November 21, 2007

Things That Taste Good in Your Mouth

Mir is having ten people for Thanksgiving. She is all about the sweet potatoes and the seating charts. Me? I am all about “I put the year old turkey in the trash and called Honey Baked Ham.” I think it was the Aimee comment that said, “EAT HAM AND LIVE!” or perhaps when Peggy said, “it is only a freezer, not suspended animation….” That cracked me up.

Sister Schubert has kindly made yeast rolls and pre-frozen them for us. Scott is grilling asparagus. I am making Fat Potato Fat Fat Casserole, which, oh BEST! BELOVEDS! If you have trashy Irish potato-craving genomes you MUST make it this year. Even if you came as a genetic stranger to the potato, but came with an open and willing heart, and felt an immediate love for that humble root-starch (I refuse to call the dern thing a vegetable) that was ROMANTIC instead of familial, Fat Potato Fat Fat is SO decadently perfect you must make it. To eat it MORE than twice a year would cause, well, heart failure and death, BUT! To eat it less than twice a tear is to never have truly lived at all.

It’s what they serve as a meal before they hit the Ferrero Rocher, way up there on Irish Mount Olympus, home of the big butt gods.

Here is how you make it:
Take 8 med. potatoes, peeled and cut in large pieces.
Boil in salted water ‘til tender.
Dip potatoes from water (save water) into buttered casserole/baking dish;
while potatoes are hot, add
½ stick of butter (chopped in pieces);
4 oz. Cream cheese (chopped in pieces);
8 oz. sour cream;
salt and pepper to taste.
Use potato masher or large fork and mix ingredients well.
If mixture is too dry, add a little of the water you saved--couple tbs. at a time.
Do not overly cream potatoes; they should be a little lumpy.
Smooth out and sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top. (I use a lot!) The powdered kind is better than the grated. It browns better and gets crusty.
Dot with butter.
Bake in 375 degree oven ‘til heated through and cheese is browned.
Take piping hot casserole dish and spoon to closet, squat there saying NOM NOM NOM until it is all gone.
Serve family that orange crap with the ‘mallows on top.

SEE! Easy! And SO SO GOOD.
My Mom-in-law is bringing fudge. And thus themeal is done.

This year, when we go around the table, I will say I am thankful for:
Life saving anti-turkey comments
Low maintenance in-laws who make fudge and would rather NOT spend 10 hours cooking
Library Journal (!!!!)

(I SWEAR I will stop posting all these reviews, it is OBNOXIOUS, I know, but sit back, eat Fat Potato Fat Fat and FORGIVE. This is the LAST one I pinky double swear---from now on I will just put them up on the REVIEWS PAGE…but you know, here I am, a little more than 90 days from book release. I LOVE my job but…This part is nerve wracking. When reviews first START and you remember how exposed and out there you are, launching this little boat full of people you love (even though you made them up) and then you wait to see what readers think. This book, too, is a stretch for me in several ways, a little out of line with what you might EXPECT from me, and while I think this is a GOOD thing, there WILL be some backlash, so these reviews are like a PAD of happy for the hard parts to land on.)

SO TODAY, yes, we are thankful for Library Journal, and we are thankful for HTML BOLD CODE, so I can make my FAVORITE PART be all FANCY and NOTICEABLE. That’s the part I am tattoo-ing on my left buttock!:

On the heels of the successful Gods in Alabama and Between, Georgia -both #1 BookSense picks-Jackson again reinvents the GRITS (Girls Raised in the South) novel. Quilt artist Laurel, her game programmer husband, David, and their 13-year-old daughter, Shelby, lead a seemingly charmed life in a serene Florida suburb. But when the ghost of a drowned girl awakens Laurel, the veneer of that life seems ready to crack beyond repair. Can Laurel trust her flamboyant, out-spoken sister, Thalia, to help as old family secrets emerge with dizzying speed? With the appearance of a ghost on the first page, you'll feel compelled to race to the end, but slow down for Jackson's great descriptions-you'll be rewarded for the effort. Jackson illuminates not just the complexities of family love as a source of safety and support but also the complexities of danger and death. The life-affirming epilog provides satisfying closure; libraries will want to own all three novels.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS BBs – I will see ya post-ham-coma.

Posted by joshilyn at November 21, 2007 10:52 AM

Behold the ham: I wish I could sway my Grandma from tradition, but it can't be done.

Oh well.

Enjoy those happy reviews and eat up. Happy thanksgiving.

Posted by: Lisa Milton at November 21, 2007 11:16 AM

You know, I was going to make regular mashed potatoes but NOW I think I may have to make fat potato fat fat casserole. While I'm making everything else.

And while you may think it awful that I am busy cooking, I do sort of LIKE it. I mean, ORANGE CRANBERRY GINGER RELISH. C'mon. That's worth a little stress over the seating arrangement.


Posted by: Mir at November 21, 2007 12:46 PM

That's worth making for the name alone!

Posted by: daysgoby at November 21, 2007 12:59 PM

Oh dear Joss, please tell us the story about the big butt gods on Irish Mount Olympus. Please please please?? If I wasn't afraid I'd offend my daughter in law and her hash brown casserole she's bringing, I'd make your fat potato fat fat dish. Save me room in the closet. I'll bring my own spoon.

Posted by: Rhonda at November 21, 2007 2:06 PM

Mir must have a very big appetite, I can only eat one person (all right, maybe one large person and a toddler) in one sitting, otherwise the burping from diverse orifices occurs.
Your fat potato fat fat casserole makes my potato bake look anorexic.
That review was longhand for Joshilyn Jackson's books rock.

Posted by: wendy at November 21, 2007 3:00 PM

umph mphpmphph phumph.

Sorry, my mouth was full of fat potato fat fat cASSerole.

Can't wait for your new book.

Posted by: jennielynn at November 21, 2007 3:10 PM

Despite having plenty of Irish potato-craving genes, I can't make Fat Potato Fat Fat Casserole tomorrow because you only posted the recipe TODAY and I have NO cream cheese in the house. SOB! And I SO am not going back to the grocery store at this point. No way, no how. So plain mashed taters it is for the Richardson household tomorrow. But there's always Christmas. :-)

YAY for good reviews!!!

Posted by: DebR at November 21, 2007 3:55 PM

We are not Irish but my BIL is and we fondly call the potato the Food of our People anyway. I mean, what's not to love? I'm with DebR, I'm lacking some ingredients and I don't plan to leave my house until Saturday. But I will try this recipe eventually, and I will even share the closet with my husband.

Your Fat Potato Fat Fat is related to the Italian Rice Pie I make for Easter. We think it wise to keep a defibrillator on hand whilst consuming it.

Posted by: amy at November 21, 2007 4:14 PM

That sounds gooood. When I started reading the recipe I thought "Only a half stick of butter?" but THEN you had a second go-round with it. Well done! Any recipe that has two steps that involve butter would almost certainly be worth playing Russian Roulette with your arteries.

Posted by: Laura at November 21, 2007 4:47 PM

Mmmm. I'm not in charge of the potatoes for Thanksgiving, but I may try fat potato fat fat casserole for our church Christmas dinner. We seemed to be lacking in starchy potato goodness at our Thanksgiving meal. ('Course that probably means everyone will bring something potato-ey to the next one.)

I'm off to make my And You Thought Broccoli Was A Vegetable Salad....

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by: erinanne at November 21, 2007 4:51 PM

Yum for potatoes.

Yea for reviews.

What do you do with the potato water? It's haunting me. . .you said save it, but not for what it should be saved.

My Granny always saved the potato water to make gravy. . .but you've left the potato water hanging. . .no doubt so you could run and share some Fat Potato Fat Fat with the *HOT* review staff over at Library Journal.

Alas the water is hypothetically cooling and congealing as I type. . .save it from the disposal. What is it's purpose?

Posted by: Roxanne at November 21, 2007 7:48 PM

You use it if the miixture is too dry:

If mixture is too dry, add a little of the water you saved--couple tbs. at a time.

Then you pitch it :)!

Posted by: Joshilyn at November 21, 2007 8:02 PM


Posted by: jean at November 21, 2007 8:16 PM

When I first read that, I saw Fat Potato Fat Cat, and wondered what Cat, version 1.0, had to do with your holiday potatoes. Or if the holiday potatoes had something to do with the current fatness of the cat.

At least my old eyes will provide me some amusement in my looming dotage.

Posted by: Laura at November 21, 2007 9:54 PM

I am saving that recipe because, like Deb, I just cannot make myself go back to the grocery store. However, the recipe I'll be using calls for milk AND cream AND butter AND olive oil. Cheese is optional.

Congratulations on the review! You're right, there are people who are not going to like this one as much as the other two, but everyone's entitled to their opinions. Even their wrong opinions. I LOVED it, and I can't wait to get the final copy!

And I'm still pushing your publicity people to get you out this way. Just so's ya know.

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!

Posted by: Fran at November 21, 2007 11:41 PM

can't wait to see the book.
you sound like you're riding high enough to give the verbal thumbs up that my kids yell after biting into the Honeybaked Ham. One yells it, then the other, then me or my husband (it's contagious)... "Hamalamadingdong!!" I give you permission to take on our tradition. (tho we'll be having turkey. "turkeylurkeylinglong" just doesn't have the same ring....)

Posted by: dramamama at November 22, 2007 1:44 AM

My tastebuds are screaming YES! YES! YES! (oddly, like Meg Ryan in her famous cafeteria scene) while my arteries are screaming NO! NO! NO! in a far more horrifying manner. I won't be making Fat Potato Fat Fat tomorrow (because we are a turkey loving family) but I think I'll have to make this one soon - probably when cheese loving DIL arrives for Christmas.
And I'm getting giddy nervous that I might hear too much about TGWSS before I can get my anxious little hands on her. I can hardly wait!

Posted by: Laume at November 22, 2007 2:11 AM

I'm with Mir, I love me sweet potatoes, especially whipped with lots of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. so nom, nom, nom pass a thigh and Happy Thanksgiving. :)

Posted by: Cele at November 22, 2007 2:33 AM

Mmmmm, Fat Potato Fat Fat . . . too late or today, but it's being printed out NOW for use at Christmas-time!

Posted by: Brigitte at November 22, 2007 7:55 AM

I am waiting semi-patiently to get the book. congrats on the review.

I happened to have all the ingredients for the fat potato fat fat casserole so we had it with our turkey tonight. YUM YUM YUM. big hit at my house. thanks for sharing that heart-attack-waiting-to-happen item. I feel my arteries hardening as I type. =)

Posted by: elizabeth at November 22, 2007 6:51 PM

Your blog is wonderful and your GRITS delicious.

Therefore, I have nominated you for a Shameless Lion Award. See my blog for details.
happy day-after-turkey-ham.

Posted by: maryanne stahl at November 23, 2007 8:10 AM

Mmmmm... Fat Potato Fat Fat. Definitely a Christmas dish.

I am very glad that my comments encouraged you to EAT HAM AND LIVE. I am going embroider that on a pillow.

and Huzzah! again for another great review. 90 days? Somehow that seems manageable.

Posted by: Aimee at November 23, 2007 10:44 AM

I did Fat Potato Fat Fat too. WOWZERS and YUM.

Posted by: Sara at November 23, 2007 4:27 PM

I went to someone else's house for Tgiving, or I would've made fat potato fat fat. But maybe for Christmas? Or just for breakfast, some morning. When I am alone. YAY! Perhaps with bacon. Because I am all about the health foods.

Posted by: Cornelia Read at November 23, 2007 8:56 PM

The addition of bacon is an inspiration, Cornelia! But then, surely, it becomes Fat Potato Fat Fat Fat?

Great review - the last clause is also very nice, surely.

Posted by: Diane (TT) at November 24, 2007 1:18 PM

I'm a good little Irish lass, and I'll have to be preparing these taters for the Christmas (since I didn't read this until after turkey day!)
My four children and husband could eat FIVE pounds of mashed potatoes every Sunday without blinking an eye. Imagine how many I'm going to have to peel with this recipe!!!

Posted by: Therese at November 26, 2007 10:49 AM