Nobody makes mashed potatoes like my grandma did. They were thick and whipped, smooth and melty. You couldn’t find a lump in those things if you had a miner’s helmet and a metal detector.
It was a love-hate relationship with food at her house. Either she made absolutely delicious things—like taco dip and crescent rolls—or completely revolting things—like pecan pie and 7-layer salad. (Seriously, people. Nuts = tree bark. I don’t understand how you can’t see this.)
(It should be noted that those things were only gross to me. It’s no reflection on her cooking but has, instead, everything to do with my completely juvenile, underdeveloped palate, which I may or may not still retain.–Ed.)
But here’s the kicker: whenever she would offer you something to eat, and you’d say, “Ok, but just a little bit,” she would always, without a doubt, inevitably give you a portion the size of New Jersey ladeled into a small bathtub.
Ice cream. Popcorn. Turkey. Corn.
Speaking of corn, would now be a bad time to admit that until I was roughly 23 years old, I thought my grandma made creamed corn by hand? Turns out you can buy this stuff in a can. Who knew?
Mashed potatoes were mounded on your plate like the foothills of the Rockies. Each of us ate meat in the amount of an obese chicken. There was enough corn to give Al Gore a lifetime supply of ethanol. And with the amount of pie going around, even Kirstie Alley wouldn’t have asked for seconds.
Nobody makes mashed potatoes like my grandma did. But that’s okay. Nobody serves up quantities befitting a full-grown steer like her either. We just can’t have it all.
Except, well, with her
. . . we did.