Sweet Potato Souffle

sweet potato souffle serving

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My mother’s Sweet Potato Souffle recipe, like her Broccoli Nut Casserole recipe, is definitely one of our family favorites! I love it because it is so easy and quick to prepare. The children love it because, well, it is just plain good!

Growing up, Sweet Potato Souffle was one of those meals that was a part of our Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions. In fact, I do not remember my mother making Sweet Potato Souffle any other time of the year!

Maybe it was reserved for the holidays because that is when sweet potatoes are in season. I am not sure. But, I, like my mother before me (sounds like a movie line from Sabrina when Linus recounts that he does what his father did before him!), reserve Sweet Potato Souffle for the holidays – mostly. Sometimes I give in and cook it as part of a special request by the children for a birthday dinner.

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Traditions

How many of you have family traditions associated with Christmas time? I know we do. Many we may practice for a few years and then try something new. But, we have a couple which never change.

We have a trim the tree party every year. In the days leading up to our tree decorating, Christmas cookies are made – the same year after year – Sugar Cookies, Sand Tarts, Angel Wings, Cocoons, Bourbon Balls and Nut Clusters. The evening of the party, we have a buffet dinner with meats, cheeses, chips and dip, cookies, salmon ball and crackers. Other items appear, but these are the mainstays. After dinner, ornaments are lovingly placed upon the tree until there are almost no empty branches!

The days following are filled with the hustle and bustle of the season … shopping (for those who have not yet finished!), wrapping, baking and cooking. But, we never forget family time which is liberally enjoyed by all.

One of my favorite traditions is the Christmas dinner menu. The girls and I prepare recipes that my mother and grandmother prepared when I was young! You would think the same food, year after year, would become tiresome. But, when a new menu is discussed, it is met with much opposition. Why mess with a good thing, right?

The turkey is usually smoked the night before, after being stuffed of course! Other dishes include Sweet Potato Souffle, Broccoli Nut Casserole, Creamed Onions, Strawberry Pretzel Salad and Cranberry Salad (aka “Fluff”). Pumpkin Pie is always dessert and normally accompanied by Pecan Pie. Now that I have made us all hungry….

I hope if you have not already begun your own family traditions, that you will start this year. Make time for and enjoy your family. Most of all, do not get so busy and forget the reason we are celebrating – it is the time of year, set apart to remember the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas!

 

Dough Enhancer

I received an email from Jim, a reader who had purchased a Bosch Universal Plus. He had questions about my Whole Wheat Bread Recipe. He asked what type of yeast I use and where I purchase dough enhancer. I thought these questions might be of interest to others.

The most economical place in our area to purchase yeast is Sam’s Club. It is the Fleischmann’s Instant Yeast and costs $4.68 for 2 – 16oz bags. Once opened, I transfer the yeast from the bag to an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. It lasts for a long time!

While you may purchase dough enhancer, the most economical is the following homemade recipe:

Dough Enhancer
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ¾c. lecithin powder or granules - I use granules found from my affiliate partner HERE.
  • 3 Tbsp. pure vitamin C powder
  • 2 Tbsp. ground ginger (from my affiliate -where to buy spices)
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch (organic)
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.

    Use 1 Tbsp. of dough enhancer for a 4 loaf recipe. Adjust the amount when making more or less loaves.

 

Catching Up!

Time leading up to and following harvest has certainly flown! We harvested the Roussanne, Montepulciano and Aglianico successfully and with much help from family and friends. Because of the extreme heat which causes problems with the harvester, harvesting began anywhere from 10pm to 3am. Before dawn there is an amazing beauty in the vineyard. Lit up by the harvester, with the stars shining overhead, it is an atmosphere made for romantics!

Given the hard winter, unusually high summer temperatures and drought, we had very good yields. Praise the Lord for His provision!

Although we began work on the house as soon as the vineyard work slowed, we still found time to glean the vines for our own wine-making fruit! Remember the “I Love Lucy” show when she and Ethel stomped the grapes with their feet? Well, everyone got in on the action:

From children:

To grandchildren:

Everyone wanted their feet to be a part of it:

Note: Every pair of feet which stomped were properly cleaned and disinfected. However, according to our grape consultant, micronutrients  provided, whatever the source, actually help the yeast!

If you remember, we had begun an insulated concrete form (ICF) house. Working on the house which overlooks the vineyard consumed our time once vineyard work was finished. Each morning we packed lunch and dinner to take with us. We even carried school work to the new house and studied in our bedroom which had become the makeshift dining room. Naps were taken in the boy’s bedroom on a rug with blankets. Doing all the work ourselves not only saved quite a bit of money, but has also provided many learning experiences, as well as, great memories.

During this period, I have had a very difficult time physically. My rheumatoid arthritis decided to rear its ugly head. It was aggravated by two plus days of texturing all the walls with sheet rock mud to give a stucco look. Anyway, I am excited about dietary changes that have made an amazing difference and look forward to sharing them with you in the new year.

We moved into the new house the weekend after Thanksgiving (I will be posting pictures soon).  Slowly and surely, we are getting settled. Everyone is looking forward to our first Christmas here. Our traditional trim the tree party was a success and our tree appropriately trimmed!

Buttercup handled the move without a problem. The chickens on the other hand have dropped their egg production by half. Squiggles and now our new dog, Bob, are also glad to be here on a permanent basis and not have the 1/2 mile walk one way to work everyday!