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Disaster narrowly averted

January 14th, 2010

Earlier this evening I was making mashed potato as I am sometimes known to do. After boiling the potato until ripe and tender I prepared the items for the next stage: milk, salt, pepper, and the all important masher. What else? Butter, of course! The most vital ingredient. No butter in the butter hopper. Hmm. More butter must be fetched from the fridge and placed in the hopper! THERE IS NO BUTTER IN THE FRIDGE!!! Woe! Misery! I am struck with a feeling of utter desolation.

After picking myself up off the floor and calming my trembling nerves with a cool glass of milk I consider carefully what must be done. Evidently the process cannot proceed in the established “butter cloud” fashion. I could spend the night in hunger repenting that I forgot to stock up on butter at Tesco. Instead I decide to make an alarming new addition to my mashed potato recipe – after all, it couldn’t get much worse. The new ingredient: MUSTARD! I added two teaspoons of English mustard and proceeded as normal.

Results were unexpectedly good! The mustard adds a nice mustardy flavour which goes well with sausages and helps to disguise the lack of butter flavour. I may have to consider adding a little mustard more regularly. The yellow mustard colour also gives the potato a rather appealing garish yellow hue which certainly brightened up my dinner.

So, all things considered, it could have ended much worse. Still, as renowned pizza oven once remarked, “a little bit of butter makes it good!”.

Rationing my mince pie consumption

December 5th, 2009

In previous years I’ve had problems with excessive mince pie consumption over the Christmas period. So this year I am limiting myself to just twelve (12) mince pies (ones bought by myself that is, there is no limit to the mice pies I may consume when offered by other people – don’t want to appear rude!). I am recording it here so it is public knowledge and as a reminder to myself.

Tesco have a by-one-get-one-free offer on packs of Mr Kipling mince pies at the moment, BTW.

Mashed potato success

September 30th, 2009

Today I made my best mashed potato yet, so I thought I should document it here. Unfortunately, for the first time I think I made too little. Maybe this had something to do with it.

Anyway, I used Tesco organic white potatoes (on offer at 75p per kg). I used vast quantities of butter: a much larger ratio of butter to potato than normal, but only a small amount of milk. Healthy amounts of salt and pepper were also added. Spudski kartoffelstampfer was the mashing implement. Can’t be sure whether it was the excess butter or different potatoes that made the difference; but large butter quantities have been extensively explored before, usually when the blodgett is present…

Further experimentation required.

Spudski Kartoffelstampfer

August 25th, 2009

I have a new potato masher! Received as present from my mum. It is Spudski Kartoffelstampfer. Here it is:


First impressions are good: the handle is soft and comfortable to grip; the shaft is longer than most mashers giving good leverage against the potato. It’s plastic so it won’t scrape away the pan, but feels more robust than most plastic mashers I’ve used. The intricate webbing on the foot of the masher apparently helps to push potato away from the masher instead of sucking it up through the holes, thus improving the efficiency of the mashing process. Nick is doubtful that such advanced mashing technology is within the reach of modern science, but I will investigate these claims the next time I make mash potato.

The packaging gives some overview of the process used to produce the Spudski Kartoffelstampfer. The “spudski” part, I believe, comes from the apparent similarity to a skiing pole.


Obviously the only reliable way to evaluate a potato masher is to use it to mash potato. I will therefore update this review after I have practical experience with it.

UPDATE: mashing was good! Effective but quite difficult to clean afterwards – potato gets stuck in the little holes. I’ve decided I’m not so keen on the mash produced from Maris Piper potatoes despite the recommendation of the British Potato Council for their suitability for this purpose. Expect a detailed survey of potatoes on this blog in the next few months.