Years ago, I had my own place. It was the first time I didn’t have a mother, father, brother or roommate that would cook for me. I was what you would call spoiled! My Mom or Dad always cooked when I lived at home and if they went away for the weekend, my brother loved to cook so I was well fed even when the folks were away. My Mom even brought me dinners when I worked at the convenience store down the road. I am fortunate to have so many great people in my life.My brother catered to me so much that I could call him from my room (we had two phone lines) if I had friends over and he would bring us snacks right to my bedroom door!!! I had it made in the shade (it’s amazing I ever decided to move out!)
But I had dreams of college and independence so I trekked out on my own- but with a roommate that loved to cook. (So maybe I wasn’t quite ready to spread my full independent wings.) During this period of my life, I did very little cooking. Most of it was quick from a can or the frozen pre-cooked kind where you only had to turn on the oven. That I knew how to do!
But then a job opportunity came up where I could move closer to home but by this time I had acquired too much of my own things and was too used to living on my own to live back with my parents so I decided to get my own place.That’s when I decided to start experimenting with actual cooking. Wanting to show off my fab skills, I invited my glorious chef of a brother over for dinner. The meal was pretty simple, chicken and mashed potatoes. The chicken wasn’t an issue, I was used to making that and all I had to do was leave it in the pan until it was no longer pink. At that point I didn’t really own spices and even if I did I wouldn’t have known what went well together.
But then there was the mashed potatoes. I was lacking in the cooking tools department so I didn’t own a potato masher. I was a problem-solver though so I thought there was a way around this. I thought about it for a bit and then decided that the closest thing I had was my blender. If I just hit the button a couple of times it would be just like the elbow grease of using a potato masher. Feeling pretty confident this would work, I poured the potatoes into the blender, added the butter and milk and I started to hit the blender button. I removed the lid when I was satisfied all the lumps were out. (My brother makes the best mashed potatoes, never any lumps!)To my dismay, my perfectly boiled potatoes that were steps away from perfect mashed potatoes had turned into the consistency of glue! A little defeated, but I looked at the upside that I may have invented a substitution for glue if I was ever really stuck. Okay so it was a stretch but with my brother arriving any minute I had to give myself some hope that I wasn’t a total potato maker failure and that something good came out of it.
Then my brother arrived I walked him over to my blender with my potato massacre in all its glory. It was thick, gooey and sticky- Glue Company’s everywhere eat your heart out!
Taking a breath in between laughs he asked me “Why didn’t you just use a fork?”
Since then, I have had very many successful mashed potato nights with the use of a proper potato masher and now I know if I don't have one that I can use a fork. There is truth behind the saying “You’re only as good as your tools,” but I also know that you don’t have to have the exact tool you need to make things work- but it definitely helps.
My blender has never since touched a potato.