A fellow personal chef friend of mine who is married to a Finnish man gave me this…uh…suggestive kitchen tool a few years back.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t entirely certain what it was (Scandinavian modern sculpture? World’s biggest muddler? Minimalist bishop from an oversize chess set?) or what to do with it, though several inappropriate things naturally sprung to mind.
When my friend told me this was a traditional Finnish wooden potato masher I pretended that, of course, that was what I assumed all along. Only a pervert would assume it was something else, think of internal splinters, and clench their thighs in horor. And I am definitely not a pervert.
So I went home and displayed my wooden potato masher in my kitchen. Why I didn’t use it as a potato masher, I can’t say, except that I’ve always been a food mill girl.
But lately, I’ve been taking the Finnish Potato Masher down off the shelf and I’m finding it surprisingly indispensable. But not for potatoes. And, no, not for that either! Geez, who’s the pervert now, huh?
I’ve discovered it’s perfect for:
- Pounding cabbage when making sauerkraut.
- Crushing eggshells up to use as a calcium supplement to feed back to the chickens.
And I’m thinking it’s got potential for:
- smashing garlic cloves
- tamping down drop cookies
- muddling citrus
- tenderizing or flattening meat into cutlets
- bruising herbs for a marinade or sauce
- pressing berries and soft fruit through a strainer
- cracking spices as a lightweight pestle
In fact the more I think about it, the more shocked I am that I’ve lived my whole life without this multi-purpose device.
I may even try mashing potatoes with it one day.
Anyone else have a potato masher like this? What do you use yours for?2