Thursday, October 30, 2008

Make it From Scratch Thanksgiving - Potatoes and Sides

The past few weeks I've been sharing recipes and tips to create a made from scratch Thanksgiving. We've talked about rolls, pumpkin pie, stuffing and cranberry sauce. This week it is potatoes and other sides. Next week will feature the star of Thanksgiving, the turkey. On November 13, I will share a few tips about timing and putting it all together. 

Then, on November 18 the Make it from Scratch carnival will be hosted here. The theme is Thanksgiving. I am asking you to submit your favorite Thanksgiving recipes, tips, crafts, and other ideas for a memorable holiday. I can't wait to see all your ideas, but for now, on to potatoes and sides. 

As you may remember, I hate to peel potatoes, but even I make mashed potatoes from scratch for turkey day. Often I find someone else to peel the potatoes for me, but that is beside the point. What is there to say about mashed potatoes? Peel, boil, mash, and add butter, milk and salt to taste. One trick to make sure your potatoes stay hot is to warm the milk and melt the butter before adding to the potatoes. 

There are a lot of ways to dress up your mashed potatoes. You can add a little garlic, some sour cream, parsley, cheese, bacon bits or a little bit of all of that. I'm just as happy with plain mashed potatoes, and good turkey gravy. 

Um...good....turkey...gravy... again a weakness exposed. I am not a good gravy maker. Probably because I don't practice enough. A few weeks back, A bit of flour shared The secret of fabulous turkey gravy. Perhaps there is hope for me yet. 

That brings us to the other potato staple for Thanksgiving, the sweet potato. I know that tradition holds that sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving are supposed to be sweet and sticky with lots of sugar and marshmallows on top. I'm sorry, but YUCK! I know some of you love that dish, but I love sweet potatoes and I like to taste them. 

My favorite way to serve sweet potatoes is to simply bake them. Whip together some butter and cinnamon to serve with them, and I'm in sweet potatoes heaven. Baked sweet potatoes are easier, healthier, and tastier than that other popular sweet potatoe dish!

Do we need more sides? Well of course we do, it is Thanksgiving. The more the merrier! Usually I serve a simple vegetable side like green beans, corn or a simple salad. Another favorite is green bean casserole.

You might notice that the potatoes and sides really are not the highlight of the meal for me. I do enjoy them all, but the rolls, stuffing and turkey are where it is at for me. When preparing the meal, I spend a lot of time on those and keep the other dishes on the simple side. 

Next week we'll talk turkey. 


  1. My youngest daughter only uses instant mashed potatoes, but I peal mine and make the real stuff. Now that the grandkids are older they have rebelled against eating mashed potatoes at thier mom's, but will eat it at our house.

    Finally Misty asked them why and they told her that "Grammy's taste better". I had a great laugh over that!



  2. I'm with you on the Sweet Potato Issue. Why overwhelm them with a ton of sugar? They are SWEET potatoes to begin with, no?

  3. this is my first thanksgiving cooking everything from scratch ... its just me and my husband - any recipes / ideas youd like to share with me will be greatly appreciated.


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