Mashed potato gratin with browned butter, manchego, and horseradish

So as it turns out, Fine Cooking publishes its Thanksgiving edition early.  How early? The issue is technically October, but it was delivered to our mailbox in September.  That’s pretty early to be thinking about Thanksgiving…

….Unless it’s your very first year hosting Thanksgiving festivities.  In which case, you’re like THANK GOD Fine Cooking is coming to my rescue.

That might be me.

I’ve spent Thanksgiving in many different locations over the year.  I was actually trying to count the other day, and I think I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving in at least nine different cities, from Oregon to Ireland.  That’s pretty cool, right?  But it also means my first time hosting is just a wee bit intimidating.  Especially because Ross’s Thanksgiving experience has been a little different than mine.  He has spent 27 out of 29 Thanksgivings in Colorado with his extended family.  This year, for the first time ever, his parents will travel to our house in Houston, along with my sister and brother-in-law, an aunt and uncle, and any other family or friends who may want to join.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of hosting.  It’s going to be aaaaamazing not to travel over the holiday, and entertaining our favorite people is, well, one of our favorite things.

But I want to get it right.  And while Ross and I are lucky to agree on a number of traditional dishes (including three absolutely necessary pies), there is some wiggle room for experimentation, as long as it’s delicious.

Enter Fine Cooking.  Mashed potato gratin with browned butter, manchego, and horseradish you say?  Don’t mind if we do.