Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Extremely Serious, No Joke Spiced Sweet Potato Casserole

Dear Reader,

November has been a hard month for my family.  First, the girl came down with a fever, which turned into a cough.  The doctor put her on antibiotics, and meanwhile, the husband came down with the same cough. The daughter's cough did not go away, which sent us back to the doctor, who diagnosed her with pneumonia.  Walking pneumonia, which is only slightly less dire that what these people have.  So more antibiotics, two inhalers, and the husband is still coughing because his doctor said he "just has a cough."  Just as the girl begins to improve, the boy starts coughing.  So for about a week everyone in the house is coughing, hard, loud, barking coughs pretty much 24 hours a day.  And the mom is both tired and frazzled, but not coughing, so that is good, because somebody has to take care of everyone, as we don't yet have a private nurse.

Then, two nights ago, I was at a reading of Wallace Shawn's work, and my neck started hurting.  I thought that it was perhaps due to the fact that I had been basically staring in one direction for two hours, but that doesn't make sense, does it?  By the time I got home, I was sick, sick, sick.  Apologies to the people sitting on either side of me at the reading.

Last night I put myself to bed just after the children, at eight o'clock, with not so much as a glass of wine, which is highly unusual for me.  Truthfully, I expected to have a nice cocktail of Nyquil, but someone threw it out thinking it was perhaps expired.  Unfortunately, eight o'clock was the precise time my downstairs neighbor decided would be perfect to bang out some Billy Joel on her piano.  It didn't last long, though and I slept ten hours straight, beset by dreams featuring mimes, John Cusak, Jaden Smith, Mick Jagger and Joe Biden.  Today I am still sick, but a bit better, and still making sweet potatoes.  Today I give you the recipe I will actually use for my family's Thanksgiving dinner, as having tried so very many, I know with certainty this one is the best.  It comes from a magazine, not sure which, as I tore out the page years ago, and it stays folded up inside my Martha Stewart Cookbook all year.  It might have been Cooking Light, or maybe Vegetarian Times, as it gives the full rundown of nutritional information.

Extremely Serious, No Joke Spiced Sweet Potato Casserole

You will need:

3 lbs sweet potatoes
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. orange juice concentrate
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 large eggs
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Cook the sweet potatoes either in the microwave or oven depending on the time you want to invest in this project.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Scoop the potato into a large bowl, add sugar, butter, OJ concentrate, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.  Beat with a mixer at low speed.  Add eggs and beat until smooth.  Spoon into a baking dish - I will use a deep dish pie pan, and sprinkle with pagans, no not pagans, pecans, sprinkle with pecans.  Bake 45 minutes.  Can be made a day in advance, obviously, as I am making this right now and it is only Wednesday.

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