Cooking a Feast

It’s feeling more and more like Christmas here. My holiday homesickness prompted me to break down and buy a small fake tree and ornaments.  Add in a couple Christmas parties and some Christmas carol singing at church and during our office devotions and I’m getting into the spirit.  But, before I move on to Christmas there is one other story which remains to be told about Thanksgiving.

The holiday coincided with my mom’s visit and even though it was a last minute decision, we decided not to waste her culinary talents and the imported goodies she and other moms sent us (Alex’s sweet mom sent the ingredients for green bean casserole!).  Mom brought some precious brown sugar from the U.S. of A. in order to make Kyle’s favorite – sweet potato casserole, Ruth’s Chris recipe (thanks Witty!).  I remembered somewhere along the way that I had seen sweet potatoes in one of the markets so we set off to purchase some, as well as some chicken (in lieu of turkey) and some other ingredients for our feast.  We went to five stores before we finally found sweet potatoes and to our disappointment they were skinny and sort of purple looking.  We continued to wander around the vegetables before we found these brown, dirt covered beauties marked as “yams.”  Some women stopped us in the store to ask what we were planning to do with them. As soon as we said we were adding sugar they nodded their heads. South Asians like things much sweeter than nature makes them.

After slicing off the brown exterior (yep, that’s dirt on the cutting board) they were starting to look a little more promising. We boiled and mashed to get the right consistency but the color started to go from orange to green (think The Exorcist green).  Despite the color we pushed on and the end result was beautiful – a sweet, creamy, green casserole.

Did I mention that we were cooking our feast using two burners, one microwave, and a toaster oven? Yes, folks. With some ingenuity, impeccable timing, and some side dishes brought by our co-workers, we ended up with an amazing array of Thanksgiving favorites, including Grandma Ginny’s creamed corn casserole.  It was well worth the effort (which was a fun adventure) and was one of the most delicious meals I’ve had since we got here.

An exercise in baking - using the complete lack of insulation on our toaster to bake three dishes at once.

The cooks, led by Dianna Little, without whom the meal would never have worked.

The end result (plus more that wouldn't fit in the picture!)

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