My favorite food growing up was mashed potatoes. Probably because my family was completely obsessed. We ate mashed potatoes with everything. My mom would buy the huge 10-pound bags of potatoes and that would be good for one meal. No joke. Nothing has changed really. Even this last Thanksgiving, I was looking at my mom’s notes for the meal and saw that she had planned for well over a pound of potatoes per person.
I remember one of the first times I was at Eric’s family’s house for the holidays. His mom Kris was making mashed potatoes and was following some recipe that called for salt and butter and nothing else. (At least that’s what it tasted like.) Whaaaat? No sour cream? No cream cheese? Not even any garlic??
I asked her if I could at least add some sour cream and she said no, absolutely not, she was going to follow her recipe. That’s when I decided to take matters into my own hands. I enlisted the help of Eric and his sisters, and we managed to gradually sneak in sour cream, garlic, onion, and more salt while Kris’ back was turned. At dinner, she kept talking about how awesome the mashed potatoes were while the rest of us snickered into our napkins.
(Lest you assume that I think Kris is a bad cook, let me correct you by pointing out these incredibly delicious recipes that are straight from her. She is a magnificent cook and I hope to be awesome like her someday.)
I remember another time when Kris was visiting us is Indiana. I was making mashed potatoes and she watched as I put an entire stick of butter in. She said Karen. That is an entire stick of butter. And I said Yeah Kris. I know. It is for her sake that this “official” recipe only has 6 tablespoons of butter instead of a full stick, for fear that she would have a virtual heart attack.
One time Eric and I had the missionaries over for dinner, and they chatted with me in the kitchen as I finished spicing up the potatoes. Afterward, one of them complimented the mashed potatoes profusely, and said that as she watched me copiously sprinkle on what looked like several thousand spices, she thought to herself, Gross…we have to eat that stuff. As she related the story, her companion nodded fervently in agreement. (Since missionaries usually dine in people’s homes, they are typically expected to politely eat whatever is put in front of them, no matter how horrible.)
I have been asked for my mashed potatoes “recipe” so many times that I decided to include it on the blog, even though this is the first time I have ever measured anything. I usually just pour stuff in til it tastes good. So treat this as a guide rather than scripture. (Since I know that’s how you regard my other recipes.) As I tell everyone who asks how to make these: when in doubt, add more butter and more salt. (P.S. Can we talk about my Pin it button here people? I am so trendy!!)
Source: my mom Janice
5 pounds potatoes
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons sour cream (I always use light)
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon milk
2 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon seasoning salt
1 ½ teaspoons dried parsley
¼ teaspoon garlic
¼ teaspoon onion
3 generous shakes of lemon pepper
Peel and chop the potatoes. (I weighed mine after peeling and it ended up being 4 pounds total.) Place the potatoes in a large pot of water and turn the heat to high. When it has reached a boil, lower the heat to medium, and continue to simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes.
Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes, being sure to leave a few chunks. (Do not use a mixer. Then you get glue. Grooooss.) Add the butter, sour cream, milk, and cream cheese*, stirring well after each addition. Add the salt, pepper, seasoning salt, parsley, garlic, onion, and lemon pepper. Adjust seasonings to your taste and enjoy!
*Sometimes I don’t have cream cheese in the fridge. No biggie. Just up your sour cream a bit. (Or “so-cray” as Eric calls it.)
Note: The asparagus you see in these pictures is Balsamic-Browned Butter Asparagus. It is to-die-for. I didn’t think these mashed potatoes could get any better, but if you drizzle them (as the pictures show) with the sauce from this asparagus recipe, they actually do.