I’ll give you a small anecdote about one of my favorite Thanksgiving foods: squashers. Squashers is a creation that happened by accident thanks to my dad. Thanksgiving was at our house and there was food everywhere, as is the norm at a Naughton gathering. My mom, being the professional hostess that she is, was delegating to my dad a myriad of tasks, and he, being the ever-loving sla-…I mean husband that he is, was happy to oblige. Understandably, things were a little chaotic in the kitchen, and when she pointed to a bowl of orange mush (next to another bowl of orange mush) and said put that with that, pointing to a bowl of white mush; dad was quick to comply. No need for questions, taste-test, or smell-taste.
He was told, so he did. It is important to note that we enjoy combining the mashed potatoes with sweet potatoes so it’s a grand white-orange swirl of potato flavor explosion in your mouth; so one can see how my dad might not have thought anything was amiss. Cut to dining time, plates are full, the gorging has begun and after a moment there seemed to be a quiet ripple of confusion going through the table as the white and orange mixture was consumed.
“Kevin!” The exasperated sound of my mom’s voice filled the dining room. “You put the squash in the potatoes!”
“Elaine, you told me to,” he calmly replied, followed by some sputtering and vehement words of denial from my mom.
I’m sure, in her mind, she felt that the potato portion of the Thanksgiving meal was ruined – but we’re talking about Naughton’s here: “If you cook it, they will eat.” Eventually, to provide some levity to the situation, I piped up, “It’s okay mom, it’s squashers!” And all was well. To this day, when we request squashers as a side, my mom rolls her eyes and refuses to make it.