Aren’t these just the cutest little potatoes? Creamy mashed potatoes with minced fresh chives and bacon piped in a decorative swirled mound. I have to confess, I was completely intimidated by any recipe that looked pretty. Being a designer, I want it perfect and if it doesn’t look like the picture – well then, it’s not perfect and real life doesn’t have an “undo” command. Since starting this blog about a year ago, I have ventured into recipes with different foods and techniques that I never would have dreamed of doing. It’s been a lot of fun and yes, my fear of “perfect” has diminished.
I recently read an article from Dirtbag Darling‘s blog title “Why It’s Totally Cool to Start Something “Late.” It’s about how each of us grows up in different ways and experience different things. Some of us took ballet classes and some of us lived at the beach and learned to surf. However, you decide “later” in life that you really wished you took those ballet classes, than you should do it and don’t worry about “what people might think.” Do it for you. Most likely, there’s someone just like you or who was you. I started snowboarding at age 36. I had cross-country skied a few times as a kid, but that was it for my snow sport experience. Learning to snowboard at 36 was hard. The physical part – you fall so much! I swear it took two years for my tail bone to heal. And it was a bit scary. I’m throwing myself down this mountain strapped into a board, umm what? What if I broke an arm or leg? I lived alone at the time and I thought about those questions: How will I do my work? How will I drive? Not to mention how awkward I felt. I was being passed by six year olds, maybe even younger. I had absolutely no grace on the board. But I powered through it and just enjoyed the experience of how freeing it was to be doing something I never did before. How it felt to go down the mountain the first time without falling. How it felt to go into the trees a little bit. How it felt being on top of the mountain with only the sound of snowflakes hitting the trees and ground with no one else around. Truly amazing and I would have never got to experience that without trying something new. Do I wish I started snowboarding in my 20’s – Of course. But I lived in Georgia, not a big snowboarding state.
In a way, starting something late is better. I feel you appreciate it more, the aches and pains, the beauty of it and the accomplishment. It’s for you and only you. You made it happen and it’s something to be proud of. Even with the blog, trying new foods and techniques was a challenge at first, but now I only see it as exciting and can’t wait to see how it turns out. The good and the bad, it makes the experience.
What did you start “late”?
- 3 ½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 ½ inch chunks
- 3 teaspoon salt, divided
- ½ cup heavy cream, warmed
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 4 slices bacon, minced
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- In a large pot, place potatoes and cover with cold water.
- On high heat, bring to a boil and add 2 teaspoons of salt.
- Boil until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife or fork, about 20 minutes.
- Drain potatoes in a colander.
- Preheat oven to 425°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
- Using a food mill (potato ricer) or potato masher, rice or mash potatoes until lump free in a large bowl.
- Add cream, butter, yolks, chives, bacon, remaining salt and black pepper and mix well.
- Spoon potato mixture into pastry bag with a large star tip.
- Pipe potatoes in a decorative swirl mound about 2 inches round and 2 inches apart.
- Bake until tops are lightly brown, about 10-15 minutes.