Monday, November 11, 2019

Retro Thanksgiving Dishes?

by Melinda Langston from Sparkle Abbey's Pampered Pet Mysteries
Hey, everyone!

Mel here, trying to wrap my head around the idea that it’s already November. Seventeen days until Thanksgiving, forty-four days until Christmas, and fifty-one days until 2020. Where has 2019 gone?

I know a lot of y’all are already preparing for Christmas, but I’m a one-holiday-at-a-time kinda gal. I’m planning Thanksgiving, and that means a traditional dinner. Earlier this week I was running my dinner menu past Betty, my assistant, and she balked at my “retro” choices. She’s chattered on about some survey she’d taken asking about the top three most disliked Thanksgiving dishes. Her choice—canned cranberry sauce. I gotta admit, I agree.

I wasn’t so agreeable to the number two and number three dishes: green bean casserole and sweet potato casserole. I was flabbergasted. Green bean casserole and sweet potato casserole are Thanksgiving staples. I can’t picture my dinner table without those hot, bubbling dishes flanking the golden-brown turkey. Heck, sweet potato casserole is basically dessert.

My mama makes the best sweet potato casserole. Melted marshmallows, butter, brown sugar, and toasted pecans. It’s the same recipe I use every year. The holiday wouldn’t be complete without it. In case you need more convincing, I’ve decided to share my mama’s recipe with you. Give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.

What about you? Do you have a must-have Thanksgiving dish? Or maybe there’s a traditional Thanksgiving dish you dislike eating but eat it anyway because. . . well, tradition. If so, what is it?

Mama’s Sweet Potato Casserole

  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, divide in half
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows 
  • 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375°.
Step 2: Peel sweet potatoes. Cut into 1-inch cubes. Place the sweet potatoes in a Dutch oven or large heavy pot. Add enough cold water to cover sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until very tender. Drain; cool slightly.
Step 3: Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add brown sugar, softened butter, salt, and vanilla. Mash sweet potato mixture with a potato masher. Fold in 1/4 cup pecans.
Step 4: Scrape potato mixture into an even layer into a sprayed baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup pecans; top with marshmallows.
Step 5: Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until golden.

Sparkle Abbey is actually two people, Mary Lee Ashford and Anita Carter, who write the national best-selling Pampered Pets cozy mystery series. The latest books in the Pampered Pets series are Barking with the Stars and The Dogfather.

They are friends as well as neighbors, so they often get together and plot ways to commit murder. (But don't tell the other neighbors.) 

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  1. My family had seemed to tire of the standard green bean casserole, but I still wanted it. When I found this recipe, I knew I’d hit the jackpot. Now still have the green bean casserole but just a hip, modern version of it.
    Green Bean & Shoepeg Corn Casserole
    Serves 8
    1 can French style green beans, drained
    1 can white shoepeg corn, drained
    1 can celery soup, undiluted
    1 ½ cups grated Mild Cheddar
    ½ cup sour cream
    ½ cup chopped onion
    1 can water chestnuts, finely chopped
    1 roll or tube of Ritz crackers
    1 stick of butter, melted
    Spray casserole dish with non-stick spray.
    Place drained green beans in casserole dish.
    Top with drained shoepeg corn.
    In bowl mix celery soup, cheddar cheese, sour cream, onions and water chestnuts until combined. Spoon on top of veggies in casserole dish.
    Crumble crackers in bowl and drizzle with melted butter. Stir to coat crackers. Sprinkle over top of cheese mixture in casserole dish.
    Bake in a 350 degree oven uncovered for 40 minutes.
    NOTES: This goes great for a potluck dish. It’s great hot, warm, or room temperature. It never seems to make it to the refrigerator as leftovers but I’m sure it would reheat nicely too.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  2. You just posted my sweet potato casserole recipe. My kids, who are now adults, complain if I don't make it. Although my older son now lives across the country and said they didn't have any sweet potato casserole at his girlfriend's parent's celebration and that he really missed it.

  3. My family were Czech so potato dumplings, gravy and sauerkraut were always a part of our holiday meals. I never had sweet potatoes until I went to High School. Of course, I heard about sweet potatoes and I asked my Mother why we never had them for holiday meals. Her comment was "you wouldn't like them." She was right, I did not like them. I do like green bean casserole and we usually have it for holiday meals now. But it was not a part of my family's holiday tradition until may be 20 yrs ago.

  4. Sounds so delicious! I want some! Guess I'll have to make it.