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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Archives: Old Topic of the Month Threads / Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes!
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    Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes!

    Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:23 pm Groupie

    During the holiday season anything that can be made in advance, and still taste fresh when served, should be done ahead. The amount of stress reduced is directly related to the enjoyment of the occasion.

    Every holiday I cook for a crowd starts with planning the recipes I want to make, and when to make them. One thing I did different this year was to make the mashed potatoes the day before the holiday meal. Potatoes don't really seem like a big deal to make on the day, but it's just one less thing to worry about if it's already done.

    There are many recipes posted here for make-ahead mashed potatoes, and my plan was to test one out before the holiday rolled around. Of course, I didn't have all the ingredients for any particular recipe, so I had to improvise. My immediate family really enjoyed the result, and when I made the recipe again for Thanksgiving, it was one of the factors that contributed to our early meal. I was shooting for a 2pm dinner. Not because I like to eat that early, but because most folks seem to schedule it at that time. However, I've never eaten a holiday meal at the planned 2pm time. Every holiday there is some setback (usually involving the turkey) that leaves everyone waiting around until 3 or 4pm before eating. This year I had a pretty lazy morning, enjoying coffee and our company before starting the meal. Even though I didn't rush around getting everything going, the make-ahead potatoes, made-ahead pies, and brining the turkey all contributed to an earlier than planned dinner. We didn't eat at 4 or 3, or even 2pm. We were done and cleaned up by 1:30pm! It was the exact opposite of every other holiday I've had or been involved with. The turkey was perfectly cooked in half the time of a non-brined bird (Why? See my thread from last year here: Turkey in the Brine!), and we were rushing around throwing together the last minute sides so we could eat early!

    Below are some make-ahead potato recipes for you to try. Are there any particular kinds of recipes you like to make in advance? What's your secret to reducing kitchen stress during the holidays?

    Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes With Roasted Garlic and Chives

    Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes (photo by Kristine at

    Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes (Oamc) (photo by gailanng)

    Make Ahead Ranch Mashed Potatoes (photo by Proud Veteran's wife)

    Make Ahead Loaded Mashed Potatoes (photo by Baby Kato)

    Make Ahead Sour Cream 'n Chive Mashed Potatoes
    Foolproof Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
    Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
    Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:59 am
    Forum Host
    Love the idea of make ahead mashed potatoes; I made this quite often when I had a gang for the holidays.
    Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:12 am Groupie
    Sage wrote:
    Love the idea of make ahead mashed potatoes; I made this quite often when I had a gang for the holidays.

    I know, I wish I'd thought of it or stumbled on the idea years ago when I was always cooking for crowds. icon_lol.gif
    Either way, it's just one less thing to worry about on the holiday. I cook, bake or prep anything I can a day or two in advance, so this was an exciting find for me this year. icon_smile.gif
    Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:22 pm Groupie
    Tink, I'm with you! This Christmas not only did I make my mashed taters ahead of time, I made almost everything else ahead of time. The only thing I had planned to do on Christmas Day was put dishes in the oven while the ham was baking, form and bake the dinner rolls. Good thing I had done all of the pre cooking as I had to make a second Red Velvet Cake on Christmas morning. The one I made on Christmas Eve came out flat as a brownie. Still no idea why icon_cry.gif icon_question.gif The second one came out glorious. I froze the flat layers from the failure and will use them in trifle.

    Even with the cake fiasco, it was my most enjoyable Christmas dinner to date. icon_biggrin.gif

    ETA Another positive to make ahead mashed potatoes, they arrive on the table HOT and stay that way throughout the meal! I'm not a fan of cold mashed taters and most are by the time everything is on the table.
    Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:51 pm Groupie
    Hi racrgal!

    So sorry about your red velvet! I would have suggested inactive baking powder or soda, but your second attempt came out fine. Possibly the oven temp was too low?

    Anyway, good for you saving them. I secretly like when cake doesn't turn out, cause then I have the makings of some good cake pops. icon_biggrin.gif
    It's just so hard to bake up a perfect cake and then turn around and crumble it up. lol

    You are so right about cold mashed potatoes. It's hard to time them properly when you have all the steps to go through: peeling, cutting, boiling, mashing. And by the time you add all the good stuff (sour cream, cream cheese, milk, butter), they're going cold. By the time they hit the table... well, if they don't visit the microwave first, they're totally dependent on hot gravy!
    Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:58 am Groupie
    Not a clue as to why the red velvet cake didn't turn out. All of the ingredients came out of the same bags/boxes for the second one. I wondered about the over but it has a default temp. I've been using the same recipe since 1979 and this is the first one that flopped.

    Cake pops! Didn't think of that. Sweetie's DGD will love those. Thanks!
    Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:55 pm Groupie
    Frustrating when a trusted recipe doesn't work for some reason, huh? icon_sad.gif

    Both of the reasons I suggested were from personal experience. I've had baking powder go bad on me and my oven has gone all wonky. Both were in the middle of old, trusted recipes, and both had to be replaced. icon_lol.gif
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