Monday, January 11, 2016

My potatoes are "going" faster than I'd planned

Sunday lunch of mashed potatoes topped with a meatball and veggie gravy

I live such an exciting life. What was it? New York, Rome or Paris this weekend?

Oh, yes. Saturday afternoon found me in my kitchen, peeling almost 10 pounds of potatoes, after finding a couple of potatoes going moldy in one bag.

So I peeled, cooked and mashed a huge pot full, yielding 5 quarts of mashed potatoes. I've frozen most of these, to use later. The rest we had for Sunday's lunch (topped with a mushroom, vegetable and beefy gravy), and again today, topped with Cheddar and packed in some of the lunches.

I have 40 pounds remaining, of my 100-pound purchase. About 15 pounds of those look like they need cooking soon. The other 25 should keep for a while longer in the fridge.

As I peeled and peeled and peeled, I consoled myself with the thought that I was actually doing something very productive. I now have several containers of mashed potatoes, ready and waiting for thrown-together, quick dinners.

As my freezer has emptied of my stockpile of ingredients, I have filled the empty spots with ready-made entrees and sides. Having these ready-made items will afford me more spare time, in the late afternoons for some projects and crafts. That's worth spending a Saturday afternoon peeling potatoes.


Frozen, the thawed, mashed potatoes need some beating to get their texture back. I'll typically reheat in the microwave, then beat with the mixer, or use the masher, and add more milk, butter, and/or cheese or cream cheese. They're then perfect for a side dish or topping a Shepherd's Pie.


21 comments:

  1. Storing potatoes in the fridge is supposed to turn more of the starches into sugars and change the taste and texture. Do you notice that? Or after adding butter, milk, and cream cheese, you don't notice so much?

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    1. Hi live and learn,
      they do taste sweeter after a period in the fridge. One of my daughters actually prefers them that way.. But, as you say, after adding milk, cheese, salt and butter, it's not as noticeable.

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  2. I don't have room in any fridges. I put the potatoes on cardboard on my basement floor or on a wooden shelf off the floor. I do find that potatoes can sometimes turn quickly if they have a couple " turning" or if they get at all damp.
    I purchased 200 pounds of yams in October 2014. They were kept in similar ways but not touching, only now are they starting to put out little sprouts and a couple self imploded. Yech.
    I was able to get 20 pounds for $3.98 but limit 1. before Christmas.

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    1. The potatoes were $3.98 and I have about a dozen yams still.

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    2. Hi Teresa,
      That sounds like a good set-up that you have for potatoes/yams.
      I think dampness might have played a part, with my potatoes. The potatoes in the bags were a bit damp when I bought them. But also, they began sprouting about a month sooner than I'd thought they would. Oh well, I'm making use of them still.

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  3. Lili--

    I have done a lot of the things recommended for storing potatoes long-term, but have had very, very poor results. Seems like mine always go bad one way or another pretty quickly. I'm not altogether sure that part of the problem isn't how they're being stored before we get them, but that's another story.

    So, when I buy a bag for a specific meal, I usually plan to either bake whole, or cube and boil, all the rest within a week or so; and then I freeze them. No waste and no peeling.

    Either way, they'll fry up for breakfast potatoes, or can be thrown into soup or other dishes like that. The boiled ones can also be thawed out and mashed, because we like potato skin. Like you, I'm always looking for ways to keep from "losing" food I invested in.

    Your pictured dish looked delightful. Making me hungry this morning. :) Sara

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    1. Whoops... I cube the baked potatoes when they're done, so either way I have all cubed potatoes. I guess I didn't make that clear, did I? Sara

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    2. Hi Sara,
      I usually have another month before anything happens with the potatoes, here. So this really caught me by surprise. But I'm doing my best to save them, now.
      It sounds like you have a good plan for potatoes in your kitchen.

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  4. Yesterday, we ate freezer meals... bean burritos, pizza, toast, even frozen plain rice which we borrowed from my dad's freezer. Boy how we missed our plain sticky rice lol. We bought cases of short dated almond milk on clearance from our neighborhood market before we left and froze those too, so we didn't have to make any quick stops to the grocery store. Fruits, I still have a few chunks of frozen papaya and some tangerines from our daughter's tree. Frozen veggies, no problem there. Our kitchen meal planning will revolve around the freezer, as we buy in bulk at clearance prices. Anytime we make additions to the freezer, I know this means significant savings in time and money, just hope the power doesn't fail. One of our favorite kitchen chores is freezer bulk cooking, turn up Spotify and listen to Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits or the Beatles. Today, we are going to make a few pizzas to restock the freezer. All of the ingredients are from the freezer too.


    YHF

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    1. Dire Straits, YHF? A favorite here, too. Who knew?! :) Sara

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    2. Hi YHF,
      It sounds like your freezer will keep you well-fed for a while, yet. I think about power outages, myself. So far, we've never had any long-lasting outages, in my area, but it could happen.

      Good music does make the work pass faster, doesn't it?! I'll do the same thing in my kitchen, to help the work seem to go faster.

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    3. Neil Young and George Harrison...but love Mark's guitar playing the best, and his song writing. He writes his songs like a short story having studied and taught English literature if I understand correctly. The songs weave a slow start and reach a climax. And his subject matters are oxymoronish quirks that tickle my soul. I tell my husband that I hope to create my craft in Mark Knopfler style, knopfler with a K, boom like that lo

      Sara...wow how neat!! :)

      YHF

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    4. That last word in second to the last paragraph should be "now" lol, as how some of his lines end.

      Lili, sounds like you have some projects in mind already. Hope to read about them soon.

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    5. Boom, like that!

      LOL Sara

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  5. Isn't it frustrating when potatoes (or onions) start to "go" faster than you thought they would? Good for you for going to the work necessary to save them. I don't typically buy russets from our Aldi store--they are cheaper but I have a lot more problems with them and it's worth it to me to spend a little more money on potatoes that last longer so I don't have to worry about them going bad before I notice.

    Speaking of which ... I might do a baked potato bar for supper. We hosted dinner for my son's youth group last week and have leftover cheese sauce ... I think if I see another nacho, I'll scream ... potatoes would work, though! And be easy! I recently read that you can cook them in your crockpot--I'll look that up and get on it! :)

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    1. Hi Kris,
      I've read that too, about crockpotting whole potatoes. I hope they turn out well!

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  6. Yum, potatoes, I just love them. I don't store potatoes anymore either since they don't store well for me either. Dad does store them but not a ton. He does well with onions and carrots also. I just buy potatoes by the 5 or 10 lb. bag as needed since we don't eat them often. Hubby thinks they are not so good so we eat them in moderation. I did have a baked potato for lunch yesterday and it was so good. But your picture above looks so good!

    Alice

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    1. Hi Alice,
      Yeah, if potatoes just don't store well, then it doesn't make sense to stockpile them. So I think you're making the right move with only buying 5 or 10-lb bags at a time. And the bonus is that every time you reach into a bag of potatoes, you will pull out a nice, firm, non-sprouting or greening potato.

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  7. OK... I've really got to find an excuse to make mashed potatoes soon because that looks absolutely mouthwatering!

    One of my favorite things to do with leftover mashed potatoes is to make white chili. The recipe varies depending on what I have on hand, but you use white beans, season with cumin, oregano & green chilies. Maybe toss in some chicken, sweet red peppers or corn if you have it, but leftover mashed potatoes seem to be the ingredient that really makes the dish!

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    1. mashed potatoes to white chicken chili? Wow! I am going to try that for sure!

      Alice

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    2. Hi Cat,
      I have never made white chili, but it does sound delicious. I'll put that on my list to try soon (need to buy the white beans). Thank you for the suggestion!

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