Kid-Friendly Smashed Potatoes
BY STEPHANIE KEEPING, SPACESHIPS AND LASER BEAMS
Oct 4, 2017
The other day I was in my kitchen and realized a long-time dream had come true! I was making these smashed potatoes with my son, Sam, and while they were in the oven — magic happened.
Here’s the backstory: I’ve never aspired to dance in public, but when I was in high school I did like to dance. My best moves happened in front of the bathroom mirror while the radio played and I got ready for school.
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And sometime during those naive years I happened to hear a piece by a popular poet about dancing in the kitchen with his true love. It was something about the sublime in the middle of the mundane. It caught my imagination and left an impression on my romantic adolescent self. So, I always thought that someday my true love would swirl me around the room while we dipped and swayed in perfect harmony. And it would be a regular thing because, you know, exciting life.
Flash forward: Years pass, I get married. My awesome husband is not a dancer. I no longer think of dancing in the kitchen.
I do think of helping with homework, getting dinner on the table, and trying to spend extra time with my son.
Sam has been my kitchen help long before he was really help. (By the way, if you’re cooking with kids and want some ideas that are truly easy, check out these three-ingredient recipes.)
The other day, we made my stepmother’s easy but delicious recipe for smashed potatoes. After, he and I washed and nicked off the unwanted spots on these little potatoes. He wandered over to my phone and fiddled with my play list as we talked about school while the potatoes boiled. And let me tell you, a kid can get mean with a wooden spoon and potatoes that need to be smashed when there’s music playing!
Let him drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper over the potatoes in time to the music. Then slide the potatoes in the oven and be prepared to get swept away by their soul-satisfying goodness. There is probably someone, somewhere that doesn’t like potatoes, but I haven’t met them and they probably haven’t tasted these smashed potatoes.
While the potatoes were finishing in the oven and the music was playing, we danced around the room. We even tried the dip thing.
It dawned on me that I was dancing in the kitchen. He was much shorter than I had imagined he’d be, but I definitely call him my true love!
And I’ll tell you a secret about these kid-friendly smashed potatoes: They are also mom-friendly. Because you leave the skins on, smashed potatoes are quicker and easier than traditional mashed potatoes.
What hungry kid — or mom — doesn’t want a quick and delicious fix for dinner on the table? What makes it even better is having your small fry help you, especially if he (or she) is a dancer.
KID-FRIENDLY SMASHED POTATOES
- 2 ½ pounds little potatoes
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tbsp pepper
- Place washed potatoes (do not peel) in a pot of cold water. Cover and bring to a boil.
- Boil until the largest potato is fork tender (about 15 minutes).
- Drain from water and place on a baking sheet.
- Flatten potatoes with a wooden spoon or potato masher.
- Generously drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes at 400.
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