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Sharing Mountain Recipes
by Randi Lee Levin
The flavor of ranch dressing always reminds me of the country, where fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs grow in wide open places. As one who is always experimenting with new recipes, one evening I decided to add a bit of country twang to more traditional mashed potatoes, and added some ranch dressing spices. Even cooked up in a city, this recipe served with Fried Chicken or Meatloaf can momentarily place one into the backwoods. If you shut your eyes while eating, I bet you can hear the crickets chirping and the birds singing, instead of the horns and sirens blaring from the streets down below.
Serves 4-6


• 6 large potatoes or 12 small red potatoes
• Enough water to cover the potatoes
• 1/4 cup milk
• 1/4-1/3 cup of buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt
• 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
• 1 crushed garlic clove or 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
• 1 teaspoon each dried parsley and dill or a couple sprigs of fresh, finely chopped
• Pinch each of celery seed and dry mustard
• 2 pinches of dried cilantro (optional)
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
• Salt and pepper to taste


1. Wash the potatoes completely under warm water. (I normally leave the skin on, but peeling is a personal preference.)  Slice potatoes into 1/4-inch slices and place into a large pot. Cover with water and boil at medium high heat until tender and soft; about 25-35 minutes.

2. Drain and rinse the potatoes with hot water, then pour them into a large bowl.

3. Add the milk, buttermilk, butter/margarine and spices and beat with an old fashioned potato masher or an electric hand mixer until smooth and fluffy. Serve immediately.

Hints: Leaving the skin on the potatoes adds more vitamins to the product. Never use a food processor to mash the potatoes, or you will end up with too much starch and not enough fluff. You can substitute a couple of tablespoons of ranch dressing for the buttermilk and spices.


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