Secrets To A Perfect Mash & Thanksgiving Round-Up

mashed potatoes

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Well… It’s that time of year again! The holidays are nearing and Thanksgiving is only in a couple of days. Yet, it doesn’t feel so much like thanksgiving here, since the Brits don’t celebrate it and especially because I’m so busy with all the FBC organizing, leaving me no time to host it.

I did however manage to have my fair share of all the trimmings, in the run up and over the last several posts. But, before I round-up all the Thanksgiving recipes I’ve posted over the last month, I want to take a minute to say hello & warm welcome to all my new subscribers. I’ve noticed an immense increase in readers and subscribers over the last couple of weeks and this makes me really, really happy.

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Ok. Fine. I’m hopeless at lying! It makes me run around my house naked, pulling spastic cartwheels while I yell at the top of my lungs: “Wahoo…They must be bonkers!”

My husband’s threatened to leave me for mickey Minnie mouse, if I keep doing it. I don’t think she’ll have him, though.

Anyway… Just want to say mucho grassy-ass for stopping by!

So, where were we… Yes, Thanksgiving round-up!

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How about making this green bean casserole… a few of you already got busy testing it… It’s won many converts. Yes.

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Make these golden brown, crispy roasties…they make a scrumptious side.

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Don’t forget the cranberry sauce! (Excuse the messy photo-taken one year ago exactly. Oh, I knew me when…)

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I’ve been told that this is the best pumpkin pie ever.

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Make Grandma’s cinnamon rolls on Thanksgiving morning. It would make her proud. And, you’re tummy will sing with joy!

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So, what makes the perfect mash?

1) Type of potatoes– do you go for high starch (low moisture) or low starch (high moisture)? I personally prefer low starch potatoes (fingerlings or Charlottes, Yukon gold (US) are in the middle) because they keep their shape well when cooked in water and I find they yield creamier results while, not necessarily the smoothest. High starch potatoes (King Edward, Maris Piper, Russets) disintegrate easily and yield really smooth, fluffy potatoes. So, it all depends on your preference.
2) Cooking the potatoes-Don’t overcook the potatoes. Do not boil but rather let them simmer. Remove them once you can easily pierce them with a knife. Make sure that you have chopped the potatoes into even sizes- so there is consistent cooking. Salting the water adds depth of flavor. Anyway potatoes and salt were made for each other- you still have to get the balance right, though.
3) Drain them well. Put them back in the pot and let any remaining water evaporate.
4) Don’t overwork the potatoes. Do not use a food processor or blender! They cut throught the cellulose starch cells and lead to gummy, glue-like, sticky, cafeteria mashed potatoes. Use a potato ricer or a potato masher- the zigzag one.
5)When adding milk, butter or cream, make sure they are warm or at room temperature.

So, let’s get to it.


The Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Cast of Characters

1 kg potatoes of choice, peeled and rinsed
100g butter- more or less to taste
150ml milk- more or less to taste
Salt & Pepper to taste

The Nitty-Gritty

Cut the potatoes into quarters- making sure they are as even as possible, in order to cook evenly.
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Cover them with water, add salt and bring to a boil. Quickly lower and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. Test them with a knife- if it goes through them smoothly, then they are ready. Cooking time will depend on the potatoes…so you will need to test them.

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Drain the potatoes then return to the pot, on a low flame, and let any remaining water evaporate. It shouldn’t take longer than 30 seconds.

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Pass a few at a time through the ricer.

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Next add all the ingredients you want- butter, cream, salt, pepper, mushrooms, spring onions, etc…

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And using a fork, mix it all together in no more than 2 laps. Taste and season accordingly. Always remember the more you work the potatoes the more they will become like gum.

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Eh, voila. Your perfect mash!

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Happy Thanksgiving x

Comments Closed

18 Responses to “Secrets To A Perfect Mash & Thanksgiving Round-Up”
  1. Divina 25 November 2009 at 12:37 pm #

    We don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving in the Philippines. We usually eat out than prepare dishes at home. But the dishes look really good. The mashed potatoes are to die for.

  2. Chris Bourne 25 November 2009 at 1:15 pm #

    This really is the complete ‘Thanksgiving’ Experience.
    My only concern would be the fact after eating all the amazing dishes above that i would be rooted to whatever couch was close to hand for days!… Brilliant !

    Thanking you kindly for all your wonderful and jaw dropping

  3. Entertaining by Evie 25 November 2009 at 1:30 pm #

    The pumpkin pie is beautiful! I love mashed potatoes, but I actually don’t mind if they have a few chunks in them. My advice would be to be careful of going bonkers on the garlic. I love garlic, but I’ve made the mistake of including too much. Yikes!

  4. Sarah, Maison Cupcake 25 November 2009 at 2:32 pm #

    You’ve been busy! Mashed potato… the ultimate comfort food. It goes to show that a little attention to something simple pays bucketloads. I have been guilty of resorting to Smash lately (very useful for impatient toddler) but consider my wrist slapped and I must do the real thing properly.

  5. sabastien 25 November 2009 at 2:45 pm #

    those potatoes are mouth watering! i wish i could be at your table for thanksgiving dinner, your famillies lucky!

  6. Holty 25 November 2009 at 3:13 pm #

    Always wanted to know how to make proper mash. Seriously!

    Cheers for that Beth.x.

  7. Global Patriot 25 November 2009 at 6:27 pm #

    I’ve been looking for the “perfect” mashed potato recipe, and now I’ve found it, just a day before Thanksgiving – thanks Beth!

  8. Mowie 25 November 2009 at 7:44 pm #

    I loooooooooove mash! And such a great thanksgiving post. Ready for Saturday? =) xxx

  9. Sari 26 November 2009 at 1:50 am #

    Great post, I love love love mash, it’s such a all time favourite comforting food! Incredible you still have time to post while organizing FBC. Looking forward to meeting you on Saturday! 🙂

  10. Bethany 26 November 2009 at 10:42 am #

    Thanks everyone! Happy Thanksgiving! xx

  11. tasteofbeirut 27 November 2009 at 6:28 am #

    Yumm…I felt like having mashed potatoes again looking at your pics. For me the only requirement for the best potatoes: they must be Lebanese and come from the vegetable garden near our house!

  12. Manggy 27 November 2009 at 7:24 am #

    Those DO look perfect! I just made some but was stingy on the butter, so they were very dry 🙁

  13. Greedy Diva 29 November 2009 at 8:17 pm #

    Ooh – I love a big creamy dollop of mash. Delectable! Great to meet you at the FBC event on Saturday, Bethany. Congratulations on organising such a great day – your hard work paid off! Hope to see you again soon.

  14. Kitchen Butterfly 29 November 2009 at 10:38 pm #

    Beth chic….you rock. Rock, Rock, Rock. As does Chris….celebrate him :-). FBC was WOW………………now I know for sure I’m not crazy, not deluded, and ‘not normal’ 🙂 . I am so glad I came – excellent job you did. With lutta…XXXX

  15. Hélène 1 December 2009 at 6:51 pm #

    Oh my! everything looks so delicious, especially that pumpkin pie. I would have more than one piece. Cheers!

  16. Krista 1 December 2009 at 11:36 pm #

    All of these look splendid, but I have a hankering to try that pumpkin pie!! I have a dear friend visiting this weekend so perhaps I can experiment on her. 🙂 Thanks for taking time to share all these with us! 🙂

  17. Karine 2 December 2009 at 1:36 am #

    Everything looks indeed very delicious! Thanks for sharing 🙂


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