I've never really had to cook for myself until this school year. Last year, I lived in the dorms and a meal plan in the Dining Commons was required. I admit, I miss dorm food sometimes. Unlimited Jamba Juice, hot chocolate, lemonades, mocha drinks, Italian sodas were my favorite drinks. The fountain drinks were great too; almost every popular soda brand you can think of. Occasionally, I got a little bit of soda, but I absolutely loved the grape juice. One day, I was pressing the button for orange juice at the juice fountain machine and it was empty. A guy walking by, holding a cup of grade juice, suggested that grade juice is even better. And it was. Ever since then, I drank a cup of grade juice a day. At the least.
This year, I decided to live off-campus; it saves me a ton of money, but requires weekly grocery store visits, picking out fruits and vegetables myself, and getting a Safeway card. Last weekend, my parents came to visit and brought me tons of snacks and food. My mom packed me three potatoes. What am I supposed to do with those?! Make mashed potatoes!
RULE #1: Wash, skin, and cut all your potatoes into similar shapes (I didn't)
RULE #2: Boil the potatoes until you can stick a fork into them effortlessly (I didn't)
After following those two very, very important rules, proceed to mashing the potatoes, adding milk or cream, butter, and any herbs of your choice. Why are those two rules super mega important? If potatoes aren't cooked all the way, consumption can lead to indigestion and bloating. Oops.
I had one big potato and two small ones, and without thinking, I dunked them in boiling water. While they were boiling, I was doing laundry and got tired of waiting for the potatoes to be done. I grabbed a wooden spoon and stabbed the potato a bit. It didn't go through (like it should, but I didn't learn that until later!). I didn't think anything of it. I was tired.
Earlier, right after classes, I went straight to grocery shopping and dragged a bag of food back to my apartment. One mile of walking, with one really heavy bag of food. Then I ate some yogurt and went straight to business. I got tired of waiting, so I just went right along to mashing the potatoes. Didn't care there was chunks. Later for dinner, I heated up the mashed potatoes and the chunks were crunchy! Still, didn't care too much to stop and spit out the chunks. Until I told my roommate. She said it was a very good idea to eat raw potatoes and that's when I sat there and thought "Oh."
I mean, I've never made mashed potatoes before. And vegetables can be eaten raw, right? Carrots, lettuce, and tomatoes can. Thirty minutes after eating, I started to feel the pain. It hurt and nothing seemed to help. I researched about eating raw potatoes and it turns out that consuming them raw makes it really hard for the stomach to digest. I found two very useful articles from Livestrong.com:
The Risks of Eating Raw Potatoes
What Vegetables Cannot Be Eaten Raw
I took a hot shower to soothe my stomach and rubbed Chinese medicated oil on (it mainly contains menthol). I love the way medicated oil feels when warmed up on my stomach. There are various types of Chinese medicated oils that help treat headaches, dizziness, stuffy noses, tummy problems, itchiness, and much more. Of course, it isn't perfect for everyone. I remember when I was little, I had a friend over and I applied some on my tummy. She wanted to try some and she did not like the warm feeling. I can't explain the feeling it leaves. Think about facial cleansers with menthol as an ingredient. It leaves your face tingly, but with Chinese medicated oil, it is much stronger. It's tingly, warm, and it sort of burns but it's a soothing burn that makes the pain go away. Kinda like cough drops. The feeling it leaves in your throat. WAIT, NO. The perfect example to describe Chinese medicated oil is Vick's Vapo Rub!
Anyways, I don't think I'll be cooking potatoes for a while. Maybe I should just stick with french fries! Yum. Remember to make sure your potatoes are cooking all the way. No exceptions, unless you want tummy problems so you can try the Chinese medicated oil? Just kidding :)
Got a mashed potato recipe to share? Leave me a comment below! Although, I will stay away from potatoes for a little while...