I'm embarrassed to admit this, but here goes...I love gummy potatoes. Those wonderful gummy potatoes that come from the overzealous mashing of an Irish descendant trying to feed a family of 10 (as my grammy did) or an overzealous Chicago resident with a new KitchenAid mixer. When I eat potatoes with that distinctive gumminess of either one who knows my heritage or one who knows my inexperience with my KitchenAid (I say inexperience because I want to excuse my overprocessing of my wonderful potatoes...blush) and wishes to make me feel all warm inside, I am willing to abdicate any property I may have and permanently move in with the "offending" party.
I know there are french style potatoes that rely on gumminess for their wonderful unctuousness (see America's Test Kitchen--my heart would never recover from that! I need no cheese with my gummy potatoes) but it is amazing how I will dismiss and disdain all other food products for that which my heart has always belonged...the sticky and gummy mashed potato.
I apologize if this has been posted before, but everyone alway tries to get their potatoes fluffy and all I want...well, all I want is a potato that reminds me of the Elmer's glue I loved back in kindergarten.
Am I alone in this? Should I be ashamed? Hell no! My grammy made fab gummy Irish potatoes!
My own sainted Irish mother became a Registered Dietician during WWII, and although she was a farm girl's daughter she heartily embraced serving up potato flakes made with margarine long after any war shortages. Early on, we'd have real mashed potatoes with butter for a Thanksgiving or Christmas treat but one sad day in the late 60s Mom not only abandoned that tradition (along with the family silver and china in favor of plastic and paper) but served turkey loaf for Thanksgiving dinner.
That day my inner food purist birthed, and although I was in elementary school at the time I vowed to prepare our (real) holiday spuds myself from that day forward . Mom taught me how and – heck, yeah! -- I made us some gummy potatoes. We could have papered walls, sealed cracks in the foundation, or built an emergency bomb shelter with that paste. We lapped it up, with plenty of milk to wash it down.
I had no electric mixer when I moved out on my own so I tried a using a fork to mash potatoes. Jesus, Mary and Joseph! My spud taste buds were jazzed at last -- potatoes can melt in the mouth, rather than stick to the roof of it – imagine that!
After years of fiendish Irish experimentation, my preferred method now is simply to rice spuds right onto the plate with a well for butter or gravy, a sprinkle of salt and a boatload of pepper. I mash them with the butter or gravy by each forkful. Heck, yeah! Fluffy, not stuffy. [What ad did that come from, I wonder?]
Mom is 88 now and after a long fortunate run, she's wearing down. My sainted Irish father prides us all by giving her excellent care after years of being on the receiving end. His ability and determination to learn to cook at an advanced age would make any Chowhound proud.
I live four states away and when I go “home” I like to shop (Dad hates shopping, I adore the grocery store) and to cook for the two of them, making and freezing enough for weeks. The big hit last time? Meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Sure, I initially mashed real spuds (with a potato masher, and with margarine -- no ricer or butter in their household!) but – guess what? -- to go with the meatloaf left over after I was gone I bought potato flakes, and Dad was more than pleased. I used up every potato in the house to make those real mashers, and glad Dad was to be rid of them at last. Even a retired Irish mechanical engineer tires of potato mechanics, I guess. I consider it a labor of love.
Sorry to wax poetic over potatoes so very long – obviously it evokes ancestral memories. But getting back to the OP – I'd love to have Mom make us those good gummy spuds again.
IrishPotato, didn't you mean you prefer your MASHED spuds to be the consistency of Elmer's PASTE rather than glue? Elmers glue is more like what the KitchenAid's produce [whipped, fluffy potatoes].......as opposed to dense, heavy, float your nob of butter in, substantial, I've had potatoes, MASHED potatoes which a good old fashioned hand held potato masher produces. As you can see, by my biased description, I am in total agreement with the latter, like you! Potatoes are either whipped or mashed.....it's that simple. Add a few lumps, and I'm in heaven!
Now pardon me, but if you are "IrishPotato", then my husband would be "MasterO'Spud"........since his parents had 16 wee ones. He tells me his mother used a ricer until she had enough years of that and switched to a Sunbeam! So there's another wrench in the mix! My Mom [former farm girl] interchanged her tools for the type of potato she wanted to achieve: mixer for fluffy, company's coming potatoes, or hand masher for family meals [which I prefer]. I think, like my Mom, that there is indeed room for both. To me it's just a matter of your preference and what they're being served with.
Hey, at least your potato memories were of real ones. For years my mom tried to foist off that ersatz crap in box, as real potatoes. In a way I could see her point. It was easier to lug a large one pound box 6 blocks from the grocery store, that it was to schlep a 10 pound sack of potatoes. Still, It was a sinful thing for an Irish family. I let her know just that one night. I looked up from my plate with a mouthful of her sinful mash, looked her straight in the eye and said, “You need to go to Confession.” And so endeth the lesson…. And the ersatz potatoes.
To each its own.
As long as YOU like it, then it's all good. Gummy all the way!
For example, I like my bananas really ripe. Don't like them green, or even just regular ripe. Has to be almost brown all the way around. I know most people will consider that the fruit equivalent of "baby food" but you know what? It suits me just fine.
Cheers and enjoy your gummy potatoes in peace.