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Oct 27, 2011 09:02 AM

Down with the mashed. Up with the galette. Heresy or a welcome revolution?

I am the Thanksgiving Maven in my family. I do it all from scratch and no one brings a dang thing but a bottle of wine and an appetite. I love it. But the list of dishes has grown to absurd lengths and I've decided to force myself to edit. I'm cutting out dishes and trying to simplify.

I've got mashed potatoes on the brain (sounds like a medical diagnosis.) They are sort of a pain in the a$$ to make, b/c I wait as long as I can to make them, so that they don't get gluey. I keep them on a double boiler to keep them warm, blah blah. I am considering jettisoning the mashed for an elegant potato galette. I can make it several hours ahead and rewarm. It's easy to slice before taking to the buffet, so won't be hard on guests.

Am I going to be put to death for heresy or is this a welcome revolution?

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  1. I think it sounds wonderful, and I would consider it a welcome revolution, but I didn't grow up with mashed potatoes per se at Thanksgiving. We make PA Dutch potato filling, which is a baked casserole made with bread stuffing combined with mashed potatoes, bound with egg and baked. Since this was on my list of "it's not Thanksgiving without..." items, I started bringing it to Thanksgiving at my husband's parents. I think the first year there was mashed potato. Since, we haven't had it. If there are people upset about it, I've never heard. However, we also do potluck style at Thanksgiving, so if anyone was really missing it, they'd probably just bring it. My husband and I would love to ditch the green bean casserole and do another fresher green veg, like roasted brussels sprouts, but so far that one seems untouchable. So we bring the sprouts and let everyone else eat the green beans.

    1 Reply
    1. re: centralpadiner

      Centralpadiner - thank you. I used to make both roasted brussel sprouts and a (grown up version of ) green been casserole, but making the bechamel, snipping the beans etc - i just can't be bothered anymore. So, this year - it's brussels. But my family loves them. Thanks for your input.

    2. Heresy.

      The galette sounds great, but I'd be really sad if there were no mashed potatoes. I think you could do them ahead, though. What if you plunged the cooked potato chunks into salted ice water? They'd cool more quickly and you'd rinse off a little starch, both of which should combat gluey. You could even do a cool topping, just do it in a deep pan so purists can eat the bottom layer.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jvanderh

        My family and friends would rebel if there were no mashed potatoes to go with all that gravy. I'd have to make both. I don't think one is a substitute for the other.

      2. I am not a big fan of mashed potatoes and having to make them for T-day annoys me for all of the same reasons you listed. I asked my husband (who LOVES mashed potatoes) if he would mind if I made a galette or gratin instead, and he said "as long as there is gravy and some type of potato on which to put it, I am happy." So, that's what I'll be doing unless there is backlash from the other guests, in which case I will probably make what my mother calls "party potatoes" - it's mashed potatoes, mixed with cream cheese and sour cream and a few other things, then put in a casserole and rebaked. Easier to make ahead. I am SO OVER fooling around with my food mill 30 mins before T-day dinner!

        1. I suspect this would be heresy. We don't have a Thanksgiving where I am but I do know that families have expectations of celebration foods.

          1. Heresy. At least at my house.