The Great Sweet Potato Debate

imagesThis year I am cooking Thanksgiving dinner myself.  Usually our only obligation is to show up at my mom’s house with a side dish, a bottle of wine, and a couple of well behaved kids (ha!  THAT is the hard part!) but this year, my mother went and broke her hand (on purpose, perhaps, to get out of making dinner?  Hmmm.) It’s in a cast and it’s making everything difficult for her to manage.  I’m more than happy to make dinner, but it may not be up to my mother’s very high standards.  She will just have to be ok with that!  

So I was at the gym this morning with my good friend Carrie.  Carrie, the perfect hostess.  Carrie, the gourmet cook.  Carrie, who effortlessly throws a sit down Thanksgiving dinner for 25 year after year.  We started talking about Thanksgiving when she said she had this new recipe for sweet potatoes that she was going to try.. something about peeling and cubing and baking.. Huh??  In our family, we open up 3 or 4 cans of Princella sweet potatoes, cook ’em, mash ’em with butter, brown sugar, and hot milk, top ’em with marshmallows and brown them in the oven.  Sweet Jesus, they are to die for.  As I was telling her how they were done in our house, Carrie was mesmerized.  She had never eaten sweet potatoes with marshmallows.  She said something like, “Why marshmallows?”  Seriously, you have to ask?

For me, Thanksgiving dinner isn’t the time to get gourmet.  It’s not the time to pull out the cookbooks and try something new, get experimental, or worry about calories or fat content.  It’s a nostalgic time, an opportunity to make all the traditional recipes you’ve had since childhood.  But I suppose every family is different.  Personally I can’t imagine Thanksgiving dinner without sweet potatoes and marshmallows, and I’d be willing to bet that most of middle-America eats them that way.  Am I right?

How do YOU do sweet potatoes?