There are somethings that are just indispensable in our lives. One of them I have been without for five years.

But through resilience, tenacity, ingenuity and perseverance, I survived.

Two weeks ago I bought a new one, it has been used twice, and I now wonder how on earth I managed without one for five whole years.

It was a grueling five years, five years of suffering, forcing myself to adapt, but now I am free of those fetters, I can truly enjoy life once again.

Yes, I am talking about the simplest of tools, simple, but a prerequisite in the house of any, indeed,  of the rudest humans. A fundamental necessity, because without this pivotal tool one simply cannot enjoy life. One is deprived of a basic human right and that is as close to a living Hell as anything I can imagine.

The quintessential tool for any food lover

The quintessential tool for any food lover

The paramount right to enjoy mashed potatoes!

Correctly mashed potatoes, mashed potatoes made by a real potato masher.

Yes, I bought a potato masher!

No longer do I have to make do with partly mashed potatoes made with the flat side of a steak hammer, I can really mash potatoes, lovely, lumpless mashed potatoes.

Happiness can be bought so cheaply. One does not have to be rich to be happy; indeed one just needs a potato masher.

The problem with Brazil, is that one cannot always find the simplest of things. Most Brazilians have no idea of the induced bliss of truly mashed potatoes. For  a Brazilian, mashed potatoes is a puree made in the blender and when served spreads across the plate like advancing lava.

Mashed potatoes with rich creamy butter

Mashed potatoes with rich creamy butter

The joy of mashed potatoes that when served in a great dollop of fluffy white, stays a great dollop of fluffy white, just waiting for you to press a slab of butter in the top, so that it melts and forms a pool of golden yellow.

Mashed potatoes, as any western, child knows are not only food, they are an adventure. They are more fun than sandcastles on the beach, you can play with them, you can make battlements and tunnel into them to allow the aforementioned golden pool to escape and mix with your veges.

With mashed potatoes, you become an artist, a sculptor, an engineer or an architect. Only your imagination places boundaries with mashed potatoes.

More importantly, they are an escape, a refuge from father’s wrath. While he is berating you for some misdeed heinously committed during the day, you can doodle with your potatoes, twisting your fork this way and that, boring into that wondrous mound, losing yourself in a quiet reverie, far from the dining room table, half way to Never-never Land.

Yes, the miracle of mashed potatoes, is not to be sneezed at (unless you put too much pepper on them), not to be underestimated, not to be demeaned.

Do you remember your mashed potato adventures?

I do.