Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thanksgiving Potatoes

My parents and grandparents were married until one of them died. I think my parents liked each other and truly enjoyed each other's company. But I'm not sure that was true for maternal grandparents who went through huge struggles and grew through it. I think they grew in different directions and at end of life were not happy with each other. I hope for happiness for everyone. Just saying, on that. But, for the young ones, it created a very secure and stable life for the old ones to stay together. My sister and I talk about that we are secure today partly because of the security our parents built for us at a personal price to themselves.

But I married into a family that suffered a divorce prior to my entry. For the young ones, there are pressures from many sides around the holidays. Their significant others have multiple people wanting them for the holidays too.  This is different from the way I grew up.  They need to meet multiple obligations to the older ones around the holidays. How can we not be part of the pressure for them?

Husband and I had a careful talk. Our plan is to be as much support and comfort to the young ones for the holidays with traditions that build upon the past and look toward the future. We'll plan several holiday events. The first one is this Sunday. It will be a table full. These are people we like. I want a good meal for them and a pleasant memory. We've been sick with 2 viruses over the last month. We seem to go from hard time to hard time but here is the beginning of the Holiday season, 2010. Time to get moving.

So there is a Butterball defrosting in the fridge. Nothing fancy, but that's how I do it. I'm making lists, like I do, planning it out and looking forward to Sunday.

I make the potatoes 1 or 2 days in advance.  No fun mashing the potatoes at the last minute and I plan to have fun.  According to my notes, I started making this in 1997.  Trust me.  Nothing fancy, but makes time for the fun stuff, pies and other favorites.

Make-Ahead Potatoes
10 large Russets, peeled and quartered
1 C. sour cream
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, brought to room temp
6 T. butter,at room temp,  divided
2T. dried minced onion
1 t. salt

Place potatoes in large pan with enough water to cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook until they stick easily with a fork.  20 - 25 minutes.  Drain and return to the pan.  Add sour cream and cream cheese, 4T. butter, onion and salt.  Mix with a hand mixer until smooth and incorporated.  Spread into a large casserole dish.  Melt remaining 2T. butter; drizzle over top.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready.  Let stand 30 minutes on the counter after taking from the fridge.  Then, bake covered for 350 degrees for 40 minutes and uncovered for 20 minutes.  12 servings or so.
More to come.
Remember to plan for the future.


  1. Your kindness in understanding the pressures is such a gift to the younger group in your family. I had that after I married so many years ago, and it was difficult to please everyone. When my daughter married, she and her husband had a talk and THEY decided to alternate the holidays. That way everyone gets some pleasure. If they are here on Thanksgiving, they are there on Christmas. The next year it is reversed. I was proud of them, and it has worked splendidly each and every year. Enjoy your Sunday!

  2. Love the cream cheese in these! Delicious! Thanks!