Hazel, Henry, Rose, and a cousin–Thanksgiving 2012
Why am I posting Thanksgiving recipes in June? Because that’s how long it took me to get around to it.
(If you really want to know, I got the yam recipe from Tracy after Thanksgiving of 2010.)
I haven’t tried the yam recipe yet, but I’ve eaten the ones Tracy makes, and they’re by far my favorite way to eat yams (which I usually don’t care for). Unlike the various traditional sweetened yams that use marshmallows or sugar, this is essentially a savory recipe–and it’s very, very good. You should try it.
Tracy’s Ginger/Lime Yams
1/2 stick of butter
2-3 large yams*
one large yellow onion
small hand of ginger
1/4 cup olive oil
dash of salt
turbanado or brown sugar
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F. In a glass or porcelain baking dish, almost melt butter in the microwave. Peel and slice yams lengthwise into quarters, and then into 1/4 to 1/8 inch slices; dice or ribbon the onion; and finely dice a small hand of ginger by pulling it apart, scraping off the skin, cutting lengthwise into strips, and slicing across the grain as thinly as possible. Place all three root vegetables in the butter, and mix in 1/4 cup olive oil and a dash of salt.
The butter and oil combined should just coat the mix, and ideally the pan should be large enough that the yams are only a few layers thick (otherwise, cooking time will increase). Halve and thoroughly squeeze out the juice of the lime evenly over the yams, followed by a light sprinkling of turbanado or brown sugar, a scarcely visible amount.
Cover pan with foil and bake at least 45 minutes, until the yams are quite tender and the onions are translucent and soft. The last few minutes of cooking are optionally broiling (no foil) with a fresh sprinkling of sugar.
*Apparently true yams, an African staple, are hardly available here. American grocery stores use “yam” to mean the softer varieties of sweet potato with a reddish peel and orange flesh, which is what this recipe calls for.
I thought I had a photo of the yams, but I don’t, but here’s a picture of Tracy with Hazel–who wasn’t feeling very well two-and-a-half years ago, on Thanksgiving of 2010. (Curiously enough, this past week she was similarly sick–she had a fever and would put herself down for long naps every day. I think she’s all better now.)
These pumpkins and carrots were a tradition in my mom’s family. They are a little messy and time-intensive to do. (And the scale is a little funny, with the carrots as big as pumpkins.) But my kids think they’re fun to make, and they do taste good on a cracker.
I lied about having a recipe for them. But this is more-or-less how we make them:
Soften one or two 8 oz packages of cream cheese, and beat the cream cheese in a mixer. (A food processor would also probably work well, if I had one.) Grate a comparable quantity of sharp cheddar cheese, add it, and blend it in. Add seasonings to taste–Dean’s usually in charge of this task, and likes to add things such as onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and Worcestershire sauce. He also sometimes adds a little red food coloring for a darker orange color.
When you’re happy with the flavor, put the mixture in the fridge to firm up before shaping. Then roll pumpkins into balls and draw lines on them with a toothpick, and roll cylinders with one pointed end for the carrots. Use fresh parsley for the leaves and stems.
Rose always thinks it’s weird to see photos of herself from before she wore glasses; she thinks she doesn’t look like herself. I just feel sad she lived in a blurry world for so long.
And as long as I’m posting Thanksgiving stuff, here are some pretty leaves we made this past fall, using the instructions and template that you’ll find here.
Rose, Henry, and Hazel performing “We Want Underwear For Christmas,” an original song composed and choreographed by Mabel. Unfortunately, Mabel hasn’t granted a public license for the performance.