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Nov 9, 2009 10:14 AM

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.

Many thanks!

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  1. 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.

    2 Replies
    1. re: greygarious

      I like this idea--make both. It never occured to me. It would also be might be more work, but something to think about. I also have to consider the amount of space available on the buffet. I like the reasoning as well.


      1. re: greygarious

        That is what I would do, even if it meant making smaller sizes of each. That way, everyone can have what they want.

      2. 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.

        1. My vote says...Break with both "traditions" ~~~ Check out your repertoire of sweet potato recipes....Choose one that includes both Brown Sugar and Pecans.


          4 Replies
            1. re: LNG212

              Hush!!! Don't give away all da secrets!! :))

              1. re: LNG212

                Bourbon! LOL. Time to check the liquor cabinet!

                1. re: rednails

                  I have to say I think it would be very touching and nice if you made the traditional ones that were always made, esp if the ill person will be there. Making both is a fine idea but definitely make the traditional ones--that would be loving and respectful IMHO

            2. 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.

              1. 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!