One way to get fussy people (like children) to eat "controversial" food is to disguise it. That works, in addition to threats and bribes, which are my favorites. But seriously, if you want to introduce something that you do not cook every day, perhaps during the coming Holiday season, this vegetable mash does nicely as a substitute for mashed potatoes at the Thanksgiving table.
As far as sweet potatoes go, I am now tired of combining them with orange juice, and this year I will use apple cider instead. The organic autumn produce is now appearing in stores, and it is time to get an organic sweet pumpkin, bake it and freeze the pulp for pies. You go to Whole Foods in Tucson for this; you will find that they place their organic, Arizona-raised sweet pumpkins prominently, even outside the doors so you can't miss them. If you have never tasted a pumpkin pie that was not made from canned pumpkin, schedule yourself for ecstasy in November by buying at least one of these beauties.
And when the gravy is ready for the potatoes, try this interesting dish. No one will notice that it isn't all white Idaho potatoes if you don't mention it.
THANKSGIVING VEGETABLE MASH
8 medium organic Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
6 medium organic parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 large organic celery roots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cups organic chicken broth or water
2-1/2 teaspoons of sea salt, divided
2/3 cup organic milk or organic unsweetened soy milk
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
Place all the prepared vegetables in a large Dutch oven and cover them with water and 2 teaspoons of the sea salt. Bring the water to the boil, reduce the heat, and simmer covered until the vegetables are tender, 15-20 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon transfer the vegetables to a mixing bowl, reserving the cooking water. Mash the vegetables, adding the milk gradually. Finally stir in the garlic powder, pepper and the remaining salt. Bring the mixture to the proper consistency by adding the cooking water to taste.
This is a seriously good side dish, and it is as easy to make as peeling and dicing twice as many potatoes.