Mashed potatoes highlight family feasts

St. Cloud Times
By Caitlin Yilek
April 21, 2015

http://www.sctimes.com/story/life/food/2015/04/21/mashed-potatoes-highlight-family-feasts/26124007/

Every holiday that I can remember my grandma and late grandpa prepared a feast. Mashed potatoes were usually on the menu, and if they weren't I'd lobby my grandparents to incorporate them. It's a running joke in my family that my grandma has to make extra mashed potatoes because my uncle and I would not save enough for the others. Even then, there are always leftovers for potato pancakes the next morning (just mix an egg — and chives, if preferred — with the potatoes, and spoon the mixture onto a hot pan).

When I studied in Salzburg, Austria, in college I stayed in Europe for the holidays. A few students' families traveled from the states to Austria for Christmas. A group of us planned a holiday meal for 40. Being the mashed potato fanatic that I am, I took ownership of potato preparation. I peeled potatoes until my fingers ached.

I had never made my grandma's mashed potatoes without her help, and there's no recipe to follow. She says the secret to the deliciousness is Yukon Gold potatoes. Add half-and-half and butter to taste, then mash. That's it. (Grandma also says that it's better if mashed potatoes are lumpy because then you know they're homemade.) So that's what I did for the holiday feast in Austria. The potatoes were a hit and it was a little taste of home during a time I was used to spending with my family.