Holiday meals are an interesting phenomenon where we prepare more side dishes then typically served for a meal. It is also one of the meals where lukewarm dishes appear to be the norm. With this being said, nothing tests the capabilities and capacity of the cook and kitchen more than preparing the holiday meal. There is a balancing act between preparing a large number of traditional family dishes for the meal and the dishes being hot. Even when the cook is calm, cool and collected, the kitchen may just not be large enough to handle all of the side dishes coming out of the off and off of the stove at the same time.
I like my food to be hot and I to struggle with the ability to manage the capacity of the oven with the number of dishes that are requiring cooking or reheating just before the holiday meal is being served. Whereas in the past I have managed through sheer chaos and stress, this year I was presented with a different challenge. We were invited to friends for Thanksgiving Dinner and we were responsible for the Turkey, Mash Potatoes and Dessert.
The dilemma that I faced with the mash potatoes was when to prepare them, where to prepare them, how to transport them and when to reheat them? I was speaking with my mother and she mentioned that my sister for the past few years has prepared her mash potatoes early on Thanksgiving Day and kept them heated on Low / Warm in a Crock Pot until it was time to serve the mash potatoes at the meal.
Could the answer to my dilemma be this easy? Was it truly possible to prepare the mash potatoes early that morning, keep them heated in a crock pot throughout the day, then transport them in a stable container, plug the crock pot into a wall socket at our friend’s house and the mash potatoes be hot and ready when it was time for the meal?
The answer is YES!
A small 3 ½ Quart Slow Cooker / Crock Pot will hold six pounds of mash potatoes. Prepare your mash potatoes as you would for any meal. Before adding the mash potatoes to the crock pot, spray non-stick oil on the inside of the crock pot. Spoon them into the crock pot, top with a couple pats of butter, turn the crock pot into Low / Warm, cover and walk away. It is this simple.
If you are preparing the mash potatoes for a meal at home, then there is nothing more to do until you are ready to serve them for the meal. If you are taking the mash potatoes to a friend’s house, then place the crock pot on the floor of your vehicle and they will arrive safely without tipping over. Once inside, just plug the crock pot into the wall socket and they will be at the perfect temperature for the meal. There is no need to stir the mash potatoes before serving.