Monday, April 18, 2011

Tater Talk

I cook.  A lot.  I've been told I'm a heck of a good cook.  That makes me feel good because it's something I love to do (most of the time.)  It would be crummy if I loved to cook but wasn't any good at it.

I also have active teenage sons with voracious appetites.  It's an unpaid part-time job just to keep them fed.  I love that job.  Last Saturday, I was again fortunate enough to purchase a load of meat from Chamberlain Farms in East Fairfield, OH.  I'd give you the website, but there isn't one.  Just stop by and see June and she'll fix you up with what you need.  210 lbs. of beef, 40 lbs. of chicken, Italian sausage, keilbasa, breakfast sausage, ham slices, pork chops and bacon.  Two fellas standing beside me shivered when I picked up the order.  

Last night, the Staby family performed our weekly pre-dinner ritual.  
Me: "What kind of potato dish would you guys like with _____?"  (Enter any main course.  Beef, pork, chicken, veggies, road kill - makes no matter.)  
Them:  "Mashed potato casserole!"
Me:  "But I just made that on ______."  (Enter any day of the week within the last 6 days.)
Them:  "But we love it and (said day) was so long ago."
I gave the masses what they want.  After all, I won't have mashed potato loving boys forever at my nightly dinner table.

Good old russet potatoes, peeled and cubed and simmered in salted water till tender, about 20-25 min.
I use my trusty Kitchen Aid mixer for the mashing.  When we got married, I had a hand held mixer that met an early smokey death at the hands of an electricity transformer when we lived in Germany.  Bob gave me this Kitchen Aid for Christmas a month after we returned to the States, 22 years ago.  I opened it, floored, and he said, "Mashed Potatoes."  Perhaps it's a genetic affection in this family?

Anyway, it's a pretty basic procedure.  I mash them adding a few tablespoons of butter first, then kosher salt and cracked black pepper.  I slog in some milk and Parmesan cheese.  No fancy Parmesano Reggiano from the Mouli grater here, the monster can from Costco suffices for this hungry crowd.  We buy our milk a few miles away from Brunton Dairy.  Best milk on earth.  I make a weekly trip to the little bitty store down on their farm, load up a rack (6 1/2 gal bottles) and put the money in the lock box.
 I turn the potatoes into a casserole dish, dot with butter and sprinkle with paprika.  Bake for about 15 or so minutes till heated through.

No matter how much wrestling in the kitchen has taken place during dinner preparations, I try (but don't always succeed) to serve with a smile.


1 comment:

  1. You look beyootiful! The casserole is the perfect accessory :-)


I love comments! They let me know there really is someone reading my little bitty blog. Please leave me your thoughts, I cherish them.