Of meerkats and mash

Although an interesting thought, this is not a recipe idea. On a stormy summer morning illuminated by lightning and serenaded by thunder, a recently photographed meerkat entered my stream of consciousness. As a balding man I am in awe of the magnifying mirror in our bathroom. The follicular contrariness in the ageing male of homo erectus is just unfair. A shiny pate coupled with a sebaceous system that has decided to retire to my ears and nose does little to cheer me as I pass the very sharp blade of a razor across the exposed areas of my face in the daily ritual of removing misguided hair. It was at that point that the nonchalance of the meerkat came to mind. He’s thrown away the tweezers and the razor and he’s looking cool. All the world loves a meerkat, but it is, without doubt,  an extreme look. Any way, I decided not to perch on a wall looking cute and carried on shaving and plucking whilst thunder boomed and lightning lightened in an atmosphere that could have been a scene from “Apocalypse Now”, had Wagner been playing, as the Ventaxia in the bathroom was making a good fist of imitating a helicopter gunship, although I must confess that I prefer the smell of coffee to napalm in the morning. And then, as if by agic, or more likely by magic, at that portentous moment in time my mind was filled with mashed potato. Earlier that morning, before hair awareness, I had read a post from Joshua Fagans in which he extolled the virtues of the “mouli legumes” for making mashed potato. I am of the opinion that by the time the potatoes have passed through that “mouli” baby food mill we are a long past “mashed” and have arrived at wallpaper paste, or a potentially useful glue. There is a strong body of cool chefs, like Joel Robuchon, who advocate the mouli but I am of that elite body, the “potato ricer” faction. For me the route to this potato nirvana passes through the perforations of the potato ricer. Firstly, choose good potatoes and boil them in their skins, from cold, in salted water. Drain and skin them while still warm and then pass them through a potato ricer into a mixing bowl. I then add the yolk of good egg, salt, white pepper, a large knob of unsalted butter, a splash of milk and a large tablespoon of creme fraiche. Mix gently, but thoroughly, with a rubber spatula. This fabulousness can then be gently heated in pan before serving. Finally, back to the meerkats.  I really should stress that it’s not a good idea to adopt that look- listen to me,  it’s not clever and it’s not big but, on the other hand it is quite funny.

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About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in Cooking, creme fraiche, Food and Photography, mash, mashed potatoes, Photography, Photography holiday, sea salt, Uncategorized, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Of meerkats and mash

  1. I wonder which box my ricer is in……

  2. Brilliant post!!! And I vote ricer for potatoes…that bowl of mash looks so comforting….

  3. That Fagans has good advice and a good head of hair! This made me laugh: I must confess that I prefer the smell of coffee to napalm in the morning. As for mashed potatoes, I use a steel masher not a ricer. Lumps you say, no problem I say. Plus, I’m very strong. I can get the lumps out. As long as they’re not whipped. Ugh, turns them to paste.

  4. ChgoJohn says:

    I vote ricer, with a masher coming in a close second. Adding an egg yolk, though, is new to me and something I’m going to try.

  5. ceciliag says:

    LOVED the meercat. And you make me glad to be a woman, we can just wear long trousers and hide any errant hair!! And didn’t they tell you that bald is sexy~!? I do not have a ricer. Or a mouli for that matter. But tonight I will mash my spuds really well whilst adding the egg yolk, That is such a good idea and I am never short of eggs. Plus i have some cream on the counter turning fraiche as we speak.. yay c.. i have one more story for you today so drop in if you have time. c

  6. But just think of the freedom the meerkat has with that chosen look! Not a care in the world…

  7. Tandy says:

    I use my ricer a lot for my mash, but have never added an egg yolk! Thanks for that inspiration 🙂

  8. ambrosiana says:

    I have a potato ricer so I have a biased opinion about ricers!!

  9. Now this is a great post- food, meerkats, vanity and a classic movie all tied together! 🙂

  10. Love meerkats. Hate mash.

  11. Pingback: Steak with Onion Pie and Ram gets a Hair Do | thekitchensgarden

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