She’s bAaaaaaAAAck! Danielle is back with another delicious guest blog for us this time all the way from London, England! (If you missed her earlier posts they can be viewed here and here…and now here!)
Even for a seasoned host, preparing a Thanksgiving dinner is no simple task: the pressure of cooking for so many people, the perfect coordination of timing the turkey with all of the other side dishes, keeping all of the drunk relatives satisfied…these pressures are enough to stress out any veteran holiday chef! Naturally, the thought of cooking a full roast turkey with all the trimmings for the first time ever is even more intimidating, and I certainly didn’t envision having to host my first Thanksgiving quite so soon, never mind in another country!
Yet here I am, an American twenty-something postgraduate student and intern living in London, and I, along with my hometown friend Sara, have decided to undertake the task of upholding one of America’s most revered traditions. Sara graciously offered to host at her flat, and since no one here takes the actual Thursday off, we decided to do our “Fakesgiving” on the preceding Sunday.
Now I must admit I’m a bit of a turkey noob. Last year I helped my mom stuff that bad bird, but I have never actually done the whole thing on my own and neither had Sara. After a lot of freaking out and debating whether or not to stuff, Sara managed to get the eighteen-pound turkey (unstuffed) into the oven by the time I arrived at her flat.
We spent the rest of the afternoon making the mash, vegetables, and my grandmother’s famous rum sweet potato casserole. Although we knew everyone would love the standard dishes, we weren’t sure how the sweet potatoes would go over with our British guests, so we decided to err on the side of caution and make a small portion. Boy, were we wrong! The sweet potatoes, along with Sara’s grandmother’s homemade stuffing recipe, were a huge hit among the Brits and Americans alike! Not to mention the turkey came out perfectly, and that in and of itself is enough for these rookie American hostesses to be thankful for.
Sweet Potato Casserole
6 medium sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons butter or oil
4 tablespoons brown sugar
3-4 tablespoons dark rum
½ teaspoon salt
For the topping:
½ cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup mini marshmallows (optional)
1. Boil the sweet potatoes until they are tender and can be pierced with a fork. Peel the potatoes.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine the hot, peeled potatoes with brown sugar, butter or oil, salt, and dark rum. Mix all together. Feel free to adjust the amounts of sugar, butter, and rum according to taste.
4. Place sweet potato mixture in a greased baking casserole dish.
5. Now combine remaining brown sugar, chopped pecans and enough butter or oil to bind together. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
6. Bake for 30 minutes. If desired, add marshmallows after casserole has been in the oven for 25 minutes.
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