Abby shared earlier today that we're accepting non-prerishable food donations for the Partners in Housing's Thanksgiving baskets. Their sample list of items was to bring goods such as:
- canned veggies
- instant mashed potatoes
- pie filling
As soon as I read this, I got instantly nostalgic for Thanksgiving dinner with my family. Working on this project for PIH so near to the holidays is a solid reminder of how fortunate I am to have a warm home, a loving family and support network, and that when Thanksgiving comes around, I'll gather at a table with amazing people and great food.
I decided to take a quick walk over to Kroger to get some instant mashers to donate to the PIH baskets. Why instant mashers? I don't think my southern-born momma ever once allowed instant mashed potatoes in our house. She made them from scratch, and I loved them best when she cooked them up with a flour gravy made from drippings from her fried chicken. (Aside: her fried chicken is still the best I've had. Despite watching her making it for the better part of three decades, I can't replicate it. Is it because I was born a northerner?)
As it turns out, my husband's Aunt Roseann makes the most amazing dish from instant mashed potatoes. She preps them to the package directions, then browns some sliced almonds in butter on the stovetop, puts the potatoes in a glass baking dish and sprinkles on the browned almonds. She bakes it until the potatoes get a little toasty on top, and voilà! A most unexpected dish.
I don't think I'd have ever tried them, had I not married into instant mashed potatoes. If you're out running errands tonight or tomorrow, pick up a few packs of instant mashed potatoes (pr pie filling or veggies) and drop them by for our friends at Partners in Housing. And maybe get a pack for yourself and give Aunt Roseanne's almond mashers a whirl?