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photos by gluttonforlife

11.16.10 Taking Sides

Here come the holidays and, with them, your family. Bickering, sibling rivalry, old grudges and the rapid backslide into childhood habits are mitigated by unconditional love and unlimited quantities of sugar and fat. Both my parents are dead, so I have absolutely no chance of recreating that perfect Rockwellian moment. Because I went to college so far from home, I have been glomming onto other people's Thanksgiving celebrations since I was 17 anyway. Now I am a part of G's family, and this year, along with his chef-in-training sister, I am responsible for the turkey. His mother has passed the torch. It's a big responsibility, but not one that can totally distract from the issue of side dishes. I suppose there are some families out there who are wildly experimental with their Thanksgiving menu, trying that mole sauce with the turkey one year, stirring coconut milk and chiles into their sweet potatoes, maybe even passing a post-prandial doobie. But it seems that, for the most part, people really like to stick with TRADITION, even if it means that repellent green bean casserole topped with canned onions. Or having both sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes. The root vegetable is really very popular at this meal, and rightly so. Its earthy sweetness is the essence of comfort food. Try making these sweet and spicy garnet yams (no marshmallows, please), cubed and blitzed in the oven along with some pancetta, while the turkey is being carved. And keep reading to discover the very best mashed potatoes ever. Trust me on this.
Tagged — first course