In Which I Blog About Two of the Things I Said I Wouldn’t Blog About

I really don’t want to blog about being sick — but damn. I’m in the middle of a daily blogging challenge and thanks to the virus that will not die, I have basically nothing else going on in my life. I am phoning it in at work and at home and the highlight of my day is going to bed early with Harry Potter.

As my top-ten list yesterday indicates, there’s a lot of stuff I feel like I don’t want to blog about. In the interest of not blogging about being sick, though, I guess I’m about to blog about two of those things now. Here goes: Potatogate 2014 and Family.

First of all, let’s talk Potatogate. This is CW’s and my third Thanksgiving together as a couple. I can’t remember the exact dishes we made last year and it looks like I failed to take a photo of my plate. I must’ve been off my usual foodstagram game that day. Two years ago, photographic documentation reveals that I ate Celebration Roast (the Field Roast people’s answer to tofurkey), mashed potatoes, roasted fall vegetables including sweet potatoes and carrots, cranberry sauce, and green bean casserole. And pie, of course.

And this year? As you’ll recall from my previous post on the matter, we were talking about making turkey/tofurkey, mashed potatoes, roasted fall vegetables including sweet potatoes, something green such as green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and pie. Pretty similar.

CW and I had casually thrown out these ideas during a couple of early conversations on the matter and I’d begun a menu/list that’s now hanging on the fridge. So then last night, imagine my surprise when my husband acts shocked that I’m planning to make roasted sweet potatoes, tells me he thinks we can’t have both sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes because it’s excessive and redundant, tells me he doesn’t think of sweet potatoes as a traditional Thanksgiving food, and claims we have never had them before in our two previous Thanksgivings together. Huh.

During the conversation, I asked him what his top three most essential Thanksgiving foods are — the favorites that you have to have to feel like it’s really Thanksgiving.

His: turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole.

Mine: pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes.

No reason we can’t make all six and each have our top three, right? Together, that sounds like a pretty great Thanksgiving meal.

But my husband, he also tells me, “make what you want, but if you make sweet potatoes, I’m not making mashed potatoes.”

Okay then. I’ll just make sweet potatoes and if you want to forego one of your favorites that’s your thing, right?

But then, this feels less like a recipe for a Thanksgiving meal and more like a recipe for him to resent me for taking away his mashed potatoes. Even though I’m not doing that.

And see, I’m almost stubborn enough to be okay with that in the name of having my sweet potatoes.

HOWEVER, I also like mashed potatoes. If I were allowed to add a fourth favorite to the above list, mashed potatoes would definitely be it. I’ve always had both for Thanksgiving. I always remember both being on my table, whether with family or friends — I don’t consider having two types of potatoes excessive or redundant at all.

For one thing, one’s a creamy, savory starch; the other is a sweet, crispy-on-the-outside fiber. Different colors. Different textures. Different flavor profiles.

So anyway, I take my indignant self to Twitter and confirm with my friends that in no way is it wrong to serve both sweet and mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving. Everyone agreed with me — or perhaps was too frightened of Angry Potato Lady to disagree. Heh.

But Potatogate 2014 is not about whether my gang of Twitter ladies agrees with me, really. It’s about things more important than that — the spirit of the holiday, family, togetherness, gratitude. All of that. And also, stuffing my face with as many different types of carbs as physically possible.

So there will be potatoes, y’all. There will be sweet potatoes. There will be mashed potatoes. You get potatoes. And YOU get potatoes. EVERY-BODY GETS POTATOES!

I will make it happen; MARK MY WORDS.

Did I mention, by the way, that we will be eating this excessively redundant potato-riffic meal on the Saturday after Thanksgiving? Mmmmmmyeah. That’s happening. My brother either didn’t or couldn’t get Thursday off work, so he’ll be working Thursday night (he’s an RN at a hospital and works third shift) and then he and my dad and stepmother will be driving down Friday morning, getting here in the late afternoon.

With this constraint, we’d originally talked about eating the big meal Friday night, but on second thought, that doesn’t seem like a great plan. CW and I don’t want to spend the day cooking alone and waiting for them to arrive so we can eat. We’d rather have the whole family hanging around and talking and drinking a beer or a glass of wine while we spend the day cooking and having fun. So it’s going to be Saturday.

I can’t say I’m not a little hassled by that, but we will make it work. We’ll have to do the back to school prep for Monday before they get here, so we don’t have to stress about our classes or grading over the weekend. It’ll be fine.

To keep traditions and family connections, sometimes you just have to make it work. This year, that means eating on Saturday. And this year and every year after, so help me dog, that will mean making two types of potatoes.


  1. I’m pretty sure your TN/southern roots require you to top your sweet potatoes with (gelatin-free for you) marshmallows, right?! And then they’d be so far removed from the mashed potato goodness, all parties would win. Last year, my sister and her husband used the following recipe for their mashed potatoes and though we all worried about the absence of butter and what that would mean for the taste, they were AMAZING. Really amazing. I guess that’s what heavy cream and good cheese will do.
    Enjoy the holiday!


    1. Another friend suggested that the reason CW doesn’t think sweet potatoes are traditional is that he’s not from the south — I wonder about that! I have definitely had/enjoyed the sweet potato casserole with marshmallows many years in the past, but these days I just go for a simple roast with olive oil, S&P, and herbs. So good.

      That recipe looks great, too — good cheeeeeese….


      1. Perhaps I am the friend you mention, and I’ll reiterate that my own Yankee love has no attachment to sweet potatoes as a Thanksgiving necessity. I’ve eaten Thanksgiving dinner with his extended family in Philly as well, and there were NO sweet potatoes. And they were missed! By me! Maybe it’s not, but then, the rest of the country doesn’t know what they’re missing. Hmph.
        And, for what it’s worth, I don’t enjoy sweet potato casserole bc I think it’s too sweet, so my entire life, I ate it with the marshmallows scraped off. And now that I cook my own meal, I just roast or bake them.

  2. Yes, I was thinking of you! Those carpetbagging men of ours need to recognize: move to the south, eat the sweet potatoes.


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