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

The Covington News - - Opinion how about on my terms? not just their faul -

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.

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