Instantize me!

the best mashed potatoes ever! (photo from

This morning I got in my freezing cold car and drove to Food Lion for the essentials. The bad thing about living in the middle of a small town is that the heater in my car never warms up, so I ride the whole ten minutes there and back hunched over and shivering with one finger on the steering wheel.

Start your car before you leave, you say? Wait a second, that makes way too much sense.

So instead, I shivered my way into Food Lion with my mental list of essentials reeling:

“Butter, eggs, pie crust, and … oh yeah, instant mashed potatoes. Now, where would they be?”

“Hmmm…here’s mac and cheese and pasta roni. They should be here somewhere.” (looked around). “Nope.”

(Went down the aisle and turned left.)

“Looks like dog food, papertowels, and cleaning products. Not the place for potatoes.”

(I turned right.)

And there it was in big bold capital white letters on the sign hanging above aisle two: “INSTANT POTATOES.”

O Food Lion, I love you.

Who puts “instant potatoes” on a grocery aisle index? I thought they only put broad categories and essentials on those signs. Are mashed potatoes something you absolutely must know where to find in the grocery store?

When a snow storm is threatening to close schools, smother roads, and trap people in their houses for days on end, do people walk into Food Lion drop to their knees, tearing their garments in distress, and scream,” Where are the instant potatoes!?”

Is that why Food Lion put it on their sign?

I don’t normally shop at Food Lion. I give a quarter of our net income to Wal-Mart every month.  Where else can you buy toothpaste, diapers, frozen pizza and tires? People love to hate Wal-Mart, but I am not one of them. Mine is more of a love/hate relationship. Love the prices, hate the grime. Love the breadth of merchandise, hate walking a mile to get cotton balls. But I continue to go to Wal-Mart because, as they say, the prices are “unbeatable.”

Food Lion, however, is probably the most expensive grocery store round these parts, which may be a tell-tale sign of the booming metropolis where I reside. I’m not really sure why they are so much more expensive. It’s not like they can charge more for the atmosphere. I’d much rather shop at Martin’s (part of the Giant chain). They play show tunes over the loudspeaker, have a plethora of hand sanitizers, double coupons, and have a marvelous thing called “easy shop.” Not to mention a great selection and still better prices than Food Lion.

But when I’m in a jam (ie. I need instant mashed potatoes to go with some frozen beef brisket I got from my neighbor) I go to Food Lion. It’s only 1.7 miles down the road instead of 2.1 to Martin’s. Needless to say, I DO NOT go to Wal-Mart for three things. That would be either pure torture or pure insanity. Maybe both.

Getting back to instant potatoes. Don’t they sound good? And aren’t they necessary when eating beef brisket? (Although I’m not quite sure what beef brisket is.)

Maybe you are shaking your head at this because you always make your mashed potatoes from scratch. Good for you.  In my married life I think I have attempted it once.

For me, making homemade mashed potatoes is like going to Wal-Mart for three things. Torturous. Why would I put myself through the hours of laborious washing, peeling, cutting, boiling, mashing, and mixing, when Idahoan does the work for me?

And they taste so good. Even if I tried, I couldn’t get the right blend of garlic, butter, parmesan, and MSG like they do. Besides, they taste real enough to me. Although you may not want me to judge any mashed potato cooking contests because the last time I had real mashed potatoes was probably the before I left for college.

So when the next snow storm hits, you won’t find me wearing sackcloth and ashes because I don’t know where the instant potatoes are. I’ll be in aisle two of Food Lion… stocking up.

8 thoughts on “Instantize me!

  1. YFG says:

    Wal-mart? If you really look there are items made in the USA! Socks, underwear, most groceries. However, ALWAYS check the frozen fish! Comes from Chinese septic pits. Just ask them “Show me the label”!
    Love ya (all four)

  2. Philip Medcalf says:

    Brooke you not thinking of warming your car before doing an errand when it is cold is something I think a person from a mild climate state would do, while a person from a cold climate state would warm there car before doing an errand. Your blog was an interesting thing when you are looking for something and you are having trouble finding a good thing is find someone from the grocery store and ask them were the item is.

  3. notesfromrumbleycottage says:

    Ok, here are easy tips for real mashed potatoes. Always, Always buy the red skined potatoes. No need for peeling as the skins are thin and taste good. Slice or quarter after a good wash and then place in boiling water. Use a masher, add a little milk and there it is!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s