When Life Hands You Cancer….Make Garlic Mashed Potatoes

by Sarah on April 22, 2011

UGH Cancer.

Today we lost my uncle David, my mother’s oldest brother to lung cancer.  He never smoked.  He was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer last summer and I never got to see him.  I was hoping (perhaps stupidly) that he would hang on and I’d see him this summer at a planned family reunion.  What a putz I am.  Don’t wait, people.

Nana died from cancer, Boppa died from cancer.  Another good friend battled it  (AND WON!) last year.  I’m absolutely finished with it.

I can always recommend garlic mashed potatoes in the face of any adversity, and even cancer.  They will make even the worst situation seem a little better and you might feel a teensy bit comforted.

I don’t mean to sound trite–saying that some stupid mashed potatoes are the cure-all for cancer or any other serious illness or adversity, but it’s true that certain foods can take you back to happier times–there’s a real reason some of this is called “comfort food”.

They are creamy, warm, buttery and with just a hint of garlic.  Good as a side or in a bowl on their own.

Here’s to feeling better.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes


  • 5 lb sack russet, Idaho, Yukon Gold or "Sierra Gold" potatoes, cut into uniform pieces. Peeling is optional.
  • 1/2 cup butter (or more, to taste)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • salt, pepper
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced


  • Scrub potatoes and place in a pot of cold salted water. Bring to boil and let cook until fork tender.
  • In a sauce pan, combine milk, garlic and butter and set over a low flame. Let cook until hot but never boiling. The garlic must poach in the milk and butter mixture, so continue to cook on low for 10 minutes--or until the potatoes are cooked and drained.
  • When the potatoes are tender, drain and return to the pot. Add the melted butter, hot milk and garlic. Mash with a potato masher by hand. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add more butter, milk, salt or pepper as needed.
  • Serve with gravy, butter and green onions, or just in a bowl.

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