Although it wasn’t a national holiday until 1863, Thanksgiving has been happening for nearly 400 years.
You probably still remember what you learned in grade school about that first celebration: it was held in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. A three-day party (feast plus games) to celebrate the fall harvest, it was enjoyed by about 50 Pilgrims and 90 or so members of the Wampanoag tribe.
What was on the menu? They probably ate venison, maybe some turkey, for sure some other birds. We know there was seafood, corn and pumpkins. But probably no pies or sweets—sugar was scarce. And no potatoes.
Around here, it’s not Thanksgiving without at least a 1/2 pound of mashed potatoes for every man, woman and child. Maybe, just maybe, you could get by with 1/3 of a pound, if you had some sweet potatoes—which we always do—and lots of other sides. But then again, mashed potatoes and turkey gravy are about the most delicious combination in the whole world.
So no matter how many sides we make, we serve potatoes. And we like to keep some of the dishes classic, using the same tried and true recipe every year. But we also do a little experimenting, too. Last year we had fried Brussels sprout leaves and they were awesome! This year, we’re trying a new recipe for sweet potato casserole.
So below are two classic recipes for potatoes and sweet potatoes and two more experimental but equally delicious takes. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your long weekend!
These are the mashed potatoes we all remember eating as a child. Classic, creamy and delicious, you can’t go wrong with this recipe. We make these at the last minute to be sure they’re hot. And before we bring them to the table, we like to sprinkle a little paprika on the top because it looks really pretty. Enjoy!
This is a great recipe to try if you’re not already making a side of squash. It’s kind of two sides in one. We love the beautiful color and awesome fall flavor of the squash and sage. Like everything else in the world, it tastes even better with a little gravy. Try it out!
This recipe roasts the sweet potatoes before mashing them, bringing out a wonderfully rich taste and smooth texture. Feel free to add more or less maple syrup. If you have it, grind your nutmeg with a rasp yourself. It makes a difference in the flavor. Dig in.
Completely delicious AND gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan, this recipe was originally posted by Alice Currah on her blog, Savory Sweet Life. The recipe is a little less sweet than traditional sweet potato casserole, adding in some savory and salty tones to replace it. Not only does it sound incredible, we think it looks beautiful, too. We’re going for it this year, for sure.