Something’s changed. It’s the same something that changes every year around this time. And that something is my motivation level. Sometime in late September, I stop thinking about how strong or fast or light or heavy I am, and start thinking about mashed potatoes.
Oh, how I love mashed potatoes.
I should be more specific: I love my mashed potatoes. Everybody loves my mashed potatoes. If there were a mashed potato contest, I’d enter it with confidence. And if I didn’t win, I’d feel robbed.
My kids love my mashed potatoes more than any other food in the world. They’d rather eat my mashed potatoes than dessert. And so would I, for that matter.
Friends and relations call early in the year to invite me to Thanksgiving dinner — even though they don’t care for me personally — because my mashed potatoes are so good.
Nobody puts gravy on my mashed potatoes. This is because people intuit that while other mashed potatoes need gravy, my mashed potatoes do not need such a crutch.
How to Make Great Mashed Potatoes
People always ask me, “Fatty, how do you make such incredible mashed potatoes?”
I do not tell them.
It’s not that there’s a secret. There’s not. And it’s not that these are difficult to make. They’re not.
It’s that if I tell people how bad these mashed potatoes are for them, they’ll never eat them again, and that would be a shame.
The thing is, though, most of you won’t ever be eating Thanksgiving with me anyway. So I don’t mind telling you about my mashed potatoes. And then you can make them, call them your own, and be famous within your own circle of friends for the best mashed potatoes in the world.
Start by peeling a 10lb bag of potatoes. Cut each potato into six or eight pieces. Put the potatoes into heavily salted water and boil until the potatoes reach “ready to mash” consistency.
No, I don’t know how long that is, and I can’t explain what that consistency is. If you can’t tell, perhaps you don’t have any business making my mashed potatoes.
Drain the water out. If someone else is making gravy, you can offer your water to them, because salty boiled potato water makes great gravy. Not, mind you, that you’ll need gravy.
It’s important you do this next part while the potatoes are very hot.
Toss in 2 sticks of butter. Do not use margarine, no matter what. Toss in a fistful of grated mozzarella cheese, and a much smaller fistful of grated Jack.
Now start mashing. Use a masher, not a mixmaster or other appliance. You don’t want these to be smooth and fluffy. (That’s what mashed potatoes from flakes are.) You want these to be recognizable as potatoes.
Continue until the potatoes are mashed and the butter and cheese are melted in.
Now, put in a big double wooden-spoonful of sour cream. And mash some more.
If you don’t weep with joy, you did it wrong.
PS: I wonder why I always gain weight during the Autumn?