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SWEET POTATOES OVER CORN MUFFINS
"I could eat it as a meal by itself," says Clayton, who helps cook all the Thanksgiving trappings--mac-'n'-cheese, greens, the great bird itself--during his family's annual chowdown. When he was a child, Clayton, his mother and his two siblings briefly lived in a homeless shelter in Oklahoma City, which led to their other Thanksgiving tradition: delivering food to the needy. Last year he passed out 350 turkey dinners at a center in Baltimore; this year he and his mother, JacQuetta, and teammate Ray Lewis will go to an inner-city school. "At one point we were in line receiving food just like the people I am helping now," says Clayton. "After we got out [of the shelter], we always did volunteer work in the local shelters. Giving back is so important."
How to make
Kris Draper, Red Wings Center
"I'm an aggressive masher," he says. "I can't have lumps, so I have two mashers on hand. I tend to bend one in the process." Draper (below), his wife, Julie, and children, Kennedi, 6, and Kienan, 4, will host family and friends, and he'll mash a potato-and-a-half per guest. "You don't want to run out," says Draper, who adds that after his spud-smashing he slips away to watch football. "With my wife and mother-in-law in there, you can only have so many cooks in the kitchen."