OR, MORE SIMPLY, mashed potatoes. Parmentier was, I think — I'm doing this from memory — the guy who persuaded the French of the, um, let's say the 17th century that potatoes would not poison you if you avoided eating their leaves and stalks.
I don't know how you make mashed potatoes. This is how I did, tonight: Cook washed a couple of russet potatoes, good-sized ones, and cut them into pieces, and boiled them in salted water. (It's been cold here lately, and we have a fire going in the wood stove; she set the pot on top of it.)
Then she asked me to mash the potatoes. I have a favorite instrument for the job, and it isn't the potato masher she uses, which is a sort of perforated disc at the end of a handle. I prefer a very stiff-wired balloon whisk. I just use it like a pestle, mashing down on the potatoes; and I add milk and butter, salt and pepper. Tonight I also threw in maybe a scant tablespoonful of "herbes de Provence," dried thyme, rosemary I suppose, lavender perhaps, and marjoram I'm sure. I bought these dried herbs three years ago and they aren't what they once were, even though they've been confined in a ziplock plastic pouch kept out of the light. But they did add a bit of flavor.
As well as the potatoes we had cold sliced roast turkey. How long can this go on? And romanesco, steamed in a flat sauté pan on top of the same stove. Gravy, yes; and cranberry sauce. Thanksgiving Day knew, apparently, how much we have to be thankful for…
An apple for dessert.