From ghoulies and ghosties and long leggety beasties and things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us!
Have you ever noticed that some people have magnetic qualities when it comes to children? I wonder if children, closer to the creation source, instinctively are drawn to those souls whose grand purpose is the nurture of neophytes.
Such choice folk have a specialty; they are empowered with an effortless empathy for youngsters. In turn, these grownups are rewarded by attention from the ones who must crane their necks for tete-a-tete.
One such person recently mailed a gift to my 2 year old granddaughter as a consolation prize in honor of her status change to big sister. The gift arrested her complete attention. Inside a small pink hat box was a crowd of hand knitted finger puppets.
As she pulled each colorful being out of the container, she squealed a laugh of happy discovery until the last one, who we all recognized as a mouse. The mouse, unlike the others, was resplendent in white – white body, white ears, white tail, white whiskers.
And….white granddaughter. She flung the mouse puppet from her tiny hand. “I do not like that one – it’s scarey,” she said tearfully.
Well now, to me, that episode explains a lot about the human condition. As much as I would love to think that our evolutionary goal will someday present with international campfire singing and s’mores; we have to admit to the inherent lead of our reptilian brains, the part of us that smacks of survival with cries of “no breaks for thems that are different!”
Undoubtedly Ms. Cook prefers a message of expanding horizons, even so, today I submit a recipe for the survivalist in all of us. The 2 -year-old harbinger of what is safe and what is not will unconditionally vouch for mashed potatoes, as I am quite sure would the rest of the world.
Nothing suspicious about this worthwhile comfort food
2 pounds potatoes (preferably Yukon Gold)
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat.
Add the potatoes, reduce the heat to medium, set the lid ajar, and boil until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, stir the milk and broth in a small pan and warm it gently over low heat.
Do not simmer.
Drain the potatoes in colander and set in the sink.
Place them in a large bowl or back into the pan you just used.
Mash with a fork or beat with an electric mixer if a creamier version is preferred.
Pour in the warm milk mixure, then add the butter, mustard, salt and pepper.
Mash or beat until smooth but with chunks of skin visible.