Wednesday, November 17, 2010


As we Americans make plans to stuff ourselves into oblivion on Thanksgiving Day, I pray that as we sit around afterwards in a calorie-induced stupor, we stop to have a modicum of thanks for all the blessings in our lives.  YES, WE HAVE NUMEROUS BLESSINGS, even if some of us cannot, or will not, keep up with the Joneses.

I am thankful for my wonderful family--hubby, daughters, sons-in-law, grandkids, Mom,  brother and family, plus assorted others (whew!)--and how they have all enriched my life.  God has sheltered and protected me, always sustaining me and guiding me.  I love and appreciate my country.

The Thanksgiving meal is my favorite:  turkey and dressing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied yams (remind me to tell you how my dad made them), assorted vegetable casseroles, yeast rolls and/or biscuits, and whatever desserts the family enjoys.  In our case, it always HAS to be something chocolate (like Hot Fudge Pudding Cake) and banana pudding.  Nah, nobody in our family is fond of pumpkin pie.  Sorry!

I love the fall season:  the colors, the cooler weather, and gathering with our loved ones to give thanks, in much the same way as the first Thanksgiving.  During this holiday, we also decorate for Christmas, so that after all that work, we can enjoy the decorations for more than a few days.  Both of our daughters and their families will be with us, so we three women will be the decorator nazis while the men make themselves scarce!  Even the two dachshunds and one cat will be curious about what we are doing.  I am certain as well that we three  will probably have at least one laughing fit over the slightest thing.  We are prone to these fits when the three of us get together, much to the chagrin of our hubbies--even the two little granddaughters are showing signs that this gene has been passed on.

Before I go, here is my late dad's recipe: 
Amounts?  Use one medium potato per person.  The sauce should be about two cups, enough to spoon over potatoes while simmering with at least a cup left to work with.

Peel and slice sweet potatoes into 1/4 inch slices.
Add amounts as desired:  dark brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, vanilla flavoring, pinch of salt.

Combine sugar, cinnamon, vanilla flavoring, butter, and salt in nonstick electric skillet or saucepan.  Stir on medium heat, allowing it to melt and begin to bubble.  Add potato slices, spoon sauce over them, and turn on low heat to simmer for a couple of hours.  Spoon sauce over slices, stirring gently, every 30 minutes.  Do not cover. The goal here is for the sauce to coat the firm, but tender, slices. 

Voila!  Truly candied yams.

Here's wishing all of you a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.  Let's focus on what we have, not what we don't have, both tangible and intangible.

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