Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes that Freeze Well and A Thanksgiving Lesson:

I am doing this recipe as a PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT! I know most people who cook know this life-saver of a recipe. So this is for all the first time Thanksgiving hosts and hostesses and those of you who don't cook often or those who have missed the mashed potato memo. There is nothing better than a wonderfully whipped light and perfectly seasoned serving of mashed potatoes!

The Lesson:
I have hosted Thanksgiving at my home for years.  All of my side of the family gathers at our house for a long weekend of being  loved on, being thankfull...a time of fun, shopping, food comas, church, laughter, storytelling, naps, and over eating...aka, Thanksgiving weekend! That is until last year.

Last year my sister agreed to host Thanksgiving. 
Lisa is a gourmet cook, owned her own catering business, worked professionally in an upscale restaurant in Washington, DC., and worked for Wegman's in their gourmet food section.  She is a whiz at whipping up just about anything.. and making seem so effortless!

Last year Lisa thought it would be FUN to not only to host Thanksgiving, but have a cocktail party for 50 people the night before! All this while having a housefull of guests. Typical overachiever!!!!!  I tried to wave her off that decision, but she kept saying things like,"it's no big deal", "how hard is it to cook a 25 lb turkey for 15?" and " we arn't eating until 4:00- we have all day to cook".  She just could not understand my objections- she cooked everyday. So... who was I to contradict a bonafied gourmet?

The cocktail party was full of wonderful tidbits of fabulous food, great libations and very fun and interesting people. A perfectly marvelous evening. We finally finished cleaning up at 2:30 AM. I am not a spring chicken, so I was exhaused!!!!! I was good for nothing the next day!

Lisa, however was up before the crack of dawn.., again... overachiever! Rearranging the furniture, putting away the cocktail party "stuff", setting the Thanksgiving table, stuffing and roasting that big Turkey and peeling 15 lbs of potatoes to cook. Thanksgiving dinner was beautiful, but all Lisa wanted to do was take a nap! She couldn't even eat!  She is the very essence of hospitality... she lights up a room! So she put on her best face and soldiered through.  She slept and lazied around for the next 3 days! There is a lesson in this!

There have been times that I fussed and did  so much that when my company came I want to tell to have a great time and to lock up after themselves, and just go upstairs to bed after taking 2 advil on the way! Doing too much too close to a dinner party puts a horrific strain on us. I don't do that anymore!

I am the queen of preperation!  If it can be done ahead, I do it.  I write every tiny detail down and follow a timeline.I make all kinds of lists.  I have a list that when people say, " what can I do"- I give them a task.  I love the people I invite over to my home too much to miss their company because I am too tired or too busy with the meal. It is not that I am overly organized, not even a little bit, but I don't want to be exhaused and grumpy and rude! I want to be gracious, and warm and friendly.  But most of all I want to give anyone who come into my home my attention and love. I want them to leave with a full stomach and full heart!!!!!

Lisa is the one who actually gave this recipe to me years ago.  I have my 15lbs of mashed potatoes in the freezer already.  They thaw great and taste incredible!  Take a lesson from Lisa and me... Have a blessed and not stressed Thanksgiving!

Recipe: ( I make 1 and a half recipes to feed @ 15-20  with leftovers)
10 lbs yukon gold potatoes (they hold up best when frozen)
1 - 16 oz. container sour cream (not lite, or no fat- use the real stuff)
1- 8 oz. container whipped cream cheese with chives ( I use an extra 4oz.)
1 stick butter, cut in chunks
1/2-1 cup half and half
salt and pepper

Peel potatoes. Cut into small cubes.

Cover with cold water. Bring to boil. Slowly boil until fork tender.
Drain and put in large bowl.

Add sour cream, whipped cream cheese, butter and 1/2 cup half and half.  Using a hand mixer, whip until lumps are gone and potatoes are a lovely thick whipped consistancy.  Add more milk if needed.  Salt and pepper to taste and whip to incorporate.

This is not rocket science so if you have more of one ingredient than another, just use it.  Our family likes the cream cheese and chives, but you can use plain.  We even add a little more than the recipe calls for.
Just stay away from no fat or low fat.  It doesn't freeze and reheat as well.

Cool potatoes, and spoon into a slow cooker liner.  Seal with a twist tie.  Wrap in foil and put on baking sheet.  Freeze.

To Reheat:
A day before serving, thaw mashed potatoes in the refrigerator.  3-4 hours before using, place bag in the slow cooker and remove twist tie.  Cook on low with lid on, stirring occasionally.

Happy, Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

I am joining Michael at Designs By Gollum for Foodie Friday! I love this blog  cookbook of great recipes!