With all of today’s modern conveniences, sometimes it is nice to get back to basics. One such area that lends itself to this is the kitchen. Somewhere along the line people have forgotten what it is like to actually get in the kitchen and make a meal from scratch. This means actually getting your hands a little dirty and not using the pre-packaged meals from Trader Joe’s and stuffing them in the oven, but using appliances like a stainless steel food mill to prepare and cook items.
It can be argued that some of the modern appliances have made life easier for everyone to cook, but at the same time the actual artistry of making a great dinner has been lost. While just about anyone can now make a very good meal for the family to eat, the truly great meals come from old fashioned preparation. Take something as simple as mashed potatoes and you will soon realize what we are talking about.
It is pretty common today for people to make up their potatoes and then throw them into a mixing bowl and blend them to death before they put them out on the table. Who wants pureed potatoes? This is not true mashed potatoes, yet people everywhere are putting this horrible mix out on the table and portraying it as something that it is not.
No, mashed potato purists everywhere need to stand up and insist that mashed potatoes need to be mashed, not blended. How you do this is with a good old fashioned food mill. After you boil your potatoes, you can blend them with your mix of spices, cream and butter into the food mill to create true ecstasy for the potato lover deep inside of us all. They will be smashed down and run through the food mill, but there will still be just a hint of a piece of potato here and there to remind you that you are indeed easting potatoes and not soup for dinner.
Truth be told, blended mashed potatoes just don’t hold a candle to mashed potatoes that are made like this. When they are blended down like that, they simply lose some of what makes mashed potatoes taste so good. The same can be said for many other products where blending or a food processor is just overkill. There are times to puree food and then there are times to use a food mill.
If you are a purist, you can use one of the many hand food mills that are on the market. If you insist on having some of the convenience of modern technology, there are also some very nice electric food mills that you can purchase that will give the same result without the physical exertion that a true food mill may require.
Every now and then you have to look at modern technology and laugh. Sometimes newer and faster is not better. In cooking, this is usually the case as nothing beats good old fashioned hearty food. You can hardly make that in a blender!