I'm thankful for people, parades and potatoes

The Thanksgiving stage is nearly set. People are gathering. My uncles are already arguing politics (my side is winning), my aunts are discussing everyone they know who has had a medical procedure in the last ten years (in full-color detail), my cousins are deep into Scrabble (no, repunt isn’t a word), my nieces and nephews are all offering to walk the dog (and sneak a beer, I’m sure of it), my husband just told his brother to stuff it (he asked if he could help with the bird), the sounds of football are in the background (that’s the sport with the pointy ball), and I’m in the kitchen, with the Macy’s Day Parade on for atmosphere -  thankful for the potatoes which I am about to receive.


6 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks       

3 tablespoons sweet butter, softened       

3 tablespoons light cream or half and half       

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced       

½ teaspoon salt       

1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper 

Place potato chunks in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook about 15 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove from heat and drain off water. Immediately add butter and cream and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in rosemary, salt and pepper. Just before serving, return potatoes to very low heat and warm through, stirring.  Serves 6 – 8. 


3 large sweet potatoes       

3 tablespoons butter, softened       

3 tablespoons light cream or half and half       

¼ teaspoon salt       

½ cup miniature marshmallows       

2 tablespoons brown sugar 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash each potato and pierce several times with a fork. Place directly on top oven rack. Bake 1 hour 10 minutes, or until tender. Let cool enough to handle. Keep oven on. Slit potatoes lengthwise and scoop out pulp into a large bowl, leaving enough in for a stable shell. Add butter, cream and salt and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. By hand, fold in marshmallows. Stuff skins with mixture. Lightly oil roasting pan with vegetable oil. Place stuffed potatoes in pan, sprinkle each top with 1 teaspoon brown sugar, and return to oven. Bake 15 minutes more, or until heated through. Serves 6.

Robin Benzle is a radio and television personality and hosts the food and travel website www.robinbenzle.com.

Read More on Food & Travel
Volume 1, Issue 7, Posted 8:40 AM, 11.10.2009