Friday, October 23, 2009

Getting Ready.... At least in my head.

I'm starting to think about the holidays. Getting together with my kids and their families, That MAKES THE HOLIDAYS for me! And it includes food. In a big way. ......

Cooking. Old fashioned cooking; FROM SCRATCH. Kathryn's in the kitchen with me, up to her elbows in fixin' and mixin' and cleaning up as we go. She makes it possible! It's how I like it. I remember going to Grannie's and later to Daddy's and having THE BEST food in the world! Daddy was always in charge of what was what and how much and such but, Grandma and my sister's are FABULOUS cooks and they were right in there with him. I want my kids and grandkids to remember OURS!

Today with things so busy, it's just easier to go the most simple route ..... I know a lot of people who feel like they have so much going on for the holidays it's just so much better to lay in a good supply of disposable plates and utensils, so once used, just drop 'em in the trash and no-one has to deal with a big clean-up.

I like it when the table's set with dishes and silverware and gotta have the pretty tablecloth. So we use dishes that have to be washed even tho' disposable stuff would be easier. And, usually, everything doesn't match. We have more people than we do matching plates and glasses and such.

All the food comes to the table in serving dishes. I mean, we cook for at least a couple days to put a meal together..... a few minutes after the meal to get things cleaned up seems like a fair exchange.

The menu varies a little year to year. Some of that depends on who's coming. Each of the kids have favorites... especially when it come to desserts. Usually there's Banana Pudding ( have to keep Jennalee out of that till after the main course is thru!), Coconut Cream Pie, Pecan Pie and Sweet Potato Pie, to name a few. My favorite is Grandma's Ambrosia recipe.

Jen's not the only one you have to keep your eye on tho'.... One year in the middle night before Thanksgiving dinner, someone snuck into the spare fridge and helped them selves to a healthy portion of the cream pie filling!

Oh, and every year Jen checks to make sure I put no giblets in the turkey gravy. Yeh, right. WHAT IS TURKEY GRAVY WITHOUT GIBLETS? She's clueless.... She eats and enjoys and we pretend we leave 'em out just to keep her happy! Except for the year Buddy was helping and he threw 'em away before I knew!

Anyway.... I'm gona leave a GREAT recipe here for Sweet Potato Pie. For years I always used my same ole, simple recipe... (The Sweet Potato is another fav of mine).... But then some time back I found a new one and it reminds me of my childhood. I don't know if it's like Grannie's or maybe it was like Winnie Mae's (another wonderful grandma) but someone's! I think I'm gona try it with a gingersnap crust, too.

Sweet Potato Pie

2 large sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds)

1 teaspoon salt

2-1/2 sticks butter, softened

2-1/2 cups white sugar

3 Tablespoons evaporated milk

4 eggs, slightly beaten

1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract

2 9-inch fresh unbaked pie shells

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel and cut each sweet potato into 4 pieces.
Place in a pot and cover with water. Add salt to the
water and boil 30 to 40 minutes, or until tender when
poked with a fork. Drain well. Mash in a bowl while
still hot. Add butter and mix well with mixer on low
speed to remove any potato strings. Rinse strings off
mixer beaters. Stir in sugar, evaporated milk, eggs,
nutmeg, cinnamon, baking powder and lemon extract.
Mix on lowest speed about 1 minute. Pour into pie shells.

Bake 1 hour or until light brown.

Pie will puff up like a soufflé but will sink as it cools.

Makes two pies

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