I’m Dreaming of a White Thanksgiving


There was a time in history when an all-white meal consisting mostly of flour and milk was the most depressing idea imaginable.

biscuits and spicy Southwestern Sonoran style sausage gravy.
Mashed Potatoes With Sausage Gravy
In Dickens' "A Christmas Carol", Ebenezer Scrooge famously sat down to a bowl of gruel awaiting him, while ghosts sat in its wake. This was supposed to signify how miserable and miserly he was.
I used to be a bit of a scrooge myself when it came to Thanksgiving dinner. I hate stuffing, I hate green bean casserole... and turkey tastes the same as it does on any other day. The only part of the meal that I looked forward to was the mashed potatoes, and the gravy which I'd use to smother the rest of that mess in.
Then I met my husband. One of the first things that we did as a couple was come up with our own Thanksgiving ritual. Early Thanksgiving morning we go to the fancy supermarket on the other side of town and buy whatever we want. That first year it was Yellow Yukon potatoes for mashing, the white vegetarian gravy that comes in an envelope, Pillsbury Grands, good wine and something special for the cats.
We've pretty much stuck with that, though every year we also select a new chili-pepper-heavy spice blend, incorporated in with spice blends from Thanksgivings past, which we mix with an unusual amount of butter and the broth from the potatoes to make the spiciest, creamiest mashed potatoes. We then stir the extra broth from the potatoes and a couple of crumbled vegetarian sausage patties into the gravy powder and serve up the whole thing as one wonderful, white, gloppy mess.
Here's the recipe the best that I can relay it. We have so many spices that I can only say to use your own favorites and season to taste.


  • 3-5 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2-3 tiny onions, preferably Cipollini
  • 4 cans 14.4 ounces each or two boxes (32 ounces each) of Swanson vegetable broth
  • 1 packet of McCormick Peppered Country Gravy Mix
  • 4 sausage patties crumbled, origin of your choice (turkey, soy, pork, etc.)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup butter

Suggested spices to taste. We like it hot!

  • 1-2 chipotle chilis in adobe sauce chopped
  • 1 tablespoon New Mexico red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Arizona Habanero Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Smokey bbq seasoning such as Stubbs
  • Salt pepper and all of the other spices you care to improvise with.


  • Wash and peel the potatoes, and then boil them in a large dutch oven with the vegetable broth, onions and a generous portion of spices
  • When the potatoes are soft, drain them, but keep all of the broth. Leave about a cup of the broth in the dutch oven and smash the potatoes into the broth with some butter and season with all of the spices you can handle.
  • Whisk two cups of the reserved broth into the gravy mix. Stir in the sausage and and heat according to the package instructions.
  • Plop a generous portion of the mashed potatoes on a large plate. Make a well in the middle with the serving spoon and fill the hole with gravy. Serve with Pillsbury Grands topped with more gravy, and generous portions of red wine. Eat until you can eat no more.
    biscuits filled with spicy sausage gravy
  • Then watch a movie and fall asleep happy...and may all of your Thanksgivings be white.
Course Side Dish, Thanksgiving
Cuisine American, Mexican, Sonoran
Keyword Jackie Alpers, spicy mashed potatoes recipe, vegetarian sausage gravy recipe

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