Thanksgiving Yams: Marshmallows Need Not Apply

Canned yams glopped into a bowl, mashed around, then slopped into a baking dish, covered with corn syrup-laden candy and baked. This is a side dish? No. This is a scandal. It's very easy to make this side dish from scratch, and the taste is so far superior that you may never go back to Princella-brand cans again.
Please, for the love of Pilgrims, please try this as is before sweetening. If you use the purple yams (the kind with red-purple skin and off-white flesh), they're likely to be sweet enough without adding anything, but if you decide you must, use brown sugar rather than marshmallows.


8 yams
1 tsp. cooking oil (don't use extra-virgin olive oil)
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 stick (4 Tbsp.) unsalted butter
Up to 1/2 cup milk, cream or soy milk
Salt and pepper


1. Prick each yam several times with a sharp knife and rub with the oil.
2. Put in a cold oven and set to 400ºF.
3. Roast 45-60 minutes, until a knife inserts easily into the middle.
4. Allow to cool, peel, and mash with the spices and butter.
5. Add milk in small splashes until the consistency is that of thick mashed potatoes.
6. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate.
7. On the day you want to serve them, spread the yams in a pan and bake at whatever temperature your oven is already set at until they're heated through.

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