Mashed Potatoes

Prompt courtesy of Cake.shortandsweet‘s Wednesday Write In.


“The secret to great mashed potatoes is fresh rosemary,” my mother said. In so far as memories can say anything. She died a few years back.

Sometimes I imagined her in my kitchen, rifling through the cupboards.

“Why haven’t you a proper mixing bowl?” she’d likely say. And I’d take the cracked plastic bowl out from under the sink and imagine her shaking her head. I shrugged and started to peel the potatoes. The strips of their skin, red and curled, dropped to the counter.

“If you peeled them over the garbage, there’d be less mess to clean up afterwards,” my mother would say. I nodded and thought she was probably right but didn’t move. The bare potatoes bobbed and danced in the cold water as I moved the pan from under the faucet to on the stove.  I turned the element to medium.

“At least you remember some things,” my mother said. “But you could have cut the potatoes in to smaller pieces. They cook faster that way.”

I hovered over the pot poking into them with my fork until they speared through easily. I drained the starchy water and turned to the fridge to grab the milk and butter.


And the fresh rosemary.


5 thoughts on “Mashed Potatoes

  1. This is beautiful. Very real, and very touching. The personalities of the characters come across so well, and so clearly, even in such a short piece. I loved it.

    I enjoyed what you did with tense, and I really loved the way you used the mother’s voice throughout.

  2. Sweet. I really like the ending and that you left ‘And?’ on its own. (I’ve never tried rosemary with mashed potatoes, only roast!)

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