I have never cooked a Thanksgiving Dinner in my life. We’ve always gone to my mother’s or (in the early years of marriage) to my in-laws’ for the holiday. In recent years, we’ve all started contributing to the meal. I seem to be in charge of the “yellow vegetable” category.
I made butternut squash with baby spinach several years running, but spinach and cranberries have been added to the ever-growing list of foods someone in the family can’t eat. We also try to avoid dairy (two severe allergies plus several intolerant of lactose) and gluten (one severe allergy). In 2012, I tried to make a Sweet Potato Galette, which didn’t turn out quite as wonderful as I’d hoped (the story is here), but did become the basis of what I’m now asked to bring to all autumn/winter feasts (fresh fruit salad is my spring/summer contribution). This dish is more savory than sweet–the thought of marshmallows on sweet potatoes makes my teeth ache. And yes, some of these photos are from that earlier blog.
Wash the sweet potatoes. Please note I purchased long, narrow ones to better facilitate the slicing process.
Peel the potatoes. Then slice (I use a ripple mandoline, but this year, I purchased a new slicer thingamabob.)
I usually buy 6 sweet potatoes, which makes just enough of a side dish for our family of 14 (give or take).
I also chop one sweet onion (which tends to be large). I mix all of this together with Wegman’s basting oil. (If you don’t have a Wegmans near you, perhaps your supermarket sells seasoned oils. If not, you should move some place where there is a Wegmans. It’s worth the move. Seriously.) Put the mixture in a casserole dish/glass baking pan (My lasagna pan is perfect). Bake at 400F for about 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
The great thing about this dish (besides meeting everyone’s dietary requirements) is that I can make it the night before, then take it to my parents’ in Tupperware and reheat it in their microwave right before the meal is served. Couldn’t be easier. Unless someone else made it.
I’m so lucky that my family can still be together on the major holidays. We’re a clever bunch of people who try to accommodate each other whenever we can, and that’s good, too. Getting together isn’t about the food, though. It’s about being a family and being there for each other.
“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.” Eric Hoffer