A test

Yes, this post is a test, merely a test, and I am testing, one-two-three. A test of whether a few little changes can be made, without blowing up the whole website. So that, whether it succeed, or whether it fail, it is likely to disappear. … Along, of course, with the cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces, the solemn temples, the great globe itself. … But I would guess a little sooner.

Now, as an aside, let me mention the importance of heating the butter separately, when making mashed potatoes. There are reasons for this, but I have not the patience for a little science lesson at this moment. And besides, I have forgotten it. But trust me, you don’t want gummy mashed potatoes.

You needn’t use a separate pot, however. Quarter, or better, octuply your spuds and set them in that pot in salted cold water, along with as many cloves of garlic as your conscience will allow. Thus, we bring all together evenly to a gentle boil. (Never violently boil a potato!) Fifteen minutes should be more than adequate. You’ll want the potatoes still somewhat firm. Drain (but you can keep potato water for stock). Then leave the potato chunks (and mooshy garlic cloves) in a bowl (or whatever), to steam off moisture. This will make them more absorptive.

I hope you used baking potatoes. I’m currently partial to Yukon golds. If you want to peel off the skins, you will find that it is now dead easy.

Melt a great dollop of butter in that emptied pot. … No, more than that. … A spoon of lard or bacon grease would be copacetic, too. … Stir cream into the melted butter. Others say milk, but I suspect they are Protestant. We are Catholics here, and Catholics use cream. Salt, black pepper, and to my mind, finely-chopped chives or green onions may be sprinkled, or any of many other modest herbal amplifiers. But all this is Option City.

The potato chunks (and garlic cloves) may now be mashed in. Do this a few chunks at a time, and with an old-fashioned, flat-bottomed wooden pestle. This is not hard work. And it is anyway morally wrong to use powered machinery in a kitchen. So that if you happen to own any such “labour-saving devices” (pshaw!) you may use the time while your mashed potatoes are cooking (let’s say, another fifteen minutes at low heat) to locate and destroy them.