It’s funny what people will say on social media. I find it especially humorous when I say a brief statement, link to a post, then people react to my words without clicking over to actually read the post.
Here’s what I shared on Facebook a few weeks ago:
My intent with this Facebook post was to share some ways to cut back on our time in the kitchen. To share some easy recipes to make kitchen life easier for busy families. Everyone wants to hear about this, right?
But before I knew it, people were commenting, “What’s so hard about making mashed potatoes?!” and “Sounds like someone is too lazy to do their dishes!”
Lazy. Yes, that’s definitely it.
For the record, I didn’t actually feel attacked about my mashed potatoes. The comments were barely negative and most people shared nice comments. People like to share their opinions, and sure, sometimes their words can seem to come out a little harshly. I’ve grown a thicker skin through the years. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but mashed potatoes? Naw.
One thing I learned is this: Some people truly don’t find it difficult to make mashed potatoes regularly. I think this is fantastic. Bring on the gravy.
As for me? The thought of making mashed potatoes often, during this season in my life, truly does cause me stress.
Through the years, I’ve pared back and pared back and pared back on my kitchen duties. My family eats more food than ever, and at the same time, I have less time than ever to devote to cooking and cleaning.
Making mashed potatoes truly is easy – I get that. But for me, right now, they are hard. They create more dirty dishes than I’m willing to add to my already overflowing sink. They make extra steps in putting together a meal – and seeing as we are stepping all over ourselves trying to keep up with life – they are steps I’m not able to take right now. I guess we could say that with everything else I’m juggling right now, I’m not able to also juggle a pot full of potatoes. (Go ahead though. Try and picture it.)
I can do a simple main dish along with salad and steamed veggies. That’s it, and I love it. This is easy, doable, and nourishing and doesn’t require the boiling and the mashing nor any effort on my part to keep the mixer from spraying potatoes all over my cabinets and floor. (Clean cooking is not my gift.)
Someday maybe I’ll get back on the mashed potato train. Or not. I kind of like this new “keep the meals simple and good” lifestyle. This is what Simple Meals is made of. This is why so many of us love it. (Here’s a shameless plug to say, “You should totally join Simple Meals if you haven’t already. Do that here. I’ll give you $10 off.)
I’ll save the mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. I’ll stick with baking potatoes because they are easier and less messy and more versatile.
How about you? Have you given up on mashed potatoes like I have, or are you a mashed potato champion?
I think people might not consider the amount of grown up people appetites in your family. Sure I’ll make mashed potato for me and my 11 yrs old daughter anytime, but add my husband’s appetite and/or have family over…no thank you. I can think of a better use of my time than peeling pound after pound of potatoes. Hey, some people like peeling potatoes and do dishes, others like doing laundry, and others don’t like any of it…just saying :)
Ahhhh, I am a Mashed Potato Champ for sure. For me, they are comfort food and a favorite. I use a Ricer which makes mashing very quick. It helps that I can peel potatoes like lightening! Still though, I prepare them probably around 3 times a month or so. Love your meal ideas and have tried several..thanks so much!
My family loves mashed potatoes! I probably love them the most so we have them once a week at least. I guess I’ll take the time to make them because I want them. The other times we have potatoes I don’t peel them.
It’s sure easy to fling potatoes under the guise of anonymity. Be baking powder (ironically a very efficient leaven)- rise above. ????
I absolutely agree with you that mashing potatoes takes too much time and dirties too many dishes. We don’t eat many potatoes but when we do they are baked. I do make a potatoe soup that requires the potatoes to be peeled. Since it’s my 11 year olds favourite soup she gets to peel:)
Awww they are one of my husband’s favorites! He’d be upset if I gave up on him :P To be fair though he’ll eat mashed potatoes with the skins still on so it’s not nearly as hard unless I want it to be. My daughter and I prefer it without the skins so if I’m feeling extra energetic that day I’ll peel them if not oh well. But like a previous poster pointed out you have pretty much three grown men to feed, plus another growing boy, and you just might want to eat something yourself ;) that’s a lot of food. If someone is feeding toddlers or young children they don’t eat nearly as much..Hugs we are all in different seasons, and sometimes those seasons last and that’s just life. It’s your life though not theirs.
LORD JESUS bless guide and protect you and yours
This is how my family gets mash potatoes. I peel and cut the potatoes in the morning leave them in a pot of water during the day and when it’s time I turn them on as I am getting the rest of meal ready by then there done and I used a hand mixer and mash away.
I can definitely relate to you in this area :) I love mashed potatoes, but they are a lot of work and extra dishes compared with just chopping them and throwing them into the crockpot or the pan I am already roasting chicken in ;)
I am definitely in the I like mashed potatoes, but man are they a LOT of work group, lol :) I very rarely make mashed potatoes right now because they take a lot of work (seven people in our family, on the younger side age wise, but still a lot of potatoes!). My husband and I don’t mind leaving the skins on, but the kids prefer them without. So it depends on a) how much energy I have that day (which is NONE right now considering I am almost at my due date!) b) whether I have time to let the kids peel them. :)
We roast potatoes because they go in the oven at the same time as all the other veggies.
Yep. Clearly commenters that don’t read your blog regularly! There’s all kinds of cooking/baking that are “easy” in theory. For me, I buy candied nuts. Yes, melting some sugar, adding a few spices, and tossing in nuts is super easy. But not when I have two toddlers underfoot – that “easy” can turn into a scorched pan and burnt sugar super fast.
So I give myself grace and buy Planters pre-made sugared nuts.
Salad is easy. But sometimes I go with the pre-bagged lettuce. Cutting cheese is easy. But when I”m make 10 sandwiches at once, I go for the pre-sliced stuff. Goodness. We all have to cut corners somewhere or we’d never be able to leave the kitchen!
Vickilynn Haycraft says
I make them often and I make a LOT at once. I use my 8 quart Instant Pot pressure cooker and I use organic yellow potatoes, no peeling. Just cut them, pressure them, drain them and mash them right in the same one pot. I also store any leftover mashed potatoes in that pot because it is stainless steel. The Instant Pot has changed my cooking, simplified it and streamlined it for me.
If you’re making baked potatoes then you’re making individual mashed potatoes that the individual has to mash themselves. :))) Butter, salt, cheese, sour cream…all used in mashed potatoes as well as baked….only difference is you don’t have to make the mess and the individual makes them according to their preference. So you are actually doing everyone a favor…and it helps keep one less pot out of the sink. And if you use crock pot liners to make your baked potatoes (which I LOVE, by the way) you don’t have to clean the crock pot either. Rock on, you hard working mama!
Karen Brunner says
I’ve given up on them too unless it’s a special occasion and then, I do them in the crock pot. In this situation the labor involved is peeling and cubing……which is still a stain on my time. But I do love me some mashed potatoes! The struggle is real!
Hey, if you are happy and you are feeding your family, you are doing great!!! My hubby loves mashed potatoes, but we don’t make them much because it does take more time. I love the simple ideas you share. Maybe one day I can join the simple meals. For now, I love what you share on the blog. Thank you so much. You do what is best for you and your family.
No attack intended (and granted I have a small family), but I make mashed potatoes 5lbs at a time in my crockpot. Scrub the potatoes, don’t peel (better for you anyway), crockpot for ?(4 maybe) hours with a little bit of water or chicken broth. The mash/rice in the crockpot, add milk/cream, butter, salt.
I freeze what is left over in meal-sized containers with a little milk or cream. Easier.
I even do this for Thanksgiving (i.e., make the potatoes ahead of time).
K Ann Guinn says
Exactly! I agree 100 % (with Jill above). Each of us find some chores easier and some chores harder, based on a lot of different factors. Often my hands actually break out when I peel potatoes, so I often leave that job to my husband, and don’t do it very often, often we do enjoy mashed potatoes. (I finally started looking into why that might be just this past week!)
I also feel so frustrated about people not reading or researching but yet “sharing” stuff online! So much negativity, judgement and “advice” being given carelessly.
I’m sorry for any hurt that’s been caused, Laura, but know that you are appreciated, needed and loved by so many. Ignore the rest.
So mash or don’t mash….but definitely don’t bash!!!
I quit making mashed potatoes years ago. I roast (unpeeled) or bake mine – preferably in the microwave.
I’m with many of you: No mashed taters here—life’s too short!
I can’t imagine anyone giving you grief over not making mashed potatoes…just “feed the people” as Stacy Meyers says, lol. Certainly if y’all like salad more than mashed potatoes then go for it. Its all real food! I personally would rather make mashed potatoes than a salad any day….all that peeling and chopping for a salad is so tedious to me. And I totally get the feeding big kids deal. We have 6 sons and 3 daughters. We’re down to only 3 teen boys at home, but they eat almost as much as 9 when they were all little. Bake those ‘taters and toss that salad…you go, girl!
Melinda Johnson says
I totally get it, Laura! I don’t make mashed potatoes that often either because of the mess and time. It’s so much either to throw potatoes in the toaster oven to bake. And when I do make mashed potatoes, I just wash them really well, chunk them up with the skin on, and then boil them. And if it wasn’t for you showing how easy real food is, I would feel so much more guilt for not providing gourmet meals for my kids! Meat and fruit/veg, sometimes a carb. Done! My husband and I both do not eat a lot of sugar or carbs. And there’s always chips or bread and butter or something for the kids to eat if they need more. And cookies. They get their carbs, believe me. Anyway, love ya!
I think mashed potatoes totally depends on how many people youre feeding and what you put in them and if you peel. For my family, mashed potatoes are our last minute quick side. It takes 20mins while the meat cooks. We use half cauliflower so we only chop 3-4 potatoes. We dont peel them. We also dont eat dairy, so we just pour in bone broth, evoo, and some spices. Im also a pretty clean cook so the dishes and clean are pretty minimal. BUT im not feeding 5 grown men and im a stay at home mom :) im feeding 2 adults and a 2yr old. My 2 yr old also could live on left over mashed potatoes if we let her. So thats also incentive. ;)
It’s far easier for the person who cooks at home 2 to 3 times a week to make mashed potatoes every 9 dinners than it is for someone who cooks 3 meals a day.
We’ve discovered cooking meat, and other things, in a sous vide. My husband works at home while I work out of the house. He uses the sous vide to make dinner 4 or 5 times a week. 3 to 4 hours for steak, and for chicken or fish, he can drop them in frozen when he leaves to pick out daughter up from school, come home and roast veggies, and we have dinner ready on time with minimal effort. Then we’ll eat fresh fruit after.
We’re recently on a healthier eating plan, and it wouldn’t be nearly as easy without the sous vide. I’ve even lost 20 lbs since we started, and I feel amazing! Real for ftw.
Julie G says
I also tend to make mashed potatoes infrequently due to the extra work/mess. Some of my friends have started making “crockpot mashed potatoes” and rave about them. (Chop a couple of pounds of red potatoes w/ skin still on and throw them into a greased crock pot on high for a few hours then mix in various forms of dairy deliciousness, sour cream/milk/cheese/etc, season and mash right in the pot). Have you tried this yet? This post reminded me that I wanted to try it…
Ha! I’ve given up too! Well, maybe twice a year. I’m at the opposite end of parenting from you – 4 boys under the age of 5. We like mashed potatoes well enough but I’ve found that we do just as well with baked potatoes. For me it isn’t the extra dirty dishes that I mind, but the attention. To cut, boil, mash takes more attention than I can be guaranteed to be able to give.
Baked potatoes? EASY!
I absolutely loved that post because I have been crusading against mashed potatoes for years and everyone thinks I’m crazy! Whatever the opposite of bang for your buck is is where mashed potatoes live. Everyone will ooh and ahh over your roast that took two minutes but shrug over your irrationally labor intensive potatoes!
There is (a lot) more to this rant, but no need! You get it!
I’m not great at many things in the kitchen but this mama can do mashed potatoes!!! I make the biggest batch I can, skins on if my dad or I grew the spuds. Cook till they almost mash themselves (you don’t have to cover with water bc the ones on top will steam), stir occasionally. Drain, mash, and add copious amounts of some of the following: butter, milk, cream, sour cream, salt, cream cheese, shredded cheese, homemade ranch mix (or dill and garlic powder), and crumbled bacon if you want (butter, salt, some dairy, and ranch required here). I freeze in 2-4 cup packages for my little family. Thaw in a sink of water and I think they’re best baked to reheat. That reminds me, I need to make a new batch!
My husband makes the mashed potatos :)
Mine are not that good….and I also get potato everywhere.