Grandma’s Mashed Potatoes

One of my grandmothers did make potato salad out of leftover mashed potatoes, but my other grandmother had the making of mashed potatoes down to an art.  I remember them being so creamy that they almost poured off the spoon, full of butter, cream and lots of pepper.  There was no making potato salad out of these because there were never any left.  When I think back to my grandmother’s home cooked meals, I don’t think about what accompanied these mashed potatoes, but the other way around—what did she pair with these luscious mashed potatoes because to me, they were the center of the meal.    My favorite accompaniment was her meatloaf.  Another side (to the meatloaf, not the mashed potatoes) might be green beans, canned herself, and cooked with bacon and onions.  

Although I know my grandmother did not  ever have Yukon gold potatoes, this recipe is the closest I have come to mimicking the richness of her mashed potatoes,  a dish that I sometimes make on its own.  Talk about comfort food!

“As Close to Grandma’s As I Can Get”  Mashed Potatoes

2 garlic heads
2 T. olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
2 1/2 – 3 lbs. Yukon gold potates
2 c. chicken stock
1/4 c. half and half
2 T. butter
more salt (to taste)
more (and lots of) fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the top off the garlic heads so that the top of each clove is exposed.  Place both heads in a small casserole dish and drizzle with the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover with foil and roast for 30 minutes.  (Garlic should be soft enough that you can easily squeeze the cloves out.)

Scrub potatoes—do not peel.  Cut potato into quarters.   Place in a sauce pan and pour chicken stock over potatoes.  Add water if needed so liquid covers potatoes.  Simmer, covered for 30-35 minutes or until potatoes are done.  Remove potatoes and place in a mixing bowl.  Add garlic to potatoes and beat to mash.  Add half and half and butter and continue to mash.   (If more liquid is needed,  add leftover chicken stock from cooking the potatoes.)  Season with salt and pepper.  I use a LOT of pepper.


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