There were very few things my mom refused to eat and many of them had some childhood memory associated with them. Cold mashed potatoes were one of those things. She said that by the time the got to eat the mashed potatoes they were often cold. Thus at our house, mashed potatoes were one of the last items fixed for a meal so they would very hot when they were served. Leftovers were thrown out (this never happened with anything else).
As you might imagine, it was an extremely rare occasion when my mom would make “potato cakes” or mashed potato pancakes. In fact, I only remember it occurring about once a decade or so. My dad liked them, thus her attempt at making them…I guess. However, her potato cakes were not the best. Luckily, they are one of the few items that I can clearly remember my maternal grandmother making (I was nine when she passed). My grandmother’s were much better.
One of the things I liked about my grandmother’s potato cakes better than my mother’s was that they were thinner. Thinner meant that much of the texture was crispy.
Although I think my grandmother would add some sauteed onions occasionally, I like to add an ingredient my grandmother would not have had much of on the farm…cheese. I use a shredded white medium or sharp cheddar cheese but many other types would work.
The next time I have leftover mashed potatoes, I am going to make some loaded potato cakes by adding chives (instead of onions) and bacon. I think I’ll save the sour cream to serve on top.