Thursday, August 19, 2010

Smashed potatoes

Eastside Road, August 19, 2010—
TO ME, "MASHED" POTATOES always seem like special fare — reserved for Christmas and Thanksgiving and such occasions. They have to be white as snow, beaten soft soft soft, and enriched with butter at the least, perhaps cream as well. In my childhood of course it was milk and margarine, but those days are long gone.

We don't have mashed potatoes that often. Instead we have what I think of as smashed potatoes: Lindsey boils potatoes in as little water as possible, first having cut them into reasonably small pieces, and then roughly smashes them, with a fork I suspect (since no potato masher or whisk appeared in the nightly dishwashing routine), adding perhaps a little olive oil. Salt and pepper, of course; maybe a bit of crushed garlic. Today she added a good bit of marjoram from the garden.
Marjoram is always associated with peas in my mind; when we were first married frozen peas and Schillings dried marjoram flakes were a special treat, maybe with a dot of butter. But it goes well with potatoes, too. Marjoram, sage, oregano, thyme, and tarragon all grow in the garden, though we probably still have dozens of boxes of Schilling's spices left from decades ago…

After all the flavorings are blended in Lindsey cooks the potatoes a bit further, dry, allowing a tiny bit of browning. With the potatoes tonight, another Tuscan sausage of Franco's, and green beans; before them, guacamole my way; afterward, green salad; later, fruit, of course…
Rouge du pays de l'Hérault, Moulin de Gassac, "Guilhem", 2008


Curtis Faville said...

Merry used to make "mashed potatoes" by creaming them after cooking, skins and all, in a Robot Coup. With cream and butter added--they came out as a sticky, thick almost paste, but they were irresistible!

When I was a boy, my Stepfather tried to get me interested in fresh peas steeped in cream and butter, but I didn't like cream in those days. I had to grow up to learn to appreciate that.

Charles, did I ask you yet if you've tried the fare at Incontu, in SF, yet? We haven't, but keep getting recommendations for it from friends.

Charles Shere said...

Incanto, you mean. It's a favorite place of mine. Maybe one of the Five Restaurants, even; but you have to like meat.