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Subject: Instant potatoes
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: James MacDone <jamesmacdone[at]yahoo.ca>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 11:51:15 -0400
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Is there a way to "beef up" instant potatoes?  So, it won't taste so blah!.

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From: Nancy Young <qwerty[at]mail.monmouth.com>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 12:26:45 -0400
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Can you make your own?  You can make up a batch and freeze it, I've
had luck with that.  Maybe just mash the potatoes plain and add the
cream butter and salt when you reheat it.  Or make a bunch of roasted
garlic and keep it in your refrigerator.  One of those will give your
potatoes more flavor.  Oh, and maybe try adding some chicken stock.

============================

From: Priscilla H. Ballou <phballou[at]bu.edu>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 16:56:32 GMT
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Nancy Young wrote:
> Can you make your own?  You can make up a batch and freeze it, I've
> had luck with that.  Maybe just mash the potatoes plain and add the
> cream butter and salt when you reheat it.  Or make a bunch of roasted
> garlic and keep it in your refrigerator.  One of those will give your
> potatoes more flavor.  Oh, and maybe try adding some chicken stock.

Or chopped chives or other fresh herbs.

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From: cobbscove[at]webtv.net (Evelyn Chester)
Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 12:32:06 -0400 (EDT)
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Make "real" ones to begin with?

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From: Cyndi Hackett <rnchackett[at]insightbb.com>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 17:00:41 GMT
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James MacDone wrote:
Is there a way to "beef up" instant potatoes?  So, it won't taste so blah!.

Real butter, sour cream, and roasted garlic.  Crumbled bacon is optional.

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From: Dora <limey[at]toadstop.net>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 16:30:25 -0400
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James MacDone wrote:
Is there a way to "beef up" instant potatoes?  So, it won't taste so blah!.

Real butter, cream cheese, salt and pepper.  Garlic if you want; or
cheddar cheese; or real bacon bits.  Half-and-half if you need to add
more liquid.

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From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 20 May 2002 20:58:22 GMT
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"James "Mr. Potatohead" MacDone" wrote
>Is there a way to "beef up" instant potatoes?  So, it won't taste so
>blah!.

Which brand instant potatoes... visit their website, there you'll find recipes
up yer kazoo... or go to *any* instant potato Website.  Use that spud between
yer ears!

Here: http://www.bettycrocker.com/prodandpromo/products/prod_pb.asp

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From: Jean B. <jbxyz[at]rcn.com>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 20:08:57 -0400
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I haven't had any instant potatoes for decades.  My mother, who was
actually an excellent cook, went through a phase of using them, and
they were pretty bad.  I am wondering whether they have gotten any
more palatable in recent years.  Is there any particular brand that
people like?  Any that are better than just baking a potato and
doctoring that up?

============================

From: BOB <saillaser[at]prodigy.net>
Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 00:33:37 GMT
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Jean B. wrote:
> I haven't had any instant potatoes for decades.  My mother, who was
> actually an excellent cook, went through a phase of using them, and
> they were pretty bad.  I am wondering whether they have gotten any
> more palatable in recent years.

Only slightly

> Is there any particular brand that
> people like?

?

> Any that are better than just baking a potato and
> doctoring that up?

NO!

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From: Lobo <lobo119[at]att.net.dodahdodah>
Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 05:10:42 GMT
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Jean B. wrote:
> I haven't had any instant potatoes for decades.  My mother, who was
> actually an excellent cook, went through a phase of using them, and
> they were pretty bad

When DH and DS didn't see me making them, they always told me how good they
were.  I just follow the package directions, but add more potato flakes than
called for, hide the box quick and leave the masher laying out.

============================

From: Josh Meyer <jmeyer[at]msg.ucsf.edu>
Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 07:50:00 GMT
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yanno, i kinda like instant potatoes.  i know they're only remotely similar
in taste to real mashed potatoes, but oh well.  maybe they add MSG?  or,
maybe it brings back pleasant memories of summer camp as a kid.

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From: Charlie L. Gifford <saiga[at]concentric.net>
Date: 21 May 2002 08:58:03 GMT
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Josh Meyer wrote:
> yanno, i kinda like instant potatoes.  i know they're only remotely similar
> in taste to real mashed potatoes, but oh well.  maybe they add MSG?  or,
> maybe it brings back pleasant memories of summer camp as a kid.

Ah! A person of honor! I like them too Josh. I also like
freshly mashed potatoes. I don't consider them the same food
item. Or, to put it another way, I don't look at instant
mashed potatoes as a replacement for fresh mashed potatoes.

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From: Sheryl Rosen <catmandy[at]optonline.net>
Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 20:42:46 GMT
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C. L. Gifford wrote:
> Ah! A person of honor! I like them too Josh. I also like
> freshly mashed potatoes. I don't consider them the same food
> item. Or, to put it another way, I don't look at instant
> mashed potatoes as a replacement for fresh mashed potatoes.

Yeah, they are mutually exclusive for me too.

It's like Jif vs. Skippy peanut butter. I like them both. Can definitely 
taste the difference. Sometimes I want one, sometimes I want the other.

There is another food I feel this way about, too. Love the real thing, 
love the fake thing, too. Can't think of it right now.

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From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 21 May 2002 21:52:53 GMT
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Sheryl Rosen writes:
>There is another *food* I feel this way about, too. Love the real thing, 
>love the fake thing, too. Can't think of it right now.

Hehe, lucky you wrote "food" instead of 'thing'... I woulda helped you think of
it. ;)

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From: Doug Weller <dweller[at]ramtops.demon.co.uk>
Date: 21 May 2002 13:32:12 -0500
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Josh Meyer wrote:
>yanno, i kinda like instant potatoes.  i know they're only remotely similar
>in taste to real mashed potatoes, but oh well.  maybe they add MSG?  or,
>maybe it brings back pleasant memories of summer camp as a kid.

I like them also, at least Smash.

To answer the question, one thing to do is add an egg.

Or plain yoghurt.

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From: j-lattie[at]neiu.edu (JimL)
Date: 22 May 2002 20:38:09 -0700
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Josh Meyer wrote:
> yanno, i kinda like instant potatoes.  i know they're only remotely similar
> in taste to real mashed potatoes, but oh well.  maybe they add MSG?  or,
> maybe it brings back pleasant memories of summer camp as a kid.

I also like them, sometimes.  quick and easy in a pinch.

But more for another purpose:  useful as a thickener for soups and
stews rather than flour or cornstarch.  Or even, a bit of potato
flaakes, and a bit of instant dry milk.   (I know, such blasphemy!)

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From: Jean B. <jbxyz[at]rcn.com>
Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 12:37:50 -0400
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JimL wrote:
> I also like them, sometimes.  quick and easy in a pinch.
> 
> But more for another purpose:  useful as a thickener for soups and
> stews rather than flour or cornstarch.  Or even, a bit of potato
> flaakes, and a bit of instant dry milk.   (I know, such blasphemy!)

Thanks also to Josh and Jim L.

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From: Anssi Saari  <c/h/p/n/h/m/r/[at]yahoo.com>
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 20:41:07 -0700
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Josh Meyer wrote:
> yanno, i kinda like instant potatoes.  i know they're only remotely similar
> in taste to real mashed potatoes,

The are REAL potatoes in every respect..once you add the milk/cream to 
reconstitute..my family compared them side by side and found no tastable
differences IOO.

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From: Kate Connally <connally[at]pitt.edu>
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 10:22:16 -0400
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Anssi Saari wrote:
> The are REAL potatoes in every respect..once you add the milk/cream to
> reconstitute..my family compared them side by side and found no tastable
> differences IOO.

There are preservatives added to most brands of
instant mashed potatoes.  I think they affect the
flavor slightly.  However, I'm not against using
them for informal meals for myself as I'm way too
lazy to make real ones just for me.  However I would
never serve dinner guests instant.  The biggest
problem I find with the instant is getting the
correct consistency, as by following the directions
on the box they always come out too runny.  I usually
add more of the dried potato than called for to make
a stiffer end product.  

============================

From: Sheryl Rosen <catmandy[at]optonline.net>
Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 20:39:55 GMT
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I nuke my potatoes before I mash them, (rather than boiling them) so 
mashed potatoes are not a lot of work to me, and of course, a nuked REAL 
potato is second only to a real baked potato. 

But I keep instant mashed potatoes in the house, as a staple. Potato 
Buds by Betty Crocker have a good flavor. I have also used "Idahoan" 
brand. Hungry Jack is good, too. I think of the three, Idahoan is the 
best value, but the others have better flavor. Potato Buds is the more 
expensive brand, but they taste the best. 

Why do I keep instant potatoes? See, potatoes go bad, they get mushy, 
they grow eyes, they turn green. Instant potato flakes, good forever! 
And I have learned how to make them taste pretty good.

I make them rather stiff. I boil the water in the teakettle.  Put the 
flakes in the bowl, how ever much I want. Herbs, salt and pepper. Then I 
pour a bit of water in. Stir. Too dry? Add a bit more water. Stir. Still 
too dry? Add a bit more water.  You get the idea. When it's almost the 
texture of real mashed potatoes (still on the dry side),I add Butter. A 
little sour cream if I have it. The moisture from the butter or sour 
cream helps make them less dry.  

I'm not gonna say they are as good as real mashed potatoes. But they are 
pretty good in their own right. Almost as good as the real thing. And 
head and shoulders above the way the box instructs you to make them. Too 
watery!!! I like thick, fluffy mashed potatoes. Not thin and creamy.

I think the secret to instant mashed potatoes is to use less water, so 
that the potato flavor is not diluted by the water.

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From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 21 May 2002 21:52:53 GMT
--------
Sheryl Rosen writes:
>But I keep instant mashed potatoes in the house, as a staple. Potato 
>Buds by Betty Crocker have a good flavor. I have also used "Idahoan" 
>brand. Hungry Jack is good, too. I think of the three, Idahoan is the 
>best value, but the others have better flavor. Potato Buds is the more 
>expensive brand, but they taste the best. 

I like Potato Buds too, which is why I recommended the Betty Crocker Website. 
Many times Potato Buds are better then 'fresh', during those times 'fresh'
ain't so fresh... like when all the stores have are those old flaccid storage
potatoes, the ones they charge exhorbitant prices for and taste like they've
been in the fridge for six months.  

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From: kitchen_wench[at]webtv.net (Gina *)
Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 19:23:13 -0400 (EDT)
--------
OK, I have a couple of boxes of Hungry Jack  in my emergency supplies.
I mix the powdered buttermilk  stuff, some dehydrated onion or chives,
salt and freshly cracked black pepper, and enough hot water so that it
is stiff.  Maybe even some broth granules.
I consider  the instant stuff and "real" mashed potatoes to be two
different animals, much the same as in the other responses. Good luck
luck, and bon apetite!

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From: Jean B. <jbxyz[at]rcn.com>
Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 12:30:09 -0400
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Thanks, Lobo, Sheryl, Sheldon, and Gina.  I'm going to have to put
these on my list, just for when I am filling pretty uninspired--like
now.  I think that like most of you say, I would regard them as
something other than the normal mashed potatoes.  My mother
occasionally would do a salad that involved canned asparagus, and it
was OKAY, but I never looked at it as being the least bit similar to
asparagus.  Well, I guess they do have one thing in common....

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From: Nancy Young <qwerty[at]mail.monmouth.com>
Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 18:55:31 -0400
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Jean B. wrote:
> Thanks, Lobo, Sheryl, Sheldon, and Gina.  I'm going to have to put
> these on my list, just for when I am filling pretty uninspired--like
> now.  I think that like most of you say, I would regard them as
> something other than the normal mashed potatoes.

That's okay, I happen to like canned potatoes, and they are nothing
like real potatoes, but ... I like em.  

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From: nancree[at]aol.com (Nancree)
Date: 24 May 2002 04:41:51 GMT
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Nancy wrote:
>That's okay, I happen to like canned potatoes, and they are nothing
>like real potatoes, but ... I like em.  

I like them, too, Nancy--especially for certain purposes.  Nothing like them
when you have company and want fried potatoes for a Sunday brunch, etc.  

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From: Sandi Dunlap <westie.nut[at]verizon.netInvalid>
Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 23:39:57 GMT
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Sheryl Rosen wrote:
>   When it's almost the
> texture of real mashed potatoes (still on the dry side),I add Butter. A
> little sour cream if I have it. The moisture from the butter or sour
> cream helps make them less dry.

I like to add a little bit of chives when I use the sourcream, or garlic
granules/powder if just using butter.

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From: Siobhan Perricone <morgannalefey[at]starband.net>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 21:46:35 GMT
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James MacDone wrote:
>Is there a way to "beef up" instant potatoes?  So, it won't taste so blah!.

I use real butter, cream or half and half instead of milk, Penzey's Sunny
Paris blend of herbs and/or sharp cheddar cheese.

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From: Dimitri <Dimitri_C[at]prodigy.net>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 22:35:49 GMT
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James MacDone wrote:
>Is there a way to "beef up" instant potatoes?  So, it won't taste so blah!.

Add Salt to the water.

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From: Carey <asdasdf[at]asdfasdf.com>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 18:08:01 -0700
--------
James MacDone wrote:
>Is there a way to "beef up" instant potatoes?  So, it won't taste so blah!.

Whatever you'd add to normal ones...sour cream, onions, roasted onions,
garlic, roasted garlic, buttermilk, green onions, peas, corn...

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From: Richard Caley <MYFIRSTNAME[at]MYLASTNAME.org.uk>
Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 12:52:01 GMT
--------
James MacDone wrote:
>Is there a way to "beef up" instant potatoes?  So, it won't taste so blah!.

Don't buy cheap ones. Nothing can be done with that.

Make up with some milk and butter and maybe a little cheese.

I keep some around for when it's cold and I am feeling very very lazy
(and also for thickening things sometimes). 

Dump a can of canned chilli over it and you have a meal which you will 
be embarassed by for all time:-).

============================

From: Sheryl Rosen <catmandy[at]optonline.net>
Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 20:45:45 GMT
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Last week, when I was on day 4 of the meatloaf I made last Sunday, I was 
just sick of eating it as meatloaf or as a sandwich.

I made up an envelope of brown gravy (McCormicks Herbed Beef Gravy) in 
my skillet, crumbled the remaining meatloaf into it....mixed in some 
frozen peas...and poured it over a pile of instant mashed potatoes.

And it tasted DELICIOUS!!!! And I had to eat that for 2 nights! (the 
mashed potatoes and peas stretched it out!!!! augh!)

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From: Alan <amoorman[at]visi.com>
Date: Wed, 22 May 2002 00:05:48 -0500
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James MacDone wrote:
>Is there a way to "beef up" instant potatoes?  So, it won't taste so blah!.

Add some cream cheese.   It adds flavor and some heft to the
texture.

However, I find it pretty quick to make my own by nuking a couple
of potatoes, and then whipping them with a little milk and
butter, salt and pepper.

Sure, it takes, maybe, 8 minutes to nuke a couple or three
potatoes, but whipping them doesn't take any longer than making
instant, I don't think.

Yes, I like the skins on.......   :-)

============================

From: Moira de Swardt <moira.deswardt[at]global.co.za>
Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 17:11:21 +0200
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James MacDone wrote:
>Is there a way to "beef up" instant potatoes?  So, it won't taste so blah!.

Yes.

Add whatever cottage cheese, cream cheese, yoghurt, sour milk, sour
cream etc. you have in your fridge.  Some of these have already been
mentioned.  Ordinary yellow cheese, especially the stuff that's been
left to harden slightly grated into the mash makes it much more
palatable.

Fresh chopped chives (as mentioned by someone else), including the
green stems, or parsley is pretty good with real butter and freshly
ground black pepper.

Frozen peas heated in the microwave and instant mashed potatoes.
And on this theme one can make a whole variety of little mashed
potato and ... patties and grill or fry them.

A little bit of instant (not quick) soup powder gives instant
flavour.  Don't add more salt, though.

As a topping for shepherds pie use instant potato then crushed
flavoured potato crisps. Pop under grill to brown. Yes, it is nicer
than it sounds.

One is limited only by one's imagination regarding instant mashed
potato.

I use it extensively for thickening soups and stews, for adding to
fish cakes and meat balls or meat loaf.  And I always take a packet
with me when I'm visiting my sister who eats like a bird and expects
me to do the same.  Nothing like a midnight snack of instant mash
when one is hungry.  So easy to get rid of the "evidence".

============================

From: yellowcricket[at]lycos.com (laura)
Date: 24 May 2002 10:36:53 -0700
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James MacDone wrote:
>Is there a way to "beef up" instant potatoes?  So, it won't taste so blah!.

I like the frozen Ore Ida mashed potatoes... I think there are a
couple of other frozen  brands as well. I also love the roasted garlic
added in, as previously suggested.


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