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  • Up a notch

    With a few pantry staples and a little culinary flair, you'll make it a feast to remember
  • In a decade of owning and operating The Willows Cooking School, chef Sandy Dowling has done mashed potatoes "like 10 different ways" for Thanksgiving.
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  • In a decade of owning and operating The Willows Cooking School, chef Sandy Dowling has done mashed potatoes "like 10 different ways" for Thanksgiving.
    "I like to have something new for my own tastes," she says of the holiday menu, as well as side-dish classes she presents almost every year.
    Cooks yearning for a bit of diversity in their holiday dishes still can use a few pantry staples to enliven ingredients they've already purchased for the feast. Instead of simmering a cranberry sauce, Dowling made a fresh relish in the food processor with the whole berries, pears and horseradish.
    "It's good with beef; it's good with turkey; it's good with ham," she says. "It's so Rogue Valley. It's all gone two days later."
    The turkey need not be plain, either, says chef Constance Jesser, whose Thanksgiving side-dishes class last week at Jacksonville Mercantile sold out a month in advance.
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