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December 12th, 2009

'Tis the Season

I've recently re-discovered that I like to cook, which is a good thing, since I've been doing a lot of it in the past couple of days. Yesterday, we had a small Chanukah dinner party, with brisket and latkes (they kind of fell apart, but they tasted good--next time, I'm grating them by hand) and a swiss chard recipe Ellen found on-line that was really, really good--and quinoa, the wonder-grain we just discovered, and where has it been all our lives?

Today, we're going to a pot-luck birthday party, with a theme of comfort food (for those inclined to contribute). I baked a large Rustic Apple Pie (an oatmeal-crusted wonder out of the King Arthur Flour whole grain cookbook) and two little tarts because there was filling left over, and something Ellen and I invented a long time ago when we'd been to an orchard and picked a million apples, and ran out of jars for the applesauce and needed to use it. I give you what Ellen is pleased to call Orange Smoosh.

2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup (or so) applesauce OR 1 cooking apple (Northern Spies are best, but Cortland is nice too), peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
1/4 c. (or a little more) apple cider
crystallized ginger (to taste and depending on the freshness of the ginger. I'd start with 2 tsp, and add more if that doesn't do it for you) minced.
Triple Sec

Put the sweet potatoes and apple in a heavy-bottomed pot, along with the cider. Cook until everything's nice and soft, stirring from time to time, adding water if it starts sticking. Add ginger, then mash, mash, mash until the mixture is to your preferred degree of smoothness. Stir in a splash of Triple Sec if you like. Don't if you don't.

This goes really well with any kind of meat, tastes incredibly rich, and isn't. I use one of those hand-held blender sticks to mash mine, because I like a puree, but it's good kind of lumpy, too.

Now I"m going to go clean the kitchen and work on my story.

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