Just like Mom’s: Will an Invention Finally Reveal Her Secret Ingredient?

My mom makes the best mashed potatoes. The best. I’m sure your mom’s are good, but not this good. (Ok, I guess I can admit that I’m probably a little biased here.)  And I love mashed potatoes. So I find it incredibly frustrating that I have thus far been unable to recreate my mother’s mashed potatoes.

Mashed potatoes.

These are not my mom’s mashed potatoes. By Renee Comet (photographer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This conversation has been had more times than I can count ever since I moved 350 miles south:

“Mom, seriously, how do you make them so good?”
“Well, I use whatever I have. If you have some sour cream you can add that.”
“Ok, well how much sour cream?”
“I don’t know, Kaitlin, whatever seems like the right amount.”

So with that not-exactly-precise recipe, I attempt, over and over, to make my mom’s glorious mashed potatoes. And every time, despite claims from my boyfriend that they taste just fine or even really good, they always fall flat to me.

The Motherspoon.

The Motherspoon. Will this gadget finally explain my mom’s recipe-less cooking to me?

But maybe technology is going to finally allow me to faithfully recreate Mom’s mashed potatoes. Cruising Pinterest the other night, I stumbled across a kitchen gadget by Electrolux called The Motherspoon. The gadget is explained as such:

“Basically what happens is that you and your mom buy your own pair of Motherspoon and register onto a dedicated platform for file sharing. So when your mom cooks her recipe and uses the spoon to taste her food, the sensor laden spoon picks up the ingredients and deciphers the recipe. When you put it on its cradle, the spoon loads the recipe to the sharing platform so that you can access it, even if you live miles apart.”

Is this the answer to my mashed potatoes angst? I don’t know that I’m going to rush out to get this gadget, but I will admit that I’m completely intrigued at the idea of technology showing precisely how my mom makes hers so delicious. But in the end, Mom’s mashed potatoes are as good of an excuse as any to make the trip home, and I think I’ll be ok never really knowing if her secret ingredient is a few teaspoons of onion powder or—as she claims—love.

At the London Eye.

Me and my mom in London, when my family visited me there for Christmas in 2008. And yes, I made her make me mashed potatoes.

2 thoughts on “Just like Mom’s: Will an Invention Finally Reveal Her Secret Ingredient?

  1. This is absolutely awesome Kate? I love your story and I love your eagerness to know your mom’s secret strategy of her yummy mashed potato. I guess inspiration in really takes a very big role in achieving the perfect idea in the midst of a person’s eagerness to learn, and in your case, that’s gonna be your mom and nothing less. I’m happy for you. You made it.

  2. This is a great article! And a fascinating technological concept. I, too, have spent years trying to learn my Hungarian mother’s secrets. My favorite is her recipe for csirka paprikas (paprika chicken in a sour cream sauce). In the measurement for how much paprika to use, it reads, “until it looks right.” And you know what — after making the dish for years now, I actually know what she means! Thanks for a fun read with an unexpected invention angle.

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