It’s about time we stop pretending like turkey is the main event of a Thanksgiving dinner. It is delicious, it looks nice, and a good turkey is undoubtedly an impressive culinary feat – but there’s another star of the show that needs to stop hiding in the turkey’s shadow: mashed potatoes.
It’s the dish that gets the most collective ‘mmm’s around the table. The dish that makes everyone’s eyes close as they engulf their palate in the first bite. It’s definitely the first tray to be emptied at the dinner table. With a taste that gives the same sensation as a warm blanket in wintertime, everyone starts drooling when that bowl of mashed potatoes gets passed around.
And yet every Thanksgiving, someone on the dinner list is casually tasked with making them, as though it’s just a side dish and they drew the lucky stick. But making mashed potatoes is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. So with some help from Food Network chef Tyler Florence, we’re here to help you avoid the ultimate tragedy that so many neglected mashed potatoes face: sticky, gooey doom.
Start by knowing what kind of potato you’re using: thick-skinned russets are higher in starch than thin-skinned yellow potatoes, which should indicate how much moisture they’ll need to come out perfect. Many cooks prefer Yukon golds, which already have a buttery, creamy consistency. Once you’ve bought the goods, make sure you boil them until they’re soft, but not yet falling apart.
Now, Tyler has some advice we’d never thought of ourselves. But now that we’ve tried it, there might be no going back: instead of mixing in the butter and dairy of choice after boiling the potatoes in water, he boils his straight in the source. And that’s not all: he adds in some of the best seasonings to the boiling pot as well. He swears by garlic, sage, rosemary, a little bit of time, of course some salt, and a dash of olive oil to help soften everything.
It may sound crazy, but it tastes crazy good. Once everything’s boiled, he takes the epic step that will turn your mashed potatoes from delicious to divine:
“When the potatoes are tender, I…pour the potatoes through a colander, and the cream will collect on the bottom. Then I’ll put the potatoes back into the pot and take the potato-infused garlic cream and fold that back into the potatoes…” Then he mashes it all up with salted butter and olive oil to smooth out the texture.
Are you drooling yet? Because this gets even better.
Anyone with a kitchen knows that preparing a dish for a canonical menu like Thanksgiving can come with its fair share of stress; the bowl you need is dirty, the peeler breaks, your dog starts eating the peels, you spill the boiling water, and there just aren’t enough minutes in a day to deal with even the slightest obstacle. And the kitchen anxiety can really throw off your cuisine groove. So here’s something to keep in your back pocket that will ease up a lot of the stress:
The mashed potato mess trick.
If the unthinkable has already happened and there’s no way to go back and unglue the mashed potato – make it into gratin! You can do this by spreading a thick layer on the bottom of a baking dish, and topping it with butter, cheese, and breadcrumbs that will transform it into a brand new but extra delicious treat, and give everyone at the table a tasty surprise.
William and Kate Open Up About Prince George’s Relationship With the Queen
On April 29th, 2011, the entire world watched as Prince William and Kate Middleton got married at Westminster Abbey. It wasn’t long before people from all over the globe celebrated the news that this royal couple was having their first child, George. Then, came their second — Charlotte — and the commemorations continued. When the couple welcomed their third child, Louis, everyone honored the day the same way they did twice before. Although these kids are all royal members, it’s inevitably George who has a better chance of becoming King one day. He also might be one of the few people who isn’t required to call the Queen “Her Majesty.”
Little Prince George
Third in the line of succession to the British throne, Prince George is the eldest child of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Although he’s only six years old, there’s really no denying that George and his great-grandmother — the Queen and current monarch — share an incredibly close bond.
Then again, it does make sense considering that this little prince is Queen Elizabeth II’s first great-grandchild. In any event, George has a very special nickname for his dear great-grandma.
Third in Line
It was December 3rd, 2012. After almost a year of baby rumors and much speculation, St. James’ Palace officially announced to the world that Middleton and William were pregnant with their first baby.
At that point, everyone already knew that this future child was third in line to the throne as it didn’t matter whether it would be a boy or a girl. In the past, though, it would have been preferable for the first baby to be a boy as girls weren’t allowed to inherit the throne.
The Succession to the Crown
In 2013, the Succession to the Crown Act was passed in parliament. The act altered the laws of succession in which the eldest child, regardless of gender, precedes his or her brothers and sisters. With that, we think it’s safe to say that times are a-changing!
Many royal laws were created centuries ago so it goes without saying that some of them don’t fit today’s times, like this one, for instance. Although Princess Charlotte isn’t actually in line for the throne, she very much could have been if she had been born before George!
Kate Middleton Goes Into Labor
As reality would have it, though, Middleton and William’s first baby was a little boy. Prince George was born on July 22nd, 2013 in the very same hospital that Prince William and Prince Harry — George’s father and uncle — were born.
The very second that Kate announced she had gone into labor, the media had a complete field day. We wouldn’t be exaggerating if we said that about every member of the press was waiting outside to get the inside “411” on the new royal arrival!
The Baby’s Name
While the gender of the newborn baby was made clear, the whole world still had to wait for the name. Sure — there were plenty of speculations about the name, even prior to Kate giving birth but no one would really know, that is until the royal family announced it.
Kate Middleton and Prince William named their first child George Alexander Louis. It turns out that George was named after the Queen’s father whereas his middle name bore a resemblance to Queen Elizabeth’s own middle name, Alexandra.
Prince George Is Introduced to the World
From the very moment that Prince George made his first public appearance, the world went wild. His birth was widely celebrated across the Commonwealth realms. Since then, George has been in the limelight quite a lot, which makes sense considering that he’s not only a Royal but he’s also absolutely adorable!
At six years old, this little guy has probably gone to more gatherings, engagements, and social events than we could honestly say for ourselves. It’s safe to say that George is certainly different from other kids. Then again, he does belong to the British monarchy.
Pregnant With Baby Number Two!
Just a little over a year after Prince George entered the world, William and Kate had another announcement for their fans — they were pregnant once again! Just when everyone was praising George, another little person popped into the picture.
Princess Charlotte was born on May 2nd, 2015. Naturally, this little girl stole the hearts of people from all over, not unlike her older brother. fourth in the line of succession to the British throne, Charlotte is Middleton and William’s only daughter.
We think it would be an understatement to say that Prince William and Kate Middleton draw a lot of attention from the public. While it can be challenging to keep your life private when you’re constantly in the spotlight, they still try to keep out of the public eye when they can.
Naturally, this applies to their children as well. While we might hear news about Prince George and his baby sister, Princess Charlotte, when they’re out on the town, we rarely hear about their lives at home.
While they will never be just your average citizens, we can’t blame William and Middleton for trying to maintain a bit of normalcy, at least for their kids’ sake. Being that their children are the subject of the media’s constant attention, it’s important to Will and Kate that they bring up their children in a way that makes them feel like they’re still regular kids.
According to Royal expert Omid Scobie, Princess Diana took her boys to places like McDonald’s or an amusement park. These “normal” moments were incredibly important to both William and Harry.
Rules Are Rules
While the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge seem pretty laid-back as parents, we do happen to know one rule for those who dine with the monarch, including members of the royal family. Everyone must follow Queen Elizabeth’s every move during the meal.
This means that if the Queen stops eating her dinner, everyone else at the table must stop eating too, whether they’re full or not. While George and Charlotte are still young, Kate and William make no exceptions when it comes to this rule.
George’s First Foreign Tour
Despite the fact that Prince George is only six years old, he’s already been lucky enough to travel the world, far and wide — and that’s not an understatement! In April 2014, less than a year after he was born, George accompanied Prince William and Kate Middleton on their foreign tour.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge brought George not only to Australia but to New Zealand as well. George has also been photographed with his great-grandmother on some trips.
Leaders From Around the Globe
Aside from traveling to Australia and New Zealand, little Prince George has also had the opportunity to meet political leaders from all around the world.
He even had the chance to shake the former President of the United States’ hand and let us tell you — people from all over the globe ate this adorable moment up! Still, it makes no difference which head of state he meets because, in the end, no one will ever match up to his great-grandma!
The Queen Keeps Hush-Hush
Make no mistake — Will and Kate aren’t the only Royals that prefer to keep their personal life quiet. It’s no secret that Queen Elizabeth also keeps hush-hush when it comes to her private life including the bonds she shares with her family members.
Despite the attention that George and Charlotte receive as well as their prominence in the public eye, the Queen wants to make absolutely sure that her great-grandchildren’s faces won’t be the subject to a lot of exposure in the media.
Dealing With the Paps
Even with the measures the royal family takes, the paparazzi tend to take it a little too far sometimes. In fact, the Duchess of Cambridge has spoken about the invasion of the family’s privacy. It had gotten so bad that Middleton actually filed a case against French magazine Closer after they posted topless photos of her.
While the royal family was understandably angry about this, they still dealt with the media in the utmost diplomatic manner. After Prince George’s birth, you may have noticed that William and Kate have taken a step back from the spotlight.
Will and Kate Take a Step Back
Considering that the paparazzi crossed some lines, Will and Kate’s step back from the public eye after Prince George’s birth made a lot of sense. Being that the Queen created such a close bond with George from the start — whether it’s because he’s her first great-grandchild or the fact that he’s in line for the throne — she’s also protective when it comes to maintaining a certain amount of privacy.
Then again, she always has been even when raising her own boys. Speaking of, this is a photo of the Queen with Charles as a baby, Charles with William as a baby, and William with George as a baby…
Queen Elizabeth II Breaks the Record
Queen Elizabeth has been on the throne for 68 years now, becoming the longest-serving British monarch ever. In 2015, she broke the record set by Queen Victoria, her great-great-grandmother. On the other hand, Elizabeth II’s reign as a grandmother has only spanned three decades thus far.
Even with that said, we have no doubt that she knows what she’s doing when it comes to family. After all, the Queen herself said, “Like all the best families, we have our share of eccentricities, of impetuous and wayward youngsters and of family disagreements.”
There’s no denying that grandparents have a very special love for their grandchildren. As a kid, William had trouble pronouncing “Granny” correctly and would instead call her “Gary.” Still, the Queen took no offense but rather, it ended up becoming a family inside joke.
According to close sources, Prince William and Prince Harry still call her “Gary” when it’s just the two brothers. While it may be amusing, we definitely don’t recommend calling her by that nickname. That right is only reserved for her grandchildren…
Prince Philip Calls Her Majesty…
Sure — there’s no denying that the Queen’s grandkids — Prince William and Prince Harry — certainly have interesting nicknames for their beloved Granny. Believe it or not, though, Prince Philip may have had the strangest nickname for his wife. Apparently, Phil used to call her “Cabbage.”
While it’s not the most typical pet name for a significant other, it’s undoubtedly special. From the looks of it, the royal family thoroughly enjoys coming up with the best nickname for Queen Elizabeth II.
With over 70 years of marriage under their belts, there’s no denying that Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II have gone through the good and bad times together. Most couples have cute pet names for each other and we can honestly say that the Duke of Edinburgh and Her Majesty are truly no different.
Prince Philip’s nickname for his wife would only go public when the historical drama The Queen was released in 2006. It came about after a scene in which Philip and Elizabeth are resting in bed together when the former tells his beloved to “move over, Cabbage.”
Don’t believe us? Even one of the Queen’s biographers — Robert Lacy — confirmed this cutesy little detail saying, “Yes, I’ve heard that’s how Prince Phillip will sometimes refer to the Queen.” Naturally, this unique pet name has received quite a lot of speculation.
What could be the meaning behind it? Well, some claim that it must have come from “mon petit chou,” the French way of saying “my darling.” In English, however, the term literally translates to “my little cabbage” although it actually comes from a shortened term for the pastry, chou à la crème.
So, now we’ve learned that some people refer to the Queen as “Gary” while one calls her “Cabbage.” What you may have not known, though, is that she actually came up with one for herself.
As a child, Elizabeth struggled to pronounce her own complicated name so she would call herself “Lilibet” instead. Before long, her parents and sister, as well as other close family members, would continue to call her by that nickname as she grew up.
Shirley Temple & Cookie
While we’re on the subject of nicknames, here’s something else that you might not have known — Elizabeth’s estranged uncle, the Duke of Windsor, used to refer to his niece as “Shirley Temple” because of her curls and the resemblance she shared with the actress.
In addition to that, he would also call the Queen Mother “Cookie.” That may sound endearing, however, King Edward VIII allegedly dubbed his sister-in-law with this name because it was to his belief that she looked like a cook.
The Queen and Her Great-Grandchildren
From the sounds of it, royal family members definitely have it easy when it comes to choosing a nickname for Her Majesty. While Prince George hasn’t necessarily learned how to properly pronounce great-grandmother, it’ll happen in a few years’ time.
At 94 years old, Queen Elizabeth II hasn’t slowed down very much. In fact, she’s still quite active and full of life. We can only hope that we’ll hear more about her moments with her little great-grandchildren, both current and future.
Occasionally Humors the World
While the Queen does prefer to keep her personal life out of the public eye, she does occasionally humor the world by talking about her sweet, little great-grandchildren. When she met a 10-year-old schoolgirl back in January of 2018, the monarch had asked her if she looks after her younger six-year-old sister.
The girl’s mother was quick to respond by saying that “it’s the other way around.” Smiling, Queen Elizabeth II responded that “it’s like that with Charlotte and George.”
Who’s the Boss?
The Queen might have shared this little bit of information about her dear great-grandchildren but we’re warning you that this isn’t going to become some sort of trend. Like we’ve mentioned before, Queen Elizabeth II is known for being reserved and keeping details from her private life on the down-low, especially when it comes to her great-grandkids.
In any event, Prince George may be older than Princess Charlotte but from the sounds of it, she acts like the older sibling and often watches after her brother.
Aside from watching out for her older brother, Charlotte seems to have a sassy streak. According to People magazine, Charlotte is apparently much bossier than George. According to Queen Elizabeth II, it’s not out of the ordinary for the princess to order her older brother around.
Then again, the royal family is made up of very strong women, to say the least. If we’re being honest here, we’re not at all surprised. And from the sounds of it, Prince George is a good sport when it comes to listening to his baby sis.
In any event, Princess Charlotte is growing up quickly whether or not she is the younger of the two. She started attending the very same preschool that George went to not so long ago.
Although Willcocks Nursery in London is only an 11-minute walk from Kensington Palace, there’s no doubt that little Charlotte here has a private car service for safety reasons, of course! After all, the Queen, William, and Kate are all about keeping the kids out of the spotlight as much as possible.
Third Time’s a Charm
In October 2017, Kensington Palace announced that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were expecting their third child, which meant they’d soon enough have another kid to protect from being overexposed to the media.
On April 23rd, 2018, Kate and William welcomed Louis Arthur Charles into the world, gifting the Queen with yet another great-grandchild. On April 24th, gun salutes from the Tower of London and Hyde Park as well as bell ringing at Westminster Abbey marked the birth of the newest little prince.
The Queen Must Be the First to Know!
We think it goes without saying that there are quite a few rules to follow as a member of the royal family. When someone in the royal family gives birth, it is absolutely and utterly imperative that the Queen is the first person to know.
According to The Sun, the Queen was contacted through an encrypted phone after the birth of Prince George. It was also revealed that prior to the birth of Prince Charles, the father of the baby wasn’t allowed to be present in the delivery room.
Hospital Over Home
While we’re on the subject of babies, did you know that members of the royal family preferred giving birth at home? In fact, Queen Elizabeth II actually went into labor in Buckingham Palace not once but all four times!
When it came time for the births of Prince William and Prince Harry, Princess Diana didn’t follow suit but instead opted to go to St Mary’s Hospital and give birth to her sons there. Kate ended up following in Diana’s footsteps, giving birth to each of her children in a hospital.
George and Charlotte Welcome Baby Brother
When Prince Louis was born in 2018, his elder siblings — Prince George and Princess Charlotte — were taken to the hospital so they could meet their little, baby brother.
From the looks of that day, the two of them couldn’t have been more excited to welcome the new addition into their family… and see mommy, of course. Prince Louis is now fifth in the line of succession to the British throne, after his grandfather, father, older brother, and older sister.
Rules Every Royal Member Must Follow
Did we mention that the Royal members have to follow some pretty strict rules? Kate Middleton is obviously no exception. You might be surprised to know she actually can’t even hug her husband in public, and she’s not allowed to earn her own money.
Beyond that, Middleton cannot sign autographs as she’s only permitted to sign official papers that the Queen has authorized. The reason for this policy is to prevent anyone from forging documents. Surprisingly enough, though, the Royal family even has rules about food…
It turns out that members of the Royal family actively avoid consuming shellfish while away in a foreign country or simply dining out at a restaurant. You’re probably wondering why this rule even exists.
Well, shellfish has been known to put you at greater risk of infection and/or food poisoning when eaten raw, and naturally — the royal family wants to prevent illness. With that being said, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis will all have to follow this rule.
Say Bye-Bye to Bright Colors
If you thought those rules were strict, you haven’t seen anything yet — there are even regulations about nail polish. Members of the royal family aren’t permitted to wear any bright colors. Instead, they can wear nudes and light pink tones.
Aside from that, no member of the royal family is allowed to have personal social media. No member of the royal family is allowed to vote as they’re required to stay neutral and not share their political views.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the royal family also has a dress code. For example, one big no-no is wearing black during the daytime as they can only wear it while they’re in mourning.
It’s important to note, though, that all members of the family must pack a set of black clothes when they travel outside of the country so that if anyone passes away, they can easily come back and attend the funeral in proper attire. The rule first came about when George VI died while the Queen was in Africa; she didn’t bring black clothes to change into and was late.
Protestant Anglican Church
All members of the royal family are required to belong to the Protestant Anglican Church. Even Kate herself had a confirmation ceremony in 2011 at the Anglican Church as one of her preparations for her marriage to Prince William.
It has also been revealed that the family isn’t allowed to travel together on the same mode of transportation. For instance, it’s not very likely that Middleton would travel with both William and her father-in-law together. This rule exists in case there’s an accident…
Monopoly Is Forbidden
On a lighter note, playing Monopoly is forbidden in the royal family. Why? Well, because the Queen doesn’t want anyone to fight or get too vicious. This means that the little ones — Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis — may never know the glory of this board game.
Now, in regard to Christmas, no one is allowed to open presents at midnight or even on the morning of the 25th. Instead, the family exchanges holiday gifts during tea time on Christmas Eve.
Prince Harry Marries Meghan Markle
On May 19th, 2018, the world watched Britain’s Prince Harry marry American Meghan Markle in a ceremony at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom. Following the wedding ceremony, the newlywed couple rode through the town of Windsor in a horse-drawn carriage to greet people along a two-mile procession.
Unsurprisingly, people came from far and wide to join in on the local festivities and of course, to catch a glimpse of Prince Harry and the newest Royal member, Meghan.
Royal Wedding Rules
Most people would have to agree that planning a wedding can be very stressful in and of itself so you can only imagine how it must be for those that marry into the Royal family. First off, the potential suitor or suitress has to be approved by the family.
As per the Royal Wedding Act of 1722, all Descendents of British royalty have to follow this code. Once they’ve been accepted into the royal family, there are tons of laws to learn for the wedding itself.
Sprig of Myrtle
For one, all brides must have a sprig of myrtle. Why? The myrtle for royal bridal bouquets comes from the bush grown from the myrtle originally given to Queen Victoria. It is believed that the glossy, evergreen shrub not only brings luck but fidelity as well.
In another tradition, royal brides poignantly send their bouquet back to Westminster Abbey to be placed on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior. Naturally, Meghan Markle followed suit and used myrtle flowers at her own wedding to Prince Harry.
Prince Harry & Meghan Markle’s First Child
In October of 2018, Kensington Palace announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were expecting their first child. On May 6th, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle welcomed their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, into the world.
Yet another great-grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II, Archie is now the seventh in the line of succession to the British throne after his grandfather, uncle, three cousins, and father. To mark Archie’s birth, several different landmarks were lit up including Niagara Falls, the CN Tower, and the London Eye.
Now that Queen Elizabeth has another great-grandchild, the world can’t help but wonder just how beautiful their bond will turn out to be. After all, the Queen is very close to the rest of her great-grandkids.
Kate even revealed at one point that the Queen always leaves little gifts in the kids’ rooms to show just how much love she has for her family. Middleton also revealed that Her Majesty’s very fond of Princess Charlotte. As soon as Will and Kate returned home to Kensington after Charlotte’s birth, the Queen was one of their first visitors.
A Ton of Nicknames for the Queen
In any event, although Archie is just under a year old, people are eager to hear him speak his first words to the Queen. Considering that the Queen has a ton of nicknames from different Royal members, she’ll hardly be surprised if Archie — or even Prince Louis for that matter — comes up with a special nickname for her.
After all, when Prince George was finally able to talk, he came up with the perfect nickname for his great-grandmother.
What Does George Call the Queen?
April 21st, 1926 — Queen Elizabeth II was born. That same day in 2016, Her Majesty celebrated her 90th birthday with a number of events to mark the special day. To further commemorate the Queen’s 90th, the television documentary film A Family Tribute was released.
During the film, Kate Middleton talked about the close-knit bonds her kids share with the Queen and even revealed the moniker Prince George came up with for his great-grandmother. By two-and-a-half, little George was calling the Queen ‘Gan-Gan.’
Not the First Time
What you’re probably wondering is if the Queen minds the nickname George gave her and the answer is obviously no! After all, Gan-Gan is nowhere near as strange as Gary or Cabbage. Plus, George was a teensie-weensie baby when he came up with that nickname for the Queen so no one can really blame him for mispronouncing words.
It can’t be easy to say “great-grandmother” when you’re two years old. Did you know, though, that George isn’t the first Royal to have used this nickname? Even Prince Charles actually called his great-grandmother ‘Gan-Gan.’