Coming Home Mashed Potatoes

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Coming Home Mashed Potatoes

By Michelle White, Director of Branding for Paula Deen Enterprises

I grew up in a family where extraordinary cooking was an ordinary event. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized my mom was a superstar cook and a far more talented cook than any other moms I knew – and I had no idea. One of my favorite food memories is my mom’s mashed potatoes. I know, mashed potatoes sound like an ordinary item, but my mom’s were to die for. These potatoes had an amazing power to melt any worries away.

Since my childhood I have never, ever, ever tasted a spoonful of mashed potatoes that are nearly as good as my mom’s. People say the secret’s in the sauce, but my mom’s secret is in the white pepper and sugar! I am sharing my mom’s tradition and recipe today so that you might start a tradition within your family.

Today, as an adult, those mashed potatoes still remain my all-time favorite feel good food. For my own variety, I like to add a little lemon zest for a summery taste. And as mom did, I always dress my taters up with freshly chopped parsley.

My mom gave me this adorable vintage apron and has a matching one herself. Now we live miles apart, but as I slide on my apron and make her recipes I feel like I’m back in the kitchen of my childhood. 

My mom had a way of turning the ordinary into extraordinary. I hope this recipe brings a little extraordinary into your kitchen!

Coming-Home Mashed Potatoes
serves 4

1 ½ lbs red potatoes, washed and quartered (skins left on)
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and white pepper to taste
Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish

Add potatoes to a large saucepan and add water until potatoes are covered. Add salt. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer, covered until done. (Approximately 15 minutes or until a fork can easily be poked through them. Drain water and set aside, covered.

In a small sauce pan, warm milk, sugar and butter together until butter is melted.

Add warm sweet milk and butter mixture to the potatoes and mash, using a potato masher or hand held mixer until desired consistency is obtained. Stir in lemon zest. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped fresh Parsley.

Enjoy Michelle’s Mother (Paula’s BFF) Donna’s Marinated Vegetable Salad Recipe!

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Reader Comments:


Glad to see Paula Dean on Facebook. She is a great role model for a lot of people. I personally thought all the hoopla was taken out of context. Her recipes are great. Wonderful things will come out of all this. She's top notch in my book. We all are guilty of something. Not one of us is perfect. The recipe was perfect of course. You go Paula Dean.

By Patricia Van Horn on November 08, 2013

I guess some of your devoted fans just missed the butter that you listed as the 3rd ingredient. Yes, in the instructions the words “butter” and “milk” were close together and it must have confused some folks. I used to think the sound of buttermilk was unheard of in mashed potatoes until my son brought me the ingredients to feed his office staff one Thanksgiving. He brought me buttermilk instead of milk, so I called him to question it and he told me that buttermilk was great in mashed potatoes and he and his wife are great cooks, so I used both butter and buttermilk and they were absolutely wonderful. We sometimes us sour cream instead of buttermilk, and it is yummy too. I cook for several people at the retirement center where I now live and they love my potatoes.

By EdwinaC on November 29, 2010

i saw a recipe of mashed potatos and rutabbgas on paulas show and yet have i found it on her site.can any one help me fined it i wood love to have it.thanks i love her recipes.

By Quillian McCarty on November 28, 2010

I noticed a debate about using butter and milk and the issue about buttermilk. Although I agree that both are needed to have creamy rich mashed potatoes, but my family has started using both butter AND buttermilk and they are wonderful. So if anyone cares to give it a try I bet you will love them. I prefer Yukon Golds but all are great!

By Edwinac on November 06, 2010

I have never heard of putting sugar in with the butter and milk.  I will try it the next tiime I make mashed potatoes.  I usually add about about a 1/4 cup sour cream for a bit of a kick, and I leave a few lumps.  Love the lumps!

By Vickie Wilker on November 01, 2010

I have noticed that POTATO is consistantly spelt wrong-its actually kind of CUTE!!!

By Faye on October 26, 2010

I have never used sugar or lemon in my potatoes but I am excited to try.  I have used red potatoes before, I prefer them, but my kids like russet.  I often will add some dried minced garlic to my water along with the salt while they are boiling.  My kids ALWAYS tell me they are great when I do this.  Thanks for the new idea!

By Alison Pruitt on September 20, 2010

For special occasions, my mother always boiled about one-third carrots to two-thirds potatoes. It makes delicious orange-colored mashed potatoes. Exceptional flavor and equally wonderful with Thanksgiving turkey or Easter ham.

By Mark on September 15, 2010

WOW! Oveta your comment is very rude and sarcastic. I was trying to be helpful. I thought maybe it was over looked. I did’t think about it being an editing error.

By Sara on September 14, 2010

There are so many variations of mashed potatoes being shared….try this one….add sour cream and top with grated cheese, crumbled bacon and chopped green onions!  Yum-yum!

By Toni J on September 14, 2010

I know this is a tasty recipe for mashed potatoes, but, I always use russet potatoes…they make the best.  I’ve never added sugar, but, why not!  I do love to add maynaise, butter and milk to mine…I’ve been told they’re the best.

By Sharon on September 13, 2010

Folks, the original article had an error and we have since corrected it. That is why you see comments concerning the ingredients.

By Phil P on September 13, 2010

Hello Paula,
I add fresh basil to my mash potatoes. My family loves them. If you want some color in them boil carrots with potatoes and mash them into mix. They will really brighten them up.

By Rhonda on September 11, 2010

Unless we are looking at two different recipes it does say 4 tablspoons of butter. I hope mine turn out cause I love mashed taters!

By Barbara on September 10, 2010

I don’t know if the readers of this recipe does not read as the one I have but the butter plainly states 4 Tablespoons of butter in mine!  This is added to the milk & sugar until the butter is melted, then it is added to the potatoes when mashing.

By Jean on September 10, 2010

Potatoes are high in sugar to begin with.  I would never add more. Roasted garlic, yes, not sugar.

By Jean Mearin on September 10, 2010

My secret ingredient: cream cheese!

By Debbie on September 10, 2010

I have never put sugar in my potatoes, but will try this..  I make my Grandma’s recipe and it is hard to beat..

By Pam on September 10, 2010

Are people reading a different recipe than the one I see? I CLEARLY see 4 tablespoons of butter in the ingredients list - not buttermilk

By Stephanie Cozart Burton on September 10, 2010

I don’t understand you all above. The recipe CLEARLY says to use 4 tablespoons of butter.
@Karen, I believe zest of lemon is grated lemon peel.

By kelly on September 10, 2010

In the mashed potato recipe I see NO buttermilk listed as an ingredient and there is 4 tablespoons of butter listed and in the directions it says put in the melted butter…so simple!  Where do you folks see buttermilk as an ingredient?

By Sharon on September 10, 2010

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