Real mashed potatoes not in boxes
I hate mashed potatoes that come out of a box. When God created the mashed potato, I am certain the Bible points out somewhere, he had no intention of anybody
For weeks, I had been seeing a television commercial for this certain chain of restaurants. The commercial claimed the restaurant served home cooking, “ The kind mom used to do.”
I’m not going to name the restaurant chain. I’ve already got one libel suit pending.
But I will say I’ve spent the nearly three decades since I left the cooking mama used to do looking for something, anything, that came close to it.
I grew up at a fried chicken, pork chops, pot roast and fresh vegetable table, with corn bread or mama’s homemade biscuits on the side.
I must have this sort of food at least once a week or be struck by the dreaded bland- food poisoning.
That’s because I have to eat a lot of airline food, as well as hotel food. The airlines and hotels get together each year and plan their menus. Steak au gristle and chicken a la blech.
So I gave this chain a try. I walked into one of its res- taurants and looked over the menu. There was no fried chicken or pork chops.
But there was country fried steak and pot roast. I decided to go for the pot roast.
“ Can I get mashed potatoes and gravy with the pot roast?” I asked the waitress. “ Sure,” she answered. The pot roast was so- so. The gravy was suspect. One bite of the mashed potatoes, and I knew. I called the waitress back over.
“ I would take it as a personal favor if you would be perfectly honest with me,” I said. “ These mashed potatoes came out of a box, didn’t they?”
The waitress dropped her eyes for a brief second. Then, she looked up and said apologetically, “ Yes, they are.”
I hate mashed potatoes that come out of a box. When God created the mashed potato, I am certain the Bible points out somewhere, he had no intention of anybody goofing around and coming up with mashed potatoes from a box.
He meant for real potatoes to be used. You peel them, you cut them into little pieces and put them in a pot of boiling water. You put in some salt and pepper, and then you add some butter and maybe even a little sour cream and then you beat them and stir them and you’ve got biblically correct mashed potatoes.
I realized the waitress didn’t have anything to do with the fact that the restaurant served mashed potatoes from a box in a place that advertised mama’s cooking, an affront to mothers everywhere. That was upper management’s doing.
So when I paid my bill — reluctantly, due to the fact there should have been a warning on the menu that the mashed potatoes weren’t really mashed potatoes — I did have a word with the assistant manager, who took my money anyway.
“ May the Lord forgive you for ye know not what you do, you potato ruiner.”
I think he thought I was some sort of religious nut. He was still waiting for me to hand him a pamphlet and ask him for money as I walked out the door.
Mashed potatoes from a box. That’s what’s wrong with this country. That, and non- alcoholic beer, instant grits, canned biscuits, soybean anything, frozen french fries, fake flowers, staged photo opportunities for politicians running for re- election, tanning salons, and I bought some Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream at the grocery store recently, but when I went to eat it, I realized I had gotten yogurt instead.
What’s real anymore? Computerized voices talk to me at the airport. I phone a friend and I talk to a machine. Musical stars are lip- syncing.
Did somebody mention silicone implants? As soon as I make the world safe from boxed mashed potatoes, I’ll get around to that.
It’s a matter of priorities, you know.