For years I have shared my struggles in this here space. My struggles, that is, with prepping potatoes for mashing, baking, and/or cooking.

As you might recall, I cannot peel potatoes – or anything for that matter – with a knife. Please don’t tell me I could if I practiced. I’ve, in the words of my late father, peeled away too many potatoes in my day practicing.

Anyway, years ago, I purchased a Rotato, a potato-peeling gadget that changed my life. It was a messy gadget, though, and hard to clean. Thankfully, I ran across a vegetable peeler in a store.

Ahh. Talk about a life changer.

I now have four peelers. Why do I have four? Well, you never know when you’ll get the urge to peel something and the other three peelers might be dirty.

Although the peelers solved one problem, they didn’t solve another one. That is, when preparing mashed potatoes, I still need to dice said potatoes.

Here’s the biggest issue for me when it comes to dicing potatoes: I would really prefer if the diced particles of potato were uniform in size.

As you might imagine, that preference means it takes me dozens of minutes to prep potatoes for mashing.

Thankfully, somehow I came into possession of a gadget that legit chops and dices vegetables.

Unfortunately, it was not a life changer. Sure, the diced particles of potato appeared, more or less, to be uniform. But it took just as long to dice them via the gadget as it did with a knife. What’s more, the gadget was messy and hard to clean.

Thus, I resumed dicing potatoes with a knife.

Woe was me.

Then, one day a few weeks ago, I wasn’t feeling my best. So, of course, I turned to my comfort food – mashed potatoes. I didn’t feel up to dicing or even peeling. I had purchased smallish potatoes, so I dumped them into the pan, peelings and all, and poured water on them. (I am not a fan of potato peelings or, as my late father referred to them, potato jackets, either. But like I said, I wasn’t feeling well.)

You know what? The potatoes cooked up, as we say at the Goff Estate, and they were a breeze to mash. What a learning experience. From then on, I haven’t bothered with dicing. After peeling potatoes, I’ve cut them into pieces about the size of the aforementioned smallish potatoes, dumped them into the pan, and poured water over them.

The potatoes have continued to cook up and I have continued to add butter and heavy cream (a tip I learned from my bestie) to create scrumptious mashed potatoes.

There have been no lumps. No issues. No drama. No struggles.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.