But when it comes to the mashed potatoes, there’s two ways of thinking: make them ahead or at the very last minute.
Because the freshly made mashed potatoes have the lightest texture, I always sweated over making them at the last minute. And it made the dinner a mad rush right before serving.
No matter how much I got done, mashing and whipping those mashed potatoes took all my muscle and attention.
But did you know there’s an easier short cut, a do-ahead that doesn’t involve reheating or using a slow cooker at all?
Hold them over a double boiler. Press a sheet of parchment paper over the surface to prevent it from drying out. You can even set the pot aside if you need to borrow the burner and the potatoes will stay piping hot from the hot water.
Simple, right? And no special apparatus is requires to ensure that your mashed potatoes are ready to serve.
I like to make them within about an hour of serving and before I make the gravy while the turkey rests.
Now, there are many ways to get your potatoes from boiled to mashed. Each has its own pros and cons.
- There’s the hand masher, which leaves you with some lumps.
- The stand mixer with the whisk attachment eases the task
- The food processor produces a very smooth mash but can turn them gummy
- The food mill or ricer are less work than hand mashing with smoother results.
At our house, the ricer is the winner for producing the fluffiest mashed potatoes. But it’s a workout! Like a giant garlic press, it extrudes the potato through small holes, yielding a very smooth and uniform mash.
Add the butter, warmed cream and salt and pepper to taste, then taste again. And maybe once more. Are they just right? Yes, they are, cloud like bites of pure potato heaven.
Bring on the gravy.
What’s your favorite method for making the best mashed potatoes? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.