“Since hunger is the most primitive and permanent of human wants, men always want to eat, but since their wish not to be a mere animal is also profound, they have always attended with special care to the manners which conceal the fact that at the table we are animals feeding.” - John Erskine

25 November 2011

a day of thanksgiving

November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.
-Clyde Watson

First, let me say that one of the blessings I’m thankful for this year is this blog, and you, my handful of lovely readers.  You have no idea how much just thinking about you reading about it inspires me and makes the drudgery of everyday cooking so much more enjoyable.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

And now, on with the bloging.  Ok, I haven’t blogged for quite some time.  It’s not that I don’t love you all, it’s not even because I haven’t been cooking, there’s just been a lot going on this month: sinus infections, ear infections, pink eye... And we changed internet providers so we didn’t have internet for several days.  I have a lot of catching up to do.

This year for Thanksgiving I was assigned rolls and sweet potatoes.  Rolls were easy.  I honestly was going to try making them from scratch, but my sister-in-law ~ who was in charge this year ~ requested the same rolls I brought several years ago using Rhodes frozen rolls.  So.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.  Here’s the recipe.

Butter Crumb Rolls
source: Rhodes
12 frozen dinner rolls
½ cup bread crumbs (or Ritz crackers, finely crushed)
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Place rolls on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and let thaw (about 45 minutes).

In a shallow bowl combine crumbs and herbs.  Remove plastic wrap and brush thawed rolls with butter and then sprinkle with crumb mixture.  Replace plastic wrap and let rise until double in size.

Bake at 350° 15-20 minutes.
I stole this picture from Rhodes' website, since I was much too stressed to take actual pictures myself.
Mmm.  Hot and fresh and yummy.  I made 2 dozen for 8 people and there were nothing but crumbs to take home.  I think Littlest ate 5 himself.

 The sweet potatoes, on the other hand... Well, none of us at my house actually eat them.  I remembered seeing a post for a sweet potato recipe that sounded yum (if you’re into that sort of thing, which, as Ive mentioned, Im not) but since I didn’t think I’d be making any this year, I deleted it and couldn’t find it again.  So I went searching and came up with this recipe.  According to Heather, the recipe poster: “Once you taste this, you won’t ever go back to the marshmallow-topped variety!  (How could I resist trying them after that inspirational endorsement?)  I have peeled and cooked in the microwave, and also boiled the sweet potatoes.  They taste the same no matter how you cook them.  So, use the technique that works best for you!”

Gourmet Sweet Potato Classic
serves 8
5 sweet potatoes
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup white sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
¼ cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°.  Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Bake sweet potatoes 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until they begin to soften.  Cool slightly, peel, and mash.

In a large bowl, mix the mashed sweet potatoes, salt, ¼ cup butter, eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, sugar, and heavy cream.  Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

In a medium bowl, combine ¼ cup butter, flour, brown sugar, and chopped pecans.  Mix with a pastry blender or your fingers to the consistency of course meal.  Sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture.

Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until topping is crisp and lightly browned.
Not the yummiest picture, I admit.  It looks a bit like a weird stake to me.  But again, I didn't manage to take my own pic.  Too bad too, because they looked so very yum.
This one I did modify.  (Just when you were about to be amazed that I followed the recipe exactly!)  Why oh why would I cook my own sweet potatoes?  Ok, I probably should have cooked my own sweet potatoes, but since I knew from bringing sweet potatoes in previous years that you can buy them pre-cooked in a can, I certainly wasn’t going to cook my own sweet potatoes.  So I made a last minute run to Target to buy canned sweet potatoes.  No canned sweet potatoes left on the shelf.  Wait, did I remember reading that you mash the sweet potatoes?  Yes, yes I did.  So I grabbed the last 4 cans of pureed sweet potatoes.  (Looked for a picture to show you what I bought, but couldn't find it anywhere on Targets website.  Sorry.)  That should add up to about 5 real sweet potatoes, right?  Seemed to work out just fine.

Last week was my father-in-law’s birthday and we took him out to eat at Texas Roadhouse ~ his favorite.  I noticed that as one of his sides he got their sweet potato and it was covered in marshmallows.  I just couldn’t stand disappointing him by leaving the marshmallows off, so here’s what I did.  I made the recipe just as it’s written (using the amazing Wise Woman of the East spices that my rock star friend Chef Tess sent me. ~ Thanks again, Stephanie! ~  Oh these spices are to die for!  Kind of like pumpkin pie spice, but so much better than any pumpkin pie spice Ive ever had.  If you’re making any kind of cinnamon-spiced pies ~ apple, pumpkin, etc. ~ GO BUY SOME NOW!!!  Trust me, youll be so glad you did) but after considering the fact that my father-in-law is allergic to walnuts I decided to leave out the pecans.  No, hes not allergic to pecans, but they look so much like walnuts I didnt want to put him off the sweet potatoes.  (Hey, I needed to be sure someone would eat them so I didnt have to bring them home!) Then I baked it but after pulling it out of the oven I turned on the broiler and dumped marshmallows all over the top.  Then I stuck it under the broiler until the marshmallows started to puff up and brown.  Mmm, it looked lovely and got rave reviews from my father-in-law and his sister.  I have to admit I tasted some of Littlests (who insisted he have some when he saw the marshmallows, but refused to eat it once I made the mistake of telling him it was sweet potatoes) and was almost tempted to eat a serving myself.  I’m seriously thinking of using this recipe to make my family a pumpkin pie.

So that was my Thanksgiving ~ pretty much.  But I want to hear from you.  What did you make for Thanksgiving?  Was it something you were assigned or were you in charge of your own feast this year?  Did you stick to tried and true recipes or did you try something new?

1 comment:

  1. Oh those sound yummy! Thanks for the love my dear! xoxo!