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the3Rs
Help! (Thanksgiving meal)
by the3Rs
November 22, 2012 at 7:54 AM

So...I am now the 'surprise' host of Thanksgiving.  My dad got sick, so my mom asked if I could host instead.  She's provided all of the food, but I have to cook 1/2 of it at my house (she'll cook 1/2 at hers and bring it up to my house).

I rarely cook.  My DH is the main cook in our family and he's working.  I'm OK with the ham, and already did both desserts.  BUT, I'm unsure on mashed potatoes.

How early do I peel?  How long to boil?  Do I cut them up before or after boiling?  Some websites say to wait for the water to boil, then put in whole potatoes for 20+ minutes, then cut and mash.  Other sites say to put the potatoes in WHILE the water heats to a boil (and the potatoes are cut up already) then reduce to a simmer for 20+ minutes.

What do I do??  Also, how much milk?  salt?  butter?

Ugh.  I don't want to ask my mom because she's already busy with her stuff and it's embarrassing that I don't know how to make mashed potatoes.

Replies

  • Noni2319
    November 22, 2012 at 8:36 AM
    I peel and cut them up thenthrow them in a pot with water and start it. I let them cook for about 40 minutes.

    The amount of butter depends on how many potatoes you are using.

    For milk I add a little, and mash. If they seem a little thick I add a bit more. Just add a very little bit at a time. You can always add more if needed, but if you add to much they'll be runny.
  • Noni2319
    November 22, 2012 at 8:37 AM
    I don't add salt when I'm mashing. That can easily be added by everyone when they're served.
  • the3Rs
    by the3Rs
    November 22, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    Thank you!  So...how early can I peel them?  I don't want them to get discolored, but it would help if I could peel them prior to actually needing to cook them...

  • Stevied13
    November 22, 2012 at 8:40 AM
    OK. I peel and cut my taters as early as the day before as long as they have water on them they are fine in the fridge till your ready to cook. Cook them til fork tender and time depends on how much you are cooking. A small pot of about 5lbs can be done in 30-45 min. I put salt in the water, a couple pinches, and cook them on high. As for milk I don't measure, I just put in a splash at a time and add more if needed. If you have a mixer it makes it easier to mash. And butter a tablespoon is a good start. I also add salt add pepper to taste.
  • Noni2319
    November 22, 2012 at 8:41 AM
    I've always peeled them pretty much right before. But you could probably peel and chop and then cover them in the fridge for a bit. Let me see if I can find anything about that.
  • Noni2319
    November 22, 2012 at 8:42 AM
    Cool. I have to remember that for peeling them for next time.

    Quoting Stevied13:

    OK. I peel and cut my taters as early as the day before as long as they have water on them they are fine in the fridge till your ready to cook. Cook them til fork tender and time depends on how much you are cooking. A small pot of about 5lbs can be done in 30-45 min. I put salt in the water, a couple pinches, and cook them on high. As for milk I don't measure, I just put in a splash at a time and add more if needed. If you have a mixer it makes it easier to mash. And butter a tablespoon is a good start. I also add salt add pepper to taste.
  • mommyslate
    November 22, 2012 at 8:45 AM
    I would like to think of myself as a really good cook.

    But I can mess up mashed potatoes with the best of them. I can make a perfect beef Wellington but I cannot make mashed potatoes! So I guess I am no help. Lol. I gave mashed potatoe duty to someone else.
  • stellarmom1
    November 22, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    I peel and cut them and soak them in cold water until I'm ready to cook.  Then put them on the stove, and boil until they are tender, drain the water and then I add, sour cream, milk butter, salt and pepper to taste while mashing.  I always go light on the salt and pepper because those can always be added at the table.  Good luck,  you'll be fine!

  • AnAngelsKiss
    November 22, 2012 at 11:33 AM
    I peel cnd cut them up into good size chunks. I boil the water with a couple cloves of garlic. When they are done you will be able to tell by placing a fork or knife through the center and they will be soft. Then don't use milk. Sour cream is much much better. If you don't like sour cream use half milk/ half sour cream and butter. I personally don't use salt when cooking. To do them extra special you can add like shredded cheese and/or bacon bits. For presentation when added to serving bowl sprinkle a bit of cloves on top of center of potatoes. Wahla.
  • BelindaDuvessa
    November 22, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Am I the only one who doesn't peel potatoes?

    I use cream cheese in my mashed potatoes instead of sour cream or milk.

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