When I was growing up, "INSTANT" FOOD was all the rage: Instant mashed potatoes, Tang Instant Breakfast Drink.....It was the era of Space Food Sticks, for crying out loud. I don't know why everyone was in such a hurry - it's not like we had to micro-manage our Internet lives back then. For some reason, saving time was crucial. The quality of the food was not.
It wasn't until Craig and I moved in together that we discovered the Joy of Real Food. On Saturday mornings, we watched PBS cooking shows. Saturday afternoon, we'd shop for ingredients and then we'd spend the evening cooking.
Unfortunately, we're spending long hours working these days, which doesn't leave us much time for concocting goodies in the kitchen. I could never ::shudder::: return to Instant Food, but I have rediscovered my beloved crock pot.
Do you know you can make absolutely splendid mashed potatoes in the crock pot? It's true!
I took a couple of pounds of small Yukon Gold Potatoes, cut them in half and placed them in the crock pot. Topped them with several chunks of butter. Covered them and set the heat to "low."
I came home from work 5 hours later, poured in some heavy cream and salt and they mashed up beautifully, effortlessly. No steamy kitchen, no poking potatoes for done-ness, no wrestling with the colander, no pot to wash. Perfect, luscious mashed potatoes that required about 5 minutes of work.
Instant enough for me.