Friday, November 28, 2008

In Which I Am Thankful and Also Make the World's Worst Mashed Potatoes

Happy Thanksgiving (belatedly)!

What are you thankful for today? I'm thankful...

...that I'm not a vegetarian.
...for pajamas.
...for a day when I don't have to wear a bra.
...for pumpkin pie.
...for Thanksgiving Day parades.
...for freedom.
...that Mr. Peevie has a job.
...for elastic-waist pants.
...for presents.
...for mental health professionals.
...for good story-tellers.
...for forgiveness.

In other news, I totally ruined the mashed potatoes this year. It's like they were cursed or something.

I had asked Mr. Peevie what he'd like to see on the Thanksgiving Day menu, and he made only one request: the hugest mountain of mashed potatoes ever seen by man. So the big day comes, and I start cooking. I pop my bird in the oven using this recipe. It turned out fabulous, BTW.

But the bird was done about an hour before I expected it to be done, and I was caught with my mashed potatoes down, so to speak. I quickly quartered a bunch of white new potatoes, skin on, and briefly debated with myself whether I had time to boil them on the stove.

The microwave won. Quick and simple, or so I thought. I pulled them out after three minutes, but they were still hard. Two more minutes later and they barely winced when I poked them with a fork. Three more minutes. By this time, I was thinking, I could have had them boiling away on the stove--but you know what they say about hindsight. It's for whiners.

Finally, they're ready to be mashed. Or so I thought. I dumped some sour cream on them and started squishing with my hand masher thingie--but they refused to submit. I can't get the right angle, I thought to myself, so I dumped them into a different bowl and tried again. This time, the bowl was too shallow and they squirted away when I pressed down with the masher.

The beaters! I'll try the electric portable beaters, I thought. When I started mixing, the electric blades started flinging potato chunks all over the kitchen. I got out still another bowl, and tried again. The beaters chased the tough little clods around the bowl without leaving a mark. These spuds were determined not to become mashed potatoes.

Maybe they're just not soft enough yet, I thought stubbornly. Back into the microwave they went, and I decided that I just wouldn't think about what microwaving would do to the sour cream that had already turned soupy on the hot, hard gobs of potato. Two minutes should do it, I estimated.

I pulled them out, and they seemed to be in a more cooperative mood. I went back to the hand masher and started pounding and hollering, "DIE, SUCKERS! MASH! MASH!"--but to no avail. They remained chunky and hard, but by now there was also a layer of paste that had formed in the bowl from all the attempted mashing.

C. Peevie strolled into the kitchen, and offered to give it a try. He pounded until his bicep was sore, and made a tiny bit of progress. I looked into the bowl and saw what looked like chunks of quartz sitting in a sticky pool of paper mache. I gave up.

I served those damn potatoes anyway, and they were just as horrible as they looked: pasty and gluey, with rock-hard chunks. My poor family. They were so sweet and kind to me--they said things like, "That's OK, Mom; they don't taste too bad. Remember that macaroni and cheese that you made on Monday? Now THAT was bad."

Even Mr. Peevie, who doesn't ask for much, was incredibly gracious. "It's OK, honey," he told me. "Everything else is really, really delicious." And it was. In fact, I think the mashed potatoes were so bad that they made everything else taste even better--so in a weird way, I'm thankful for ruined mashed potatoes.

7 comments:

jenbabe said...

well, then........... I think M. Peevie deserves a dinner of mashed potatoes, gravy with a side of not much! Happy Thanksgiving!

Meg said...

Laughing here about the kids' Monday macaroni comment!

Mark said...

I'm visualizing this occasion and laughing so hard tears are streaming down my face. Kelly will have to tell you about her kitchen episode in which she exploded a bowl of rice while it was on the stove since apparently the bowl was not safe for cooking. The glass bits were the size of the rice and covered the kitchen countertops, floor, cabinets and basically all kitchen surfaces. 3 weeks later we are still finding remains of that cooking adventure.

E. Peevie said...

Jenbabe--did you mean M. Peevie, or Mr. Peevie? Because M. Peevie actually asked me to save the potatoes because she liked them.

And Mr. Peevie could make an entire meal of mashed potatoes and gravy, and be perfectly happy. As long as the MPs are my normal high-quality MPs.

E. Peevie said...

Meg--I have to agree with them about the mac and cheese. I tried a new recipe for creamy mac and cheese, and had an extremely unfortunate result. The odd thing is, the recipe had gotten about 150 excellent ratings on Allrecipes.com, and was featured in USA Weekend. It kind of had the flavor of paper and glue, only not as tasty.

Mark--I'm glad to bring you some enjoyment from my hardships. And I'm glad I'm not alone.

jenbabe said...

JRO: Yeah, I certainly did mean to write about the Mister. Did I ever tell you about my little misses' gravy dream? It was 5 years ago and we are still laughing about it!

E. Peevie said...

J. Ro--I want to hear the gravy story so bad!