07 April 2010

Long Lost French Mashed Potatoes

My first ever trip to France was when I was a junior in high school. I traveled to Paris and Toulouse with a group of students from Sitka and Juneau, Alaska. In Toulouse we stayed individually with host families. While I wont delve too much into my host family situation, I will say that this trip in 2000 was an adventure. I ended up having emergency surgery in a French hospital and spent a week sleeping (seriously, I don't think I stopped sleeping for a week) in the house of another host family where the father was actually a doctor. I will never forget the Caucanas Family for their charity in taking care of me during that time. They brought me ice and rice, the only things I would eat at the time, and cleaned me up when my system was not so reliable.

Once I was able to move around a little, I wandered downstairs, away from the dark bedroom I had been using. I found that they had a big Saint Bernard type dog, who was female. I knew this because she still had her period in tact, and sometimes I would find her trail on the floor. I thought it was funny, because most dogs in America are spayed. I followed the little red trail down the stairs to the kitchen, where I met Grandma, possibly the cutest woman in France. She was teaching Marie to make homemade chocolate cake. I don't think I tasted any, as my appetite was still a little weak, but I did venture to try Grandma's French Mashed Potatoes. It's amazing how food can have such an impact on your memory, especially when you are starving and everything tastes amazing or in my case, when searching for comforting foods that appealed to my picky digestive system.

These potatoes are like none you've ever tasted before. They are not fluffy, startchy - they are stretchy and cheesy. Oh my! With this memory I have been chasing down the recipe for these potatoes (and one other french pasta recipe, still to be uncovered) for 10 years. Until today! When Annie's Eats posted the recipe on her blog with this picture.

Photo taken from Annie's Eats

Thank you, Annie! I will be making these soon.