry all the water off of the potatoes. Turn off heat. Heat whipping cream in microwave for about 25 seconds. Mash potatoes first with a hand masher, so all the lumps are mashed, about 1 minute. Bring out hand mixer with beater bars. Mine have a couple sets of beater bars, so I use the set that doesn't have the center bar-makes for easier cleanup. Beat the potatoes on medium-low for about 45 seconds. Stop beaters and pour in whipping cream. Beat again on medium-low for another 45 seconds. Depending on how much moisture is in the potatoes, you may need to add a little more cream. Dot the top of the mashed spuds with the butter, then dig in.
The important steps are, cook in cold water. If you start them in warm, it starts to soften the outside and they will feel done before they actually are. Heat the spuds after cooking to get the water out so you have nice fluffy potatoes when you mash them. Heat the cream; adding cold ingredients to hot potatoes just isn't a nice thing to do to the tubers.