Giving thanks…

Linking with Photo Art Friday, where digital artists share their beautiful creations…

In Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving earlier than our American neighbours do…and this is the start of our Thanksgiving weekend. It’s the Columbus Day holiday below the 49th parallel.

We’ll be gathering with family and friends at the cottage to enjoy each other’s company, delight in how gorgeous autumn is at the lake, and eat turkey, sweet potatoes, other seasonal veggies and, of course, pie.

Hopefully, there will be no falling out of canoes into the lake or rescues conducted in one-oar rowboats, as happened one memorable year. As I recall, that was the same time as the experiment with barbecuing a turkey…Dinner was a little on the late side that year.

Everybody pitches in on Thanksgiving and my contribution is almost always a sweet potato casserole. But not your standard one with marshmallows — don’t get me wrong, I love marshmallows, and have been known to eat them right out of the bag the odd time…. No, this one is almost like a souffle; it’s light and fluffy and just a bit sweet. The not-so-secret ingredients are maple syrup and vanilla, which add a delicate, subtle flavour that really complements the sweet potatoes.

I found the recipe on Epicurious, a terrific website that I use all the time. If you want to try something different, here it is. Enjoy.

Sweet Potato Dish

  • 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (about 2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 5 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix sugar, pecans and butter in small bowl. Cover and chill until ready to use. (Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

Butter 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Cook sweet potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 12 minutes. Drain. Let stand in colander 15 minutes. Purée sweet potatoes in processor.

Beat eggs, syrup, vanilla, lemon juice and salt in large bowl. Mix in puréed sweet potatoes. Transfer sweet potato mixture to prepared dish. Sprinkle pecan topping evenly over mixture.

Bake until sweet potato mixture is set and topping bubbles, about 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes and serve.

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27 thoughts on “Giving thanks…

  1. wow, that is so similar to the one I make sometimes. I use a bit less maple syrup and use freshly squeezed orange juice instead of lemon and add a bit of the orange zest. But otherwise, it’s so similar! I hear you on those marshmallows as topping — way too sweet and dessert-y for me. I always pass when someone brings that.

    My mom used to toss in a wee pinch of nutmeg and I do sometimes.

  2. I love hydrangeas and your image reminds me of a pillow in a book I have that is made of small octagons of hand-dyed silk in various shades similar to yours. You are also an excellent writer – I enjoyed reading your description of your holiday.

  3. Such a lovely image, so soft and dreamy. Hope your Thanksgiving was lovely.
    I like the Marshmallow Sweet Potato casserole and use actual sweet potatoes instead of Yams but your recipe does sound interesting.

  4. I always store mine in our unheated pantry, single layers in flat boxes or trays, with newspaper or paper towel around each of them if possible. They will ripen slowly, at different times, so check them once a week for any spoilage (which is why the paper – it helps keep that from spreading to the others) and to look for ripe ones. We lose a few to spoilage, but most do fine. Usually I have fresh tomatoes through to Christmas this way, sometimes longer.

  5. HI Sherry — Thank you for this lovely image, and the yummy recipe! BTW, I am also savouring your writing accompaniment to your photos, both in this post and previous ones. Mary Lou

  6. Hey, guess what, Edna? I just finished designing a card using this image! I will be selling it in my Etsy shop. Thanks for your kind comments and Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

  7. Your image is exquisite Sherry. Soft, dreamy and for me, nostalgic. Perfect choice of texture.
    The recipe you love from Epicurius has almost the same ingredients as the pumpkin pie I just took out of the oven! Happy Thanksgiving – we are celebrating tomorrow at my daughter’s home in Ottawa. Thank you for sharing your work with Photo Art Friday.

  8. Gorgeous image, Sherry! And I look forward to trying the recipe, though later on this fall (maybe I’ll do it about the time our US friends celebrate Thanksgiving). Thanksgiving weekend to me is all about the harvest – we’ll be processing our kiwis for wine, and I’ll be picking tomatoes, peppers, beans, squash and other great veggies. But I won’t be clearing out the tomato, pepper and squash patches like I sometimes do on Thanksgiving weekend – this year it still seems like summer here on the west coast! Enjoy your long weekend and yes, we have much to be thankful for.

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