Trashed Potatoes

Last night's dinner menu consisted of homemade fried chicken, garden-fresh sliced tomatoes, and ... instant potatoes. Don't judge me - I've got three little kids hampering my culinary genius. And besides, I actually like instant potatoes; I'm not one of those potato snobs that turns up her nose at boxed spuds. It's magical, really, the way those little flakes meld together into a concoction of creaminess.

Okay, so that may be stretching it, but you get the picture - I'm cool with instant potatoes. And last night, this particular variety was supposed to provide the perfect compliment to my fried chicken.

Mmm, generic Target brand.

Sometimes, though, even instant convenience foods prove too much for a harried mom of three small and demanding children. I'd gotten the rest of the meal done when Coby (our newborn, in case you're out of the loop) decided he MUST. BE. FED. NOOOOOOOW. Luckily, Curtis had just come home from work, so I handed the duty over to him. Easy, huh? Make the mashed potatoes. Simple, yes? Read the directions on the box. Piece of cake, right? It's not like I asked him to fry the chicken.

But Curtis - poor, ramen-noodle-making, non-direction-reading Curtis - had a bit of trouble. Which is why the first words out of Colin's mouth when presented with his plate were, "Why do my mashed potatoes look like a sponge?"

It's true. They were actually spongy. And stick-to-the-fork stiff.

mashed potatoesBoth Colin and Cameron spent the entire meal so fascinated by the moldable properties of the potatoes that they neglected to eat anything. Seriously - it was as if we had plopped a mound of Play-Doh onto their plates and were all, "Here kids, don't worry about eating, just play!" After a while, we gave up and let them leave the table with their dinners largely untouched.

(It was mostly because we wanted to play with the potatoes ourselves.)

I made this breathtaking sculpture of modern art:

... and then sacrificed it in the name of showing everyone how, um, sturdy these potatoes really were:

And if you're still not convinced of the dough-like properties of these not-so-tasty taters, check out the perfect imprint of my lips:

That's a kiss for you, Honey. I know you meant well. But next time ... we'll just do without the potatoes.


  1. LOL! This is just too funny!

    I don't knock the instant potatoes either. Instant mashed potatoes got me through all three pregnancies. I had morning sickness all nine months (and all day, too--grrrr). Instant mashed potatoes are super fast to whip up (no pun intended)--add water and eat. They are as bland as soda crackers if you don't add anything to them, and, unlike soda crackers, if you ended up heaving, you at least were not heaving chunks. Yeah, I know, nice vision there. But, seriously, throwing up soda crackers hurt more than throwing up instant mashed potatoes. They have become a staple for when we get sick with the flu, too.

    Otherwise, I make my mashed potatoes from scratch--adding butter, sour cream or heavy cream, cheddar cheese, garlic, scallions, and bacon. Yup, all of 'em. Our family name for them is "Artery-Clogging Mashed Potatoes." We only have them at holidays so we can eat them guilt-free.

  2. LOL, my now adult children have always loved instant potatoes (thanks to Darren's mom who believes everything should be instant). I happen to be okay with them but would like an occasional homemade pot too. Nope, they don't like them, don't want to eat them! But they both can make the instant kind themselves

  3. hahahaha Well, in defense of your hubby, my hubby graduated from culinary school and he ALWAYS messes up the boxed stuff. The easier the directions, the worse it tastes and looks!

  4. Wow. Those are some stiff potatoes. I DO NOT like target brands of food. Generic or otherwise. They have a signature brand that I can't remember and the marketing looks good, but most things I've tried taste terrible.

  5. I love instant mashed potatoes too and only by the store brand. :)

    And the art-work is stunning. My hubby always goes the opposite direction and the potatoes are more like potato soup.

  6. First I am impressed that with a new born you made fried chicken and didn't just get the take-out version. You need an award just for that.

    And now onto those potatoes.... LOL, awesome!

  7. Instant mashed potatoes are my secret vice. I don't tell ANYONE about it. Now I know that I can play with them, I may come out of the closet and admit it, "My name is Nan I love instant mashed potatoes." I'm getting help, just not quickly!!

  8. I have found adding sour cream really helps!
    Pictures fo the Cody would make our day!! Hint hint!

  9. LOL, yeah instant potatoes are good too. I tried it before but usually my family and I eat them homemade.

    Which brand of instant mashed potatoes do you recommend?

    from SITS :D

  10. Hehe....a newborn baby and you have time to play? You're obviously doing something right.
    i never knew mash could be so versatile. lol ;0)

  11. I bet you make your sandwiches into little hearts too, don't you???

  12. We always use instant potatoes here.

    I only make the real ones on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    I'm amazed that you guys are actually eating homemade food. I didn't make homemade food until Natalie was like, six months. I was too sleepy.

  13. LOL, one thing about Curtis: he's always willing to try things! How is he with boxed mac & cheese?

  14. lol..those are some serious sturdy mashed potatoes. Your man should be proud..he created a master piece without even knowing it.

  15. I thought I was alone in my mashed potato sculpture ventures...I must tell you, though, that my late mother, who abhored anything from a box, could take instant spuds, butter, pepper and evaporated milk and make the stuff taste like she'd peeled them CLUE how she did that. Thanks for the post...funny stuff.

  16. I could only get as far as you have a week old baby and you are cooking dinner for your family. Did you not read the Rule Book. No dinner making, even if you are capable, for at least two weeks. It is right after the no hanky panky for six weeks rule. You are making the rest of us look bad. Please read the Rule Book before you ruin it for all women having babies after you.

    p.s. You are a very talented artist.

  17. This made me think of the first time Mike cooked for me. He was so excited about making these "secret recipe" burritos. I barely gagged a few bites down. Ugh, they were awful.

  18. LOL Dang Curtis! At least you had some yummy fried chicken & tomatoes!

  19. If you can turn dinner into art, that's a good night! Maybe Curtis was merely trying to encourage the kids in their artistic endeavors.

  20. I absolutely LOVE it! Nice art work. We usually use instant taters at our house too, mainly because my husband loves instant more than homemade. I; however, learned how to make instant taste real. You do need name brand. Then when you boil the water, use a little bit LESS than what it's calls for so after you whip it and they are spongy, pile in the butter then add salt and pepper to taste. Oh, Hungry Jack makes some in a bag (not box) that are really good with very little touch-ups needed.

  21. YOU KILL ME!!! Those potatoes look putrid! Love the sculptures though!


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