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Duchess Potatoes

2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes

6 large egg yolks, room temperature

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, room temperature

1/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup finely shredded Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease baking pans.

Wash and peel potatoes, cut into 1 1/2″ chunks, and place in a large saucepan.  Cover potatoes with 2″ of cold water and salt water when it comes to a boil.  Reduce heat to a low simmer for about 15 minutes.

Drain potatoes, return the potatoes to the pot, and mash until smooth.

While potatoes are warm, mix in egg yolks one at a time with a wooden spoon or spatula.  Make sure each yolk is completely mixed before adding the next.  Add butter, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir until mixture is smooth.

Transfer potato mixture into a piping bag with star tip and pipe 12 round mounds onto each pan.  Mounds should be about 2″x2″ and 2″ apart.  Sprinkle with cheese.

Place baking pans into oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Rotate pans and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Dinner In Laws

I don’t wear an apron everyday. but I thought it best to “suit up” for the meal preparation ahead of me.  Mother and Dad Jones were coming over to enjoy an anniversary celebration.  I planned a delicious gourmet meal of Chicken Cordon Bleu with Duchess Jones Potatoes.  When we first married, Dad Jones never made remarks about my lack of cooking skills, child-rearing choices, or clumsy attempts at conversation.  He knew that I had lost my own father early in life and made appreciative comments on how I set up our first home.  I’ve been a very supportive wife to Steve and I know that my encouragement has helped him move up the ladder.  I smile and make witty repartee at company dinners and dress well for the events we attend together.  Mother Jones has clucked at a few of my fashion choices, the way I spoil our children, and the occasional gaps in attention paid to her favorite son.

For a week before the dinner, I cleaned every square inch of the house, even turning the cushions on the davenport.  My table was set with the good china, crystal, and a fresh bouquet from the florist in Mother’s favorite shade of pale pink.  When they arrived, Steve mixed the martinis and served them to Dad and Mother in the parlor. Daisy and Stevie Junior sat quietly in their good clothes, being model children.  I had already had a pre-dinner talk with them about the behavior I expected for the dinner and the possible consequences for the lack of their participation.  Mother was dressed perfectly and her new outfit fit her slim figure like a glove.  She liked to brag that she was within a pound of the weight she enjoyed before Steve was born.  Mother and Dad opened the anniversary cards that Daisy and Junior drew.  Mother opened their gift while explaining how unnecessary it was for us to buy them anything.  She seemed surprised that I had picked out a silver service piece that she didn’t already own.  I take stock every holiday dinner and make a mental note whenever I realize that Mother doesn’t already own a particular piece.

Maybe it was Steve’s extra strength martinis, but Mother didn’t criticize a thing about the dinner.  We lingered at the table eating dessert and Mother even laughed when Junior belched as loudly as possible to show off his new “talent.”  I felt as if I had finally done something right after all these years.  Perhaps Mother is mellowing, or I may actually be getting good at this housewife thing.  I guess time will tell.