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The almost potato-less Thanksgiving

December 4, 2011
By JANICE R. KIASKI - Community editor, Herald-Star ( , The Herald-Star

It was beginning to smell a lot like Thanksgiving.

The turkey was cooking.

The ham had been baked.

The buttery-onion-cabbage haluski aroma was in the air.

And you could sense the presence of stuffing, yams and baked corn, too.

I've always advocated that horse/barn should be a Yankee candle scent, but maybe Thanksgiving dinner should be one, too.

Not a bad idea, a couple of my co-workers nodded their heads at the suggestion in the days leading up to the turkey holiday - the Thanksgiving smell, not the horse/barn one. (The latter is a tough sell to the non-equine-minded.)

At any rate, it was almost the Thanksgiving that wasn't in the Kiaski household, all because we couldn't find the pot.

You know how the little old lady on the Wendy's commercials used to ask "Where's the beef?"

Well Better Half and I spent much of Thanksgiving morning wondering aloud to each other, "Where's the pot?"

The more we asked the question, the more annoyed we became at its unexplained absence.

This is not just any pot, mind you. It's THE pot in which you have to make the mashed potatoes.

It's also the same pot/kettle - THE pot/kettle - in which I make one of the few dishes that people actually want to not only eat, but they want the recipe for it as well.

That would be the broccoli cheese kluski noodle soup I make when a gang of hungry people is in my midst.

We keep this pot in the basement with lots of other kitchen things that just don't fit in the kitchen. They are those things used less frequently so they're kept there to keep company with each other.

This pot was nowhere to be found. Not on any shelves. Not in any cupboards. Not on top of the pool table. Not underneath the pool table. Not on the dryer. Not in the dryer.

Ever the comic, Better Half suggested I check in the freezer since I accidentally one time left the car keys in there. An accident. Honest.

The longer we looked, the more desperate we became.

We looked again in all the same places. Nothing. We looked again, just to be sure. Nothing.

Better Half suggested using a different pan.

What??!! Tamper with potato tradition? Are you kidding?

Some things you can't cook in other pots or pans. They just don't taste the same.

This is the case when it comes to many things we make. For instance, there's only one skillet and one spatula for that matter to make eggs taste the way they're supposed to and turn out the way they're supposed to.

It wasn't until a phone conversation with our daughter about the time dinner would be ready that I lamented the missing pot.

"I have it, mom," daughter dearest confessed, admitting she'd "borrowed" it to make some soup recently.

Mystery solved! A Thanksgiving miracle!

And all was well in the Kiaski household once again.

I made my signature mashed potatoes for the holiday dinner - lumps and all.

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