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Nov 18, 2013 12:52 PM

Mashed Potatoes early the day before Thanksgiving?

I am trying to avoid a group of family/women hovering over me on Thanksgiving day. Can I boil the potatoes drain, chill the night before Thanksgiving? Heat and mash up with butter and milk just prior to the dinner without creating a mess of starch? I am trying to do things early because I get overwhelmed with hungry folks waiting.

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  1. Here are a few posts from a few years ago when I made the mashed potatoes the day before and reheated in the MW.

    1. Sure can.

      If just using russets, butter and cream/half and half or milk and seasonings, you can make the full batch with all ingredients the night before.

      Stash in fridge and then bring back up to temp with a few pats of butter or lipid of choice in a crockpot on low or warm.

      Do it every year. Day before if oven and time is at a premium on t-Day, or making Morning of T'giving is fine too.

      Very forgiving dish.
      I start warming around noonish and dinner is anywhere between 4pm and 7pm given the day.

      1. I never made mashed potatoes the day before, but my mother makes her mashed potatoes several hours ahead of dinner and keeps them warm in a Crock-Pot. (Make sure you use a plastic Crock-pot liner since it is messy.) If you stir them occasionally to prevent the edges from burning it actually works pretty well. Maybe not the most perfect mashed potatoes, but nobody seems to notice.

        As for having hungry folks hovering, why not put out some light nibbles? Nuts, raw veggie crudites, fruit, maybe some small cubes of cheese. Please them in strategic locations that draw people away from your work space.

        Or embrace the offers of help and enlist one or two women to help you. Cooking together can really be fun.

        I have a center island in my kitchen, the stove and sink is on one side and the refrigerator is on the other. I stay on the side closest to the stove, and ask people to hand me things from the refrigerator or put something into the dishwasher, while maintaining my own 10 to 12 square foot section of space that nobody dare enter. A little managing of the situation makes it less stressful. I have sharp knives and a sense of humor. People know...

        1 Reply
        1. re: Springhaze2

          Hi, Yes Springhaze 2, I plan on some appetizers like meatballs, cheese and crackers with Jalapeno Apricot Pepper Preserves, chips and veggies. Putting out puzzles, and games and playing soothing music. Some people just can't wait till the big meal because they want to rush through it to get to shopping or just can't relax and have fun. It can be stressful.

          1. This problem was mentioned on America's Test Kitchen Radio yesterday. Bowtie Boy seemed to think the texture suffers if mashed potatoes are chilled, then reheated, though I suspect they had to dig down to the molecular level to come up with a difference, fussbudgets that they are. He did endorse making them early in the day and keeping them hot in a crockpot/slow cooker set on low, or in the covered serving bowl set over a pot of simmering water until time to serve. I am not so much of a princess that I can detect a pea under the mattress, so I'd have no qualms about making them the day before. If all you do it cook the potatoes, keep them whole and don't peel until Thursday, so they don't turn gray.

            1 Reply
            1. re: greygarious


              Freezing mashed potoates can lead to a thawed product that can look unsightly but is fine once reheated, but cooking and stashing in the frige to reheat later has never been a problem in my many decades of cooking.

              You may need to add a spalsh of milk/cream or butter to get to the correct consitancy but I find the crime of overheating and drying out or becoming gluey by ill attention or rushing a major faux pas.

              Day-of is ideal, but with 1000 dishes to cook, plate and hold, it's like landing jets at O'Hare. LOLZ.

              Do the morning-of if fussy. No biggie.
              If I won't eat it I won't cook it and I;m a f*&*ng snob.
              Yet cook and hold mashed potatoes still make my day before list.