I thought I was dying from starvation as I sighed and squirmed on the church pew. I had only picked at my scrambled eggs and taken a few bites of toast at breakfast. Mother had hidden a vitamin under the eggs that rendered them inedible. Did she think I wouldn’t notice the bitter pinkish pill dissolving under my eggs? We struggled over the vitamin issue many mornings and this was her latest strategy. I would swallow it without noticing. Ha! Not likely.
My mind began to fantasize of a room filled with my favorite foods. It settled on mashed potatoes; beautiful, creamy, fluffy piles of potatoes, rich with butter and milk; seasoned perfectly with salt and pepper. I could dig into that luscious warm comfort with a spoon and eat to my heart’s content. I could taste that smooth texture and smell their hearty aroma. My salivary glands were starting to pump. I wondered if that had ever happened. Could a king or queen have an army of cooks peeling, dicing, mashing, and whipping up a mountain of dreamy mashed potatoes to indulge a whim of the appetite.
Considering my potato famine ancestors haled from County Limerick, Ireland, it’s no wonder mashed potatoes were my idea of haute cuisine as a youngster. Their potatoes, where boiled or in a mutton stew. Butter, hot milk and a potato ricer, where, likely beyond their means back then.
There aren’t many foods that satisfy like the humble potato. Even Julia Child announced a baked potato with butter her favorite food. Mashed potatoes are about as good as mother’s milk.