My favorite part of the holidays was teaching my mom to make mashed potatoes. Basically, it all went down like this:
I walk into my parents' kitchen on Christmas Day, mug of wine in one hand and the half-empty bottle in the other hand because, you know, it's Christmas Day and my whole extended family will be there soon. I'd made moussaka, which means Greek Potatoes Au Gratin from what I can tell, as well as an orange bundt cake shaped like a ring of trees, which I had to cover in chocolate ganache because the trees came out of the pan all fucked up. So I'm fussing with those things and my wine on one side of the kitchen when I hear my husband insisting that he take over the potato mashing on account of my mom just had back surgery and isn't supposed to be mashing potatoes. I turn around and can NOT believe what I'm seeing. I practically die.
My mom is mashing potatoes by hand.
Now - I was lucky enough to receive a beast of a stand mixer for Christmas several years ago. One of those Kitchen Aid deals that everyone else gets from their mothers for getting married, but that I got for Christmas because I didn't bother with a wedding and my mom didn't stop being mad about it until Christmas three years later when she was all like okay, well, I guess you still haven't bought one yourself. My mom, by the way, has one too and it was sitting right there on the kitchen counter, right next to that giant pot of potatoes she was manually mashing. And everyone knows that a stand mixer is the best way to mash potatoes. Right?
No. So I'm all like "WHAT are you DOING? Throw that thing away. Throw it right away."
I don't think she actually threw the potato masher away, but she did let me take over the potatoes. I scooped them into the mixer bowl, put in the paddle attachment and let the mixer do all that silly work. I mean really.
So come the day after Christmas, and a 50-pound box of russet potatoes appears in my kitchen. The husband's father had made a trip up north to see his sister, and something something something ended up with said box of potatoes. I don't know. And I mean sure, I could have maybe left them on the floor of the pantry, hoping it was dark enough in there that they didn't go all funky on me. But every time I opened the door I would have seen them sitting there, demanding my attention as only a 50 pound box of one kind of food can do. So I just decided to deal with them all at once. Which brings me to the whole point of this - frozen mashed potatoes reheat majestically. This is how you freeze them in the first place:
Step 1: Boil your potatoes. I'm going to assume you know how to do this. I didn't come here to teach you how to boil potatoes.
Step 2: Mash your boiled potatoes. In your stand mixer, for the love of God. Okay, okay - an immersion blender will also work if you don't have a stand mixer. If you don't have a stand mixer or an immersion blender, I'd urge you not to try to mash 50 pounds of potatoes. Anyway, add whatever you want to the potatoes here. I just add water and salt, but knock yourselves out. My mom got so excited when she saw that paddle attachment whipping through her potatoes that she threw in milk, butter, sour cream AND cream cheese. You really don't have to do all that. You want them to still be potatoes.
Step 3: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using an ice cream scoop or even your clean hands, scoop balls of the mashed potatoes onto the baking sheet. Keep a bit of space in between them - you'll want to be able to pick them up individually.
Step 4: Flash-freeze them by putting the baking sheet, unwrapped, in the freezer. Leave them there for a few hours, until you can pick up the balls of potatoes.
Step 5: Put the balls into a gallon-sized plastic freezer bag. Write the date on that white bit on the front. That's why it's there, and that's also why you bought that rainbow pack of sharpies from Costco that you never use.
Step 6: Continue steps 3-5 for several days, because you have 50 pounds of mashed potatoes and it will take that long.