What we can learn from potato mashers

We keep a potato masher in a drawer because sometimes it’s fun to not be able to open that drawer. — Simon Holland

When I saw this on Twitter, I grinned. How many of us have struggled with potato mashers at some point? I know I have.

But the possible ways to work around this problem extend beyond this one object. There are a number of questions you might ask yourself about the potato masher that would be equally relevant to other items.

Do I even need to own this thing?

How many times have you used your potato masher recently? Do you have one you got years ago, before you changed your eating style to move away from potatoes (and other mashed vegetables)? If you just make mashed potatoes twice a year at the holidays, could you just borrow a potato masher from someone?

Alternatively, do you already have other tools that would do the job as well or better, such as a ricer or a food mill?

Should I replace my thing with one that would serve me better?

Assuming you feel you do indeed want to own a potato masher, is this the right one? William Morris said you should have nothing in your house that isn’t useful or beautiful, in your estimation. Marie Kondo suggested that everything we own should bring us joy. No matter which way you approach the topic, a potato masher that continually gets stuck in a drawer isn’t as useful as it could be and certainly isn’t bringing you joy.

One way to resolve this would be to get another potato masher that would bring you joy — or at least not make you annoyed. Two options are the folding potato mashers from Prepara and Joseph Joseph. And then remember to donate your old potato masher!

Could I just store the current thing better?

Potato mashers don’t need to be stored in a drawer. If your potato masher is the kind with a stick handle (rather than the kind with a horizontal handle), a utensil holder might be the easy answer. If you don’t already have one and don’t want to buy one, you may have something sitting around your home that would serve that purpose. My utensil holder is a tall ceramic mug. A wall rack for utensils is another option.

You might also be able to store the masher in another drawer that’s deeper, even if that separates it from the other utensils. Of course, then you’ll need to remember where you stashed it, if it’s not obvious.

Sometimes, though, the answer might be to unclutter the drawer that holds the masher and then organize the remaining contents. My potato masher lives in a drawer, but it’s always lying flat, within one section of a drawer organizer. If your masher is in a drawer that’s a jumble of various kitchen utensils, it’s more likely to get positioned in a way that causes the drawer to jam.

10 Comments for “What we can learn from potato mashers”

  1. posted by Anne on

    I have a potato masher in a set that hangs on the wall. I keep it because it fits my hand perfectly and I know exactly what bowls work best with what is being mashed. I don’t use it that often but it works perfectly when I do.

  2. posted by Katie on

    We have a potato masher that is used primarily for making guacamole. It is the flat-plate-with-holes type, and lives on a magnetic knife rack on the wall. I am keeping it. Fight me.

  3. posted by johncanon on

    I put a hook near the stovetop for my beautiful Henckels brushed stainless steel masher.
    It hangs in the same neighborhood with various small strainers and Microplane graters, all beautiful stainless steel.
    The drawer quip is priceless.

  4. posted by Catherine on

    My masher kept getting stuck in the utensil drawer. Now it lives in the saucepan drawer which is deeper. If I’m going to be mashing potatoes, I’m also going to be using a saucepan, so I just get them out together. I’m thinking about doing this with other things as well, like storing the pasta spoon with the colander. Why keep all the utensils together anyway? They just get jumbled together and messed up.

  5. posted by tarita on

    We keep a potato masher in a drawer because sometimes it’s fun to not be able to open that drawer. — Simon Holland

    THIS ⬆️ ( quote’s dead-on relate-ability ) brought an immediate and enormous ear-to-ear smile to my face!

    {{{ my warmest gratitude & one ❤️ love! }}}

  6. posted by Kelly on

    “Could you just borrow a potato masher from someone?” Sure, this would make someone else store it and then inconvenience them to lend you theirs at the precise times they would also need it. Insert eye roll. Go out and buy one that brings you joy — replace a perfectly functional item just because you can’t figure out a place to store it. Make sure you donate your old one to someone less unfortunate than you, that they may struggle with it.

    This entry was disappointing on so many levels. I used to really like Unclutterer. It may be time to move on. The quality of the content took a nosedive with this post.

  7. posted by Joan, RD on

    I use my potato masher at least once a week to mash bananas when I make a batch of oatmeal. I’m a dietitian, and I created this recipe to include ingredients to help control cholesterol–oats, soy milk, flaxseed, walnuts:
    5 – 7 very ripe bananas
    2 cups old fashioned oats
    3 1/2 – 4 cups soy milk
    1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
    Optional–3/4 cup brown sugar
    Optional–other fruits–cranberries (precook in covered pan or microwave till they burst), raisins, frozen blueberries, etc.
    Cook all in 4-quart pot for five minutes.
    Cover pot and stand for 5 minutes.
    Optional–add 3/4 cup ground flaxseed

    Makes ~ 6 – 7 servings
    I dish it into individual pyrex bowls, top with walnuts and more soy milk. Hubby takes these to work daily.

    I store my potato masher along with other similar size/shape items in a glass pitcher inside a cabinet.

    A final comment–what brings joy to one person may not bring joy to another. It’s subjective. So go ahead and give it away if you wish to someone who will appreciate it. I’m keeping mine!

  8. posted by Sabina Alberti on

    I love potatoes for every meal, so of course I have a masher (in a deep drawer). Do you know that potatoes have the most Potassium per cup of all vegetables? Only Tomato Paste has a bit more, but who eats a cup of tomato paste.

  9. posted by Sammy on

    I have never thought so much about a potato masher! Although a folding does sound good, would it not fold while you are mashing?

  10. posted by Margaret Rdland on

    I know we should propitiate Annoiya (Goddess of Things Stuck in Drawers – a Discworld goddess – thanks Terry Pratchett) by putting my potato masher into a drawer. However, I find that a wide-mouthed ceramic jug holds all my awkwardly shaped kitchen tools really nicely and looks good on my kitchen bench.

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