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Pat's Quick Thickener

by Pat Alexander

I keep a bag ziplock of mashed potato flakes in the fridge or freezer (depending on availale space). A couple tablespoons makes a very fast, effective thickener for stews, soups, gravies, and other dishes. Potato doesn't add flavor like cornstarch or flour thickeners, and it works instantly, so there's no need to add some flour, then cook and stir for several minutes and then add more. And the flakes don't lump. Just don't overdo them. I have been known to end up with flavored mashed potatoes on one or two occasions, mostly because the flakes are slippery little devils that can get away from me if I pour instead of scoop.