Comfort Food

Today I will spend a day with my family and we will eat a Thanksgiving Meal together. This requires that Gigi and I get up early and get on the road by 8:00 AM so we can get to my sister Judy’s house by 11:00 AM.

On the way we’ll stop and grab a country ham biscuit and coffee and talk and laugh the whole way. We take a back road for the entire trip so there is a lot of pretty country side to look at and many unusual small towns to poke fun.

My mother no longer cooks and hosts the family Thanksgiving. Instead we give her a rest for her 65 or 70 years of hard work and all the siblings bring in the family favorites.

As always I was in charge of making the candied yams. It would not be Thanksgiving without them. They have a certain flavor and consistency that says this is my family. No one else’s tastes the same. It is a simple recipe pasted down from at least the 1920’s from my grandmother on my father’s side. I’ll bet it goes back even further because my grandmother had to learn it from somebody.

Simply made, our yams aren’t yams but they start with a large portion of Martindale canned sweet potatoes. Martindale sweet potatoes are grown and canned in North Carolina and they have the same simple label that they had 50 years ago.

Next I cut and layer the potatoes in a flat glass dish. Each layer gets a portion of butter, cinnamon, allspice, and sprinkled with sugar. Keep layering until you have used all the yams. Add a little of the juice from the can and bake at 325 for anywhere from 45 minutes or until you want them. No longer than an hour and a half. (For those in Canada, Bake at like 5 or something, you figure it out)

So I have my yams ready, two bottles of Hunnicutt Red Zinfandel, a couple of goodies for the kids and a bag of spices so Judy can make her spiced rum for Christmas.

In 5 or 6 hours I will be eating familiar family favorites that every family has, but ours will have our family nuances that tell me I am with my people.

Thank you God for Thanksgiving meals.


Anonymous said...

It was nice family time! I enjoyed it so much and as usual your yams were perfect.