freezing mashed potatoes
There are only two of us, and my husband will not eat instant potatoes. So I make a 5 lb. bag of potatoes at once and have great success freezing them. I always use a yellow potato and I am careful not to make them too runny or liquidy - for 5 lbs of potatoes, I use 1 stick of butter and start with about a half cup of whole milk, adding a bit more as necessary. Although I put a little salt in the water while cooking the potatoes, I don't add any more salt to the potatoes while mashing - it will draw out the water so season them later. I mash them by hand, and leave them a little lumpy so that the potatoes don't break down too much. After dinner, when the potatoes have cooled, I spoon them into gallon size zip lock freezer bags and press them down so that they are flat and no more than a 1/2 inch thick. I press out all the air, and make sure the potatoes fill the bag. They store in the refrigerator great this way - you can stack them and they don't take much room at all. When I am ready to use them, I can break off the frozen potatoes without thawing them - that's why you press them down flat - (depending on appetite, half to 2/3 of a bag is enough for 2 people) and defrost and reheat them in the microwave on HALF POWER, 2-3 minutes at a time, stirring and breaking them up as necessary until they are ready to eat. If they look too liquidy, let them sit a minute, then heat again on full power for about a minute. I have served these potatoes to company and no one ever knows that they had been frozen.
I must say that "store bought-en" instant mashed potatoes are flaky in the other meaning. Nasty to say the least if anyone ever had its alternative.
I just wish commercial outfits like, Basic American Foods, would release smaller packaging of their varieties of Instant Mashed Potato Pearls (IMPP) for retail sale. Now those are far superior to the flaky gunk, and very few people would notice the difference.
My Sister about fell out of her chair when her better half husband, complemented me for going the extra mile in getting the mashed potatoes like his grandmother made. His mom almost shed a tear in agreement. Earlier my sis made a comment no one would not eat IMPP no matter how much doctoring I would do to them. She also thought 2 gallons of IMPP was overkill for the in-laws, and I was expecting some leftovers but, NO they were gone!
(Pricing hint 12 packets roughly $60 a case (min. purchase) makes it $5 per gallon, however the mix adds in about 3 cups.)
I will admit that I love the real thing. But for 2, a pouch that makes about a quart or 2, would be real nice.