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Mashing potatoes with a whisk

Use a masher please, OK?I just don't know about Delia Smith.

She's set herself up as the cooking mother of the nation, won the confidence of millions of non-cooks to the extent that she's got generations of Brits eating out of her pudgy, freckled, antiseptic little hands. I reckon she's sitting there in Norfolk in her brushed velveteen housecoat and Canaries' scarf, sipping her half of Norfolk ale and having a mighty good laugh as she checks her status on Amazon's best-seller list.

There are many things I would like to do to Delia, but right now, having just washed up after dinner cooked by my father-in-law, I would like to grass her off to the Environment Agency.

My pa-in-law, Jed, an otherwise very confident and creative fellow, but being the product of a certain generation, will tackle only a fistful of recipes. Top of his list is a decent rendition of Delia Bloody Smith's sausages in cider with mashed potatoes. Now, I'm absolutely not slagging off the chef, but will somebody please tell me why must you mash potatoes with a whisk? Why? What's wrong with a masher and a fork? Or a ricer if you must? But an electric whisk? It took me about half an hour and a gallon of water to extract all the mash from the damned thing's nookie crannies. But Delia says it must be an electric whisk so a whisk it will be.

I'm not a great one for censorship of any kind but it's bonfire night soon and I reckon that Ms Smith's How To... series would make good tinder. It could be as symbolically liberating as bra burning in the 1970s if it meant that thousands of whisk-bound starter cooks were released from the nonsense gadgetry peddled by La Smith and would revert to only a few well-chosen kitchen tools.

Bring back the potato masher. It's easier to wash, besides.


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