Tuesday, November 22, 2011

endless potatoes


I stand
just as I have
for many years

in a noisy kitchen
full of familiar faces
repeated stories

caught in hot air
bubbles, heavy
in the scent of sage

and wonder
of future turkeys
endless potatoes
to be mashed

stirring at the stove
the more beige
I become
the more invisible

tk/November 2011

The brilliant R.A.D. Stainforth reads this poem:
(Check out his excellent blog Black Dogs here.)

Speaking of endless potatoes, here is another wonderful variation of the quintessential mashed: 

Boil 3 pounds of new red potatoes in skins, drain and mash with 1 cup grated Parmesan, 3/4 cup ricotta, 3/4 cup whole milk, and one stick unsalted butter, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Best Thanksgiving wishes to you and yours, my friends.  


  1. Same to you Tess! Those potatoes sound yummy :)

  2. "Endless" and "potatoes" are two words that when coupled together are among the most beautiful words in the English language.

  3. There is a poignancy to this, Tess...a depth that belies a side dish...then again, maybe the potatoes are the main course :-) I remember my mother, preparing a Christmas meal...with lots of help...and pronouncing as we sat that we should enjoy this one, as it would be her last. And so it was the last family meal she prepared. Thank you for evoking that memory, my friend...it is a treasured one. Wishing much happiness to you and yours this Thanksgiving and always...

  4. No one notices the cook.

  5. Lovely, yet tinged with sadness,
    as we cue in on the overly mundane,
    the all too familiar, as the clan
    gathers at the manor, and you
    are hostess, cook, server, mother
    and more. I often wonder how
    so many women seem to thrive
    on the preparations, and the
    presentations. The holidays are
    always tinged with stress, and
    sometimes those beige moments.
    Love the line: /caught in hot
    air bubbles/.

  6. oh my gosh....stunning Tess
    but....there's hope
    and a lucky child to have you as magic maker

  7. I love red potatoes. I agree with someone who said endless potatoes are a good thing. You may feel caught in the seemingly endless meal preparations, but your family will remember all those wonderful meals with fondness and great nostalgia...Happiest of Thanksgiving days, Tess!

  8. R.A.D. is brilliant...my highest regards to him and his big black dog...and I know something of black dogs...

  9. Stephen Hayes rocks! Delores doesn't!

  10. Such a unique and honest take on holiday preparations. Makes you think!

  11. ode to potatoes. love it. of course, beige is a wonderful neutral for all sorts of flashy colors.

    may you have a wonderful holiday.

  12. Yet, you are lucky despite the feeling of being mashed up to the eyeballs. Having my son over to visit this past week has been enjoyable beyond words, and it was a bit tearful to see him hop that plane and go back across the waters again. But I haven't celebrated a Thanksgiving 12 years now. Can't say I miss the turkey, because I'm vegetarian. But the family, yes. Despite the petty annoyances, all congregated around you have your selfsame blood running through their veins. For better or worse, that's some kind of wonderful, yes? :)

  13. secondlivesclub.comWed Nov 23, 08:54:00 AM

    Hey Tess,

    I'm a first time commenter but long term follower.
    Your poetry and images enlighten each day but this
    one is a keeper on so many levels. I'm headed
    to a friend's table tomorrow where she tells me her
    stepson has made 18 lbs. of mashed potatoes to
    feed an ever growing group of family and friends.
    Thanks for reminding me to thank the cook.

    Happy T-Day!

  14. Sorry you’re beige
    Missed this yesterday
    The day before the day
    Ho ho ho
    Thanksgiving is bright in name only
    Beige is often the norm
    But sad beige is grey
    And you are not.

    Sometimes we wear muted tones
    For safety and protection
    Or because lights have gone out
    And we can’t just glow
    But brightness returns
    And colors too.

    While Stevens says “Death is the mother of beauty”
    Life is what we adore
    And when the eyes see life
    Turkey futures soar.

  15. Thanks for the smiles PBTG...turkey futures, indeed...

  16. Caryl, thanks so much for leaving a comment...it's fun to know you read my blog...18 pounds of potatoes...wow!

  17. Stephen, I could eat potatoes every day for the rest of my life...I like to think it's my Scots-Irish DNA speaking...

  18. Dr. Linthead, yep...R.A.D.'s brilliant...some kind of wonderful...

  19. Well thanks to grown children I do not have to do the Thanksgiving meal anymore. I will never give up the Christmas one until not able but a lessening of duties at this time in life is a blessing in itself. There will be potatoes for sure. Blessed holidays.

  20. Happy Thanksgiving, Tess!

    Love the poem - just make sure you won't disappear, will you? xxx

  21. P.S.:
    The effort and love behind cooking Thanksgiving dinner transcends comprehension, until it is your turn.

  22. And a very Happy Thanksgiving to you, Tess.

  23. Love your words. We all have our beige days, but they make the colorful ones that much more special.
    Wishing all at the Manor a wonderful Thanksgiving : )

  24. Mashed potatoes is on my favorites for BF.Yummy!

  25. That potato recipe sounds immenseley satisfying Willow. Happy Thanksgiving.

  26. Mmmmm, one stick of butter in a pan of mashed potatoes...who wouldn't love that?

    Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  27. they notice the cook in my house, but they do ignore the mess in the kitchen after

  28. My peeps are generally pretty good about helping with the aftermath...

  29. Beige is the saddest word...and colour...♥ But your mash sounds great! LOL

  30. Mmm. Loved this. I am reading this after our Thanksgiving which we celebrated yesterday. And I was thinking how full of life and energy and chit chat my kids had (two are away at school most of the year) and how I was enjoying it all and just being ... silent. Watching it all was so heart-filling and I smiled as I chopped (and mashed).

    Hope you have enjoyed this wonderful weekend.

  31. yes, just delightful stuff and a perfect resolution.


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)