Pass The Effins, Please.


Thanksgiving is the perfect occasion for ushering in the holiday season; it’s a time for stories, projects, cooking and sharing. That’s exactly what this post is about. I’ve linked up with 5 other bloggers, each sharing a piece of what the season has to offer. We have humor, thought, family projects and food.

I hope you’ll click on all the links below to see what we’ve put together for you:

Home on Deranged has a family post about the first and last Thanksgiving spent with mom.
Kiss My List is sharing a simple but meaningful family craft project that does double duty as Thanksgiving decor.
The Rowdy Baker  has posted a recipe for an Iced Pumpkin Roll with Butterscotch Cream Filling.
PinkWhen  shares a project you can display for Thanksgiving dinner and guests.
Baking In A Tornado will share a recipe for that leftover turkey.

Me? Well, I have a humorous story (surprised?) about what happens when someone is pushed just one step too far.

Living several hours away from the majority of my extended family, often the only time I see them is on the holidays. So it’s odd that when I think of Thanksgiving, my first thought isn’t so much warm/fuzzy family nostalgia, or the amazing food, but more like when you reminisce episodes of your favorite comedy series, because the laughter is what I remember and what I look forward to most. As I’ve posted about them in the past, they are a lively crew with, shall we say, eclectic personalities.

There are too many stories to recount in just one post…like the time my one cousin walked into the glass patio door holding a full plate of food…or how Aunt Jane will inevitably show up behind you with a vegetable hanging out of her nose….or how my brother, who’s notoriously either late or a no-show for every event, will make my mother a nervous wreck until the very last minute, but then stroll in, sometimes even mid-meal, and my mom will be so happy he showed she’ll practically throw a parade for him – and I’m all, hey, where’s my frickin’ confetti? I drove 5 hours to get here with two kids and I was on time….ahem, I digress…

But there is one story that stands out above ’em all and continues to sort of define the holidays with our crew. The story of how mashed potatoes became known as the “effins”.

Approximately fifteen years ago, “the hens” – as I refer to the ladies who plan everything – were divvying up cooking duties, making lists, and getting organized for the upcoming holiday. I’m constantly blown away with the amount of preparation a Thanksgiving meal requires. Thankfully, I’m still given jobs like: bring wine and canned cranberries. Sometimes it pays to suck in the kitchen.

Anyway, as usual, Aunt Anne (of Superhero Otter fame) was given the job of making mashed potatoes, because, well, that’s her thing. She rocks mashed potatoes. What nobody realized was, she didn’t really plan on it being her thing. In fact, she aspired to contribute casseroles and desserts, yet was always assigned mashed potatoes. That particular year, she’d had enough and protested. After a few go ’rounds between the four sisters, where they continued to insist she make them because she did it best, this happened:

Aunt Anne: Fine! I’ll make the fucking mashed potatoes!

Initial stunned silence was quickly replaced with hysterical laughter. Although her outburst didn’t result in alternate meal assignments, it did birth a new family joke: mashed potatoes have never been referred to as such again. Instead, they became the f#*%ing mashed potatoes. Of course, to negate the necessity of repeating the F-word, they altered it to “effing mashed potatoes”…and now simply, the effins. For years since, Aunt Anne has received antique potato mashers for Christmas, lest she forget her special kitchen calling. I’m sure she burns treasures every one of them.

See you in a few weeks, my crazy-wonderful tribe. Aunt Anne, make plenty of effins. I’ll be having two helpings, as usual, because you know yours are the best.



  1. Hilarious. My wife and I had mashed potato duty one year and we made some delicious garlic mashed potatoes instead of the “normal” butter and cream alone variety. We heard a lot of what’s wrong with the fucking potatoes that year! Hey you uncultured assholes, make your own potatoes next time!! Geez.


  2. That is so funny, but also heartwarming in its own way. I think these kinds of family stories that are repeated year after year are what Thanksgiving is all about. I’d love to be a fly on the wall at one of your Thanksgiving dinners.


    1. Thanks, Karen! What I love best is that my kids will know mashed potatoes as effins their whole lives and never know any different, and this story will be told to them as they get older, and they will call MP’s effins as adults and with their families….and it’ll go on and on. I LOVE THAT.


  3. That is AWESOME!! Ha! I love how she stood up to everyone and then it was hilarious and she is still stuck and making something she despises doing, yet everyone else adores and loves. It’s all about family and fun. Love it!


  4. I hate making mashed potatoes – I sympathize with your poor Aunt Anne. I love the nickname effins – I may borrow that and use it for something in my family. Perhaps the entire Thanksgiving dinner, when I host? As in: I’m having effin this year at my house, biotches, who is bringing the pumpkin flavored vodka?


    1. haha! yeah, they do kinda, huh? My cousins call each other “skid” or “scuz”. All of us. I think it was once a derivative of cousin, then cuz for short, then scuz. Something along those lines, but we all five call each either Scuz or Sciz or Skid now. ha!


        1. haha! I know, I know. No one is named Mark, although that would only fuel my scuzzins. They would love it. I’m usually Scuz and my brother is Skid. I don’t know why. Maybe they’re being kind to me. My oldest cousin is Scuz, too. No one planned who is who…it just IS.


  5. I LOVE this story! I have an aunt who once dropped the F bomb in a card game (at my dad), and it has yet to be forgotten. Mainly because it was completely out of character and resulted in stunned silence for my incredibly talkative and noisy family for several minutes. I have to ask: why is this post under the label “boobs”? Just curious.


    1. haha! I can’t believe you noticed the boobs tag. It’s sort of a long story, but I seem to talk about boobs and balls (that’s how I got the “I blog with balls” thing for my badge) a lot in my blog and joke about it with Mike of and Lizzi of Considerings, so at the last second I threw boobs in tags so I could say even this post mentioned boobs somewhere. 🙂


  6. Your Aunt Anne rocks, Beth! Like you, I eff’ing love mashed potatoes with garlic too only I have two separate versions. One with cream cheese and the other with three separate cheeses. All made from scratch…well, not as in milking the cow from scratch. But, you know. Betty Crocker boxes with the dry stuff be gone! 🙂


  7. Hoping over to visit you from B in a T and to follow you to too! What a funny post! I used to hots the TG dinner for about 6 year now, until my in laws decided we should all have dinner at a local restaurant this year…oh yeah girl, weird!! I guess the got tired of my @#$%ing eveything! Hope the place have the must unbelievable effin turkey ever because I’m still scratching my head about it, lol.. how’s that for a holiday drama for you…and it’s just the beginning…where’s the Tylenol? LOL


    1. Hey Lizy, thanks for coming by! Wait, you’re having Thanksgiving dinner…in a restaurant, when you’re more than willing to host? More like bring on the wine…and lots of it! Hang in there…here’s hoping it goes well, they have good turkey, but not so good that they want to repeat it next year!


  8. An indepth perusal of the comments here leads me to believe that perhaps most families don’t rename things. How lovely! It would be heaven to ditch the dictionary we hand out to guests. With your permission I shall add “effins” to ours. It’ll sit right up there with “shiny paper”: aluminum foil, “white mice”: scotch mints and my personal favourite “sucking tubes” : straws.
    While we’ve already celebrated Thanksgiving up here in Canada I’m wondering if it’s possible for you to wrap some effins in shiny paper and seal it with “sticky paper” and mail them to me? Surely they reheat a treat in the “wavy thing.” ?


  9. What the frick is up with mashed potatoes? They’re too lumpy, not lumpy enough, too buttery, not enough, salt, pepper, vodka, yada, yada, yada. 🙂 As much as I love holiday gatherings, it’s always the food that causes the arguments. Especially if you’re feeding dogs from the table. Not everyone thinks that’s funny, apparently.


    1. I don’t think I’ve ever been to any family gathering where dogs weren’t part of the event. Now sometimes they have to wait until after the main meal, but somehow they always end up joining the party….and getting plenty of yummos! yay doggies!


  10. Haha that is an excellent story– hilarious. I hope that everyone starts blogginb about their awkward and profane family experiences as the holidays draw closer… Actually, you may have given me an idea for a post, here… But it involves blood, not profanity…


  11. One of my fav family holidays! We all eat , drink, and have fun. No shopping on this day!

    I can’t wait to enjoy som effins myself! Then pass out in a food coma!


  12. Please can I come have Thanksgiving with your family? I could probably gather about 6 months worth of posts out of one holiday by the sound of things! Hysterical and had me laughing ’til I cried…again!


Speak to me! I wanna hear ya!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s