Weird question re sweet potatoes and Thanksgiving
Here's the situation: My son and I are always invited to a dear friend's home for Thanksgiving. Her mom always made the glazed sweet potatoes, but is ill this year and can't make them. Friend and her hubby don't like sweet potatoes, so I am making them. I have at least 100 different recipes for sweet potatoes, including what my mother always made (mashed, rolled in cornflakes, topped with marshmallow or maraschino cherry). I will bring home all the leftover sweet potatoes.
Here's the question: What should I make? Should I try to replicate her mother's recipe so the other guests can have what they've always had? Should I make my mother's recipe, which altho very retro, I kinda miss (she hasn't cooked Tgiving in years)? Make something new or "modern"?
Due to the extended family nature of this gathering, there are usually 2 of everything: turkey w/stuffing, potatoes-regular and sweet, dessert (her sister and hubby excel at this), hors d'oeuvres, etc. So I'm not worried if people don't want seconds!
Help me, chowhounds, and vote for your favorite idea. I just don't know what to do.
How about smaller batches of both? Be sure to explain that your intention is to share both grandmothers' traditions. It's never a good idea to replace a time-honored holiday dish with a different version - somebody will surely have their nose out of joint. The way to steer the meal into new territory is to make both the accepted version and the new one. If everyone is enthusiastic about the new one being better than the old one, you can drop the old one from then on.
BTW, I bought something at Costco which I've never noticed before, and have not yet looked at. It is a box of 6 individual servings of nut-topped mashed sweet potatoes in phyllo dough cups. It is intended as a side dish but if I find it is sweet enough, I will treat them as an alternative to pie.
If it were me, I would just stick some sweet potatoes in the oven and bake them. It's simple, no fuss, and in my household at least, that's what people like.
I'd make my own recipe (or in your case, something close to traditional but with your own twist) and wouldn't attempt to replicate your friend's mother's recipe because if you don't get it exactly like hers, the guests might not enjoy it as much. I'd make something that's not too far from the norm but interesting. Then you'll be able to enjoy the leftovers you'll be bringing home.
And since you said that there is usually two of everything, I take it to mean that someone else is also making another sweet potato dish? In that case, no need to make two.
Thanks for all your thoughtful replies. So much of it makes sense, especially about not mucking with tradition....
There is usually one one sweet potato dish, and one mashed potatoes. As much as I want to make my mother's recipe, I'll just stick to basic glazed potatoes, I thought about asking for the recipe, but will try to replicate it instead (I think she used canned potatoes), it shouldn't be that hard. I found 2 on epicurious last night, and probably have some others in my archives.
Thanks again, and happy Thanksgiving to all of you--may your turkey be moist and the day worry-free!
re: chef chicklet
To be honest, I wouldn't try to make somebody else's traditional specialty for Thanksgiving - that's HER dish, not yours, and it opens you up to all sorts of comparisons that you might not want (as a family that always had three different Christmas puddings to go around, we know all about it! Mama's were always the best...) Just do something fairly basic but make it your own.