09:45 – It was 55.2F (13C) when I took Colin out around 0715 this morning, sunny and clear. Barbara is waiting for a dump truck of mulch to show up so she can get the strips of raw dirt along the driveway mulched. The driveway is about 45 yards long and has dirt along both edges, so she’ll be hauling a lot of wheelbarrow loads of mulch today and probably tomorrow.
We had instant mashed potatoes with the leftover pork gloppita for dinner last night. I used the Walmart Great Value potato flakes. The first time we used them, I used only the dry potato flakes and water to reconstitute. They ended up okay, but kind of blah. Not surprising, considering that the Walmart flakes are 100% potatoes. (The Idahoan dry potatoes that we used to get in 3.25-pound boxes at Costco/Sam’s also include dry milk and lots of other stuff that may shorten their shelf-life.)
Yesterday, I made them up according to the instructions on the box for four servings, but substituting weights for volumes for reproducibility. Rather than fresh milk, I used enough water to provide the total amount of liquid specified and just added a quarter cup of Nestle Nido dry whole milk to the dry potatoes. I did use two tablespoons of real butter, but that could easily be substituted for by a fluid ounce of vegetable oil and a bit of butter powder. The result was pretty much indistinguishable from the Idahoan just-add-water potatoes, which is to say pretty decent. Barbara said they were fine, and she’s the ultimate arbiter.
I’d bought just one 26.7-ounce box of the Walmart potatoes to test. I have four cases (42 pounds) of LDS instant mashed potatoes in our deepest pantry, which I bought when my initial goal was one year’s worth of food for Barbara, Colin, and me. LDS sells them for about $3.36/pound, versus $1.60/pound at Walmart. That’s a big enough difference that it’s worth the minor time and effort to repackage the Walmart product in 2-liter bottles, so I’ll go ahead and order another 42 pounds of the Walmart potatoes and repackage them. In PET bottles with oxygen absorbers, they’ll be good for at least 20+ years and probably 100.
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