licking the beatersmASHED POTATO BEATERS

Licking the beaters happened most often after church on Sunday when Mama was preparing Sunday lunch. Many times we had mashed potatoes. Some days we had fried potatoes or scalloped potatoes. There were always potatoes on Sunday’s dinner table. We were of German/Swiss descent and potatoes were a mainstay in our home. The foretaste of those potatoes came on the metal beaters removed from the mixer. Mama took the beaters off the mixer when it was time to scoop the potatoes into the serving dish.

Mama came home from church and put her Bible and purse in her bedroom. She reached into her wardrobe  and pulled her white “Sunday apron” from the peg on the wall. She meandered out to the kitchen, tying her homemade apron strings behind her. The aroma of dinner (that’s what we called it) was already filling the house because a roast or meatloaf was baking while we were at church.

The best mashed potatoes

Mama had her potatoes peeled the evening before. All she had to do come Sunday was put them into her pressure cooker and wait for them to cook. She drained the potatoes and dumped them into the mixer bowl. She seasoned them with salt, white pepper, milk, and butter. As the mixer beaters whirled around the bowl, we waited in anticipation.

licking the beatersThere were six of us under tweens and only two beaters. We clamored to get to be the one(s) to lick the beaters. I don’t know how Mama (or any other adult) decided whose turn it was. Sometimes the person in the closest proximity got to lick the beaters. That meant you had to be in the kitchen helping in some form. You might be called to set the table, add pickles to a dish, or pull jello salad from the fridge to put on the table. If you happened to be there when the mixer stopped, you might be the one enjoying licking the beaters.

Like a dog with a bone

Like a dog grabbing at the largest bone and running away from other dogs, we grabbed the beater and ran. There was a certain way to lick the beaters. First, you licked the outside like you would an ice cream cone. Next, you curled your tongue to the inside of the beaters, clearing a path with your tongue. Last, but not least, you took your finger and slid it along every curve of that beater to get the last mash of the potatoes. While you were enjoying your foretaste of Sunday dinner, you fended off would-be tasters as well.

licking the beaters
Memory lane beaters

We came home from church the other week and I pulled my already-peeled potatoes out of the refrigerator, dumped the water, and put them into a kettle with steaming water. In a few minutes, the potatoes were soft and ready to be mashed. 

I pressed the beaters into the potatoes to mash them manually before I turned the mixer on high – just like my mama used to do. The beaters whirled and whipped the potatoes into butter-flavored peaks and by the time the table was set, they were done.

This time, I removed the beaters from the mixer and got to lick them all by myself. There were no sisters clamoring for a lick, no kids of my own begging for a taste, and no adult voices telling me it’s not my turn.

 I was back in my mama’s warm kitchen, remembering the feeling of warmth and love as we bickered over licking the beaters. I licked the outside of each beater, curled my tongue along the inside, and took my finger and scooped the last of the mash. Sweet memories and pure bliss!

pinterest Licking the Beaters

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