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Thursday, August 21, 2008  

The Kitchen Sink (Part II)

Before fixing the sink, I really should have drained those potatoes. I'm not sure exactly how long it's advisable to leave them marinating in the water they've been boiled in, but three hours is clearly way too long.

I could have drained them in the yard, or the flower beds, or even the toilet. But instead I concentrated on getting the sink drain cleared, and then I just used the sink. After a few minutes of watching half the water reluctantly separate from the potatoes that had become more or less one with the other half, I finall dumped them into the mixing bowl, then added the milk from the fridge and the butter I'd melted hours before (it needed a bit more melting). And then I fired up the stand mixer.

Almost immediately, I could tell something was wrong. The beaters were colliding with each other, and after I shut off the motor, they were locked together so tight that I could barely even eject them. When I finally got them loose, one of them looked like a boat propeller that had been fashioned from a wire coathanger. But bending it back into shape was out of the question, because even when they've been twisted into what looks like the Arabic word for "HA-ha," those things is stiff.

I went up and told Trash that while we didn't need to hire a plumber, we were going to need a new stand mixer, or at least new beaters. I had gotten it shut off before the motor burned out entirely, but as far as I know all that means is that we have a space-hogging kitchen appliance that will only ever be able to mix a bowl of ingredients by whirring loudly at it.

So then I dug out the little electric hand mixer, whose beaters don't fit in the stand mixer but which turned out to be quite handy for half-liquefying the potatoes and then lifting the resulting spud-sludge over the beaters in a bulging cataract that left starch stalactites hanging from the unit, not to mention in other locations around the kitchen. I was hoping it would stop doing that given enough time, but after ninety minutes it was still going on and I was beginning to see spots.

So I finally gave up and sampled the goods. They tasted like glue.

I don't just mean they were overly sticky, although it is true that I've seen construction adhesives with less holding power. I mean that the actual flavor was vintage Elmer's. But maybe part of that was the fact that they were still room temperature. So I microwaved a bowl, and enjoyed a few spoonfuls of warm glue, which was much better.

In the end, after four hours, a trip to the hardware store, and the demise of a very nice mixer, I wound up with a bowl of inedible mashed potatoes. But the good news was that I had about a metric shitload. As bad as the food was, I wasn't going to be complaining about the portions.

I'm proud to say they haven't just been sitting sullenly in the fridge all this time, taking up a cubic foot of space. They were part of my lunch on Monday and Wednesday (I just couldn't face them on Tuesday). I discovered that the secret to enjoying them is the same as it is for enjoying rice cakes: just put enough shit on them that you can't taste the actual medium. Today Trash tried and failed to get through a bowl that had only one part shredded cheese to two parts potatoes, but I fared much better by adding a quarter-pound of precooked, crumbled bacon and a stick of butter. Super tasty, and way healthier than any old sandwich.

posted by M. Giant 8:56 PM 4 comments

4 Comments:

not that i am keeping track or anything, but i believe this is the second or third stand mixer that has been fried in your kitchen in the last four years. remind me come cookie baking weekend to keep you and Trash away from my KitchenAid!!!!

By Anonymous blaine, at August 22, 2008 at 10:48 AM  

You need a real stand mixer. A massive Kitchen Aid with "Planetary Mixing Action." One beater that spins and orbits the bowl means no tangled beaters!! The newest ones even scrape the sides of the bowl as they turn. Well worth the money - one of those mixers will last the rest of your life!

By Blogger Bunny, at August 22, 2008 at 6:04 PM  

I have two words for you: compost pile.

Seriously, life is too short to eat gluey potatoes. This is not Ireland in the mid-19th century.

Live a little. And, like Bunny says, get yourself a giant KitchenAid from their Professional series. You can pass that baby on to your grandchildren.

Also, I am apparently not human, because I can never read these captchas.

By Blogger Katherine, at August 23, 2008 at 8:22 AM  

Dude, you're making this way harder than it needs to be. Acquaint thyself with a hand-held potato masher: Nothing to plug in, nothing to fry. My favorite is shaped like a sine wave, but the round ones look fine, too. It's true that you have to work a wee bit harder to achieve the consistency of reconstituted instant potatoes, but if you don't mind a few lumps, SO much easier! Personally, I prefer to leave the skins on, too, especially if I'm using red potatoes.

By Anonymous sharoncville, at August 25, 2008 at 6:52 AM  

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