Mashed potatoes have been a comfort food for many of us, and I especially like them if made from fresh potatoes rather than instant ones. Add some real butter and homemade gravy and I could call it a meal.
For years, I didn’t give much thought to other mashed veggies, until one Thanksgiving my mother-in-law served mashed rutabagas. I loved it and couldn’t get enough of it. I know it sounds weird, but I even had some for breakfast the next morning. (My family wouldn't think it’s too weird because they know I have never been one to prefer traditional breakfast food.)
Mashed root vegetables fit right in with most holiday meals, but you can, of course, include them at any time of year, even for your everyday meals. Enjoy your food, your friends and your family, and I wish you all many blessings. Thanks for being my kitchen pals.
3 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup whole milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. In a large pot, place potatoes. Add salted water to cover the potatoes, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain the liquid out of the pot and remove from heat.
2. With a potato masher, mash the potatoes very well then add the butter and milk. Adjust amount of milk so you get the texture you prefer. Continue to mash ingredients, season with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.
2 rutabagas, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Dash freshly grated nutmeg (or store-bought ground nutmeg)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add rutabagas and cook until they are fork-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Drain and mash rutabagas with large fork or potato masher. Add the milk, buttermilk, vinegar and nutmeg and continue mashing. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.
Mashed sweet potatoes with brown sugar and pecans
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
5 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (sometimes called yams), peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
4 large eggs
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
1. Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, pecans and butter. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.
2. Butter a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish. In a large pot of salted water, cook sweet potatoes until they are very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well.
3. Puree sweet potatoes in a food processor. In a large bowl, beat eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon juice and salt. Add pureed sweet potatoes and blend well. Transfer potato mixture to prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the reserved pecan topping evenly over the top.
4. Bake in preheated oven until mixture is set and topping is bubbly, about 1 hour. Let stand about 15 minutes before serving. Makes 12 to 14 servings.
Four root medley
1 large rutabaga, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
3 medium turnips, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 medium carrots, scraped and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1. In a large saucepan, place rutabagas, turnips, parsnips and carrots in enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook vegetables until they are tender, about 40 minutes.
2. Drain vegetables, then mash and turn into large bowl. Add the milk, butter, salt, pepper and sugar, mixing well. Makes 10 servings.