I don't know much about Ina Garten aka the Barefoot Contessa, but I caught a British-themed episode of her cookery show where she made "bangers and mash" using an electric blender to make her mashed potato.
As any fule kno, this will result in an abysmal, gluey slop similar to wallpaper paste, rather than the glorious mash that we know and love (although I have been assured that Americans of a certain generation prefer their mashed potatoes made that way).
No, there's no substitute for a bit of old-fashioned elbow grease - or at least that's what I thought until I came across something called a Masha on Big Spud's excellent blog. As I'm weaning my baby daughter, I was up for anything that might make life a bit easier, so I was pleased to be sent one too.
The Masha is the size of a stick blender but a little lighter. All the moving parts are made of plastic, which I like very much as blades seem to be drawn to me (or vice versa). You just click the green part into the white part, place it over the veg (or fruit) to be mashed, press a button and lower the Masha into the veg repeatedly.
|That green thing is the "blade"|
The idea is that the green "propellor" part pushes the veg into the white "sieve" so the tool extrudes the veg rather than blends it, which is how wallpaper paste is avoided.
It's fairly quiet and it works very quickly - I dealt with a large saucepan of spuds in five seconds. I even made a video which I'll upload if I can ever get it off my phone.
|What we need is a few good taters|
The Masha was equally good with butternut squash, although as the water content is higher, it resulted in more of a puree than mash.
With parsnip, I had to be a bit more careful and go over it twice as a few small lumps were left, but that's still only ten seconds to fluffy parsnip mash.
So would I recommend the Masha? Yes, it's quick, fairly compact, easy to use and easy to wash up.
With my almost ten month old still showing no signs of teeth, I think I'll be using this for a good while.
And even after her chompers appear, it will still save me time and god knows that's a premium with a baby in the house, but hey, please don't feel like you have to procreate before you can find the thing handy.
It makes short work of any veg or fruit (I use it to make guacamole too) and is apparently great for making mayonnaise or whipping cream.
|She loves it|
You can see the Masha in action and buy one for yourself at The A Range website for £34.99, but you can also win one right here - yes, it's COMPETITION TIME!
*** COMPETITION ***
THIS IS NOW CLOSED - THE WINNER IS THE ATOMIC TENDERFOOT
. The prize includes free delivery within the UK in time for Christmas.