Thanksgiving: Good Enough 2 – The Starches

A small plate with a serving of mashed potatoes.

Image via Wikipedia

Three Cheers for the starches.

HIP HIP HOORAY
HIP HIP HOORAY
HIP HIP HOORAY

(Hey, I didn’t make up that cheer.  If you are all subliminal about your hips.  Not. My. Problem.)

There is good news about all the starches.

They are here.

They are easy.

There can’t be any bad news about the Thanksgiving Three:  Rolls, Stuffing or Dressing, and Mashed Potatoes.

Rolls: Buy them.  While the turkey is sitting a few minutes for the juices to cool slightly and absorb back into them meat…(another reason the blog is anonymous…my brother-in-law ALWAYS slices into the bird the minute it comes out of the oven and then bitches whines because it is too dry.  Bless his heart.).

I digress.

While the turkey is sitting a few minutes for the juices to absorb back into the meat, toss the rolls in the oven per package directions.  Their tops dobbed with butter, of course.  I highly recommend frozen Pillsbury dinner rolls, and my husband highly recommends Sister Schubert’s.  This is my year.  I will tell you though, the Sister Schubert’s in the big bag at Sam’s aren’t as good as those from the grocery freezer section.  Don’t bother with artisan bread.  Today is different from all other days because the bread is NOT the star.  It is well and truly filler.

When the rolls ding, the turkey is probably about ready to carve.

Dressing/Stuffing: If you want to make your own from scratch, knock yourself out.  Grandma Mary used Pepperidge Farm and that is what I use.  By all means follow the directions on the bag, but this is one of the great areas where you can express yourself.  You can divide the batch and have plain for the purists, and have another batch that has all the ‘shrooms, berries, oysters, booze and stuff in it.  Pepperidge Farm does all the tedious for you.  You could probably use grocery store brand here, but please to God, do NOT use St*ve T*p.

If you stuff the bird, your dressing becomes stuffing, and will have the benefit of the turkey broth’s anointing throughout the roasting time.  This is too good for children.  Hide it from them and give them dressing.

Potatoes:  At this point, you are certain, that I will recommend instant potatoes.

Wrong.

This is the one area where people ‘phone it in’, when they could have better tasting potatoes, more easily.  I have never made satisfactory instant potatoes and I have never ruined real mashed potatoes.

Peel the potatoes.  Cut the potatoes in small pieces of uniform size.  Place in a pan with water to cover.  Cook until a fork pierces them easily.  Drain them.  Add ground pepper, butter, heavy cream.  Mash with hand held mixer or potato masher.  The mixer will yield smoother potatoes.  Don’t over mix.

I don’t have exact measurements.  We like a lot of potatoes. Don’t be afraid.  Seriously.

Gravy, incidentally, is the same way.  Any basic cookbook has directions.  If you are not rebellious and can just follow the instructions the way they are given without having to know the why of everything, you can make gravy from the pan drippings.  If you are, on the other hand, like my daughter who must know why or she won’t do anything; just put chicken and noodles over your potatoes.

Gravy is a miracle.

No one knows why.

We are just grateful.

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2 Responses to Thanksgiving: Good Enough 2 – The Starches

  1. EncoreBride says:

    Mmmmmm, I am soooo going to miss Thanksgiving this year but I wil try your Turkey and juice method the next time I get a chance. I agree with you on the potatoes, I always make them from scratch it’s too easy and they taste to good not to make them that way. I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving! Thanks for stopping by earlier.

  2. Serene says:

    I’m just happy that the turkey will soon be out of the fridge. That sucker takes up a lot of space!

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