Happy still-full-from-yesterday day

By Mir
November 24, 2006

Hello! I ate my weight in fat and sugar yesterday. Today I shall repent by… going to another Festival of Eating. Ack. People, I do not recommend hiring Otto as your cruise director. I go where he tells me to, and where he takes me always seems to involve a lot of calories. I think he’s trying to fatten me up. I shall have to start poking a chicken bone out of my cage when he asks to see how fat my fingers have gotten.

Anyway, mostly I want to report that flying on Thanksgiving Day is absolutely the way to go. Never in my life have I had a less eventful, more pleasant day of travel. All of my trips henceforth shall start on Thanksgiving. That won’t be restrictive in the least, I’m sure. Oh, well. A small price to pay for having skipped out on serving dinner to the homeless yesterday. Oops.

[Late Wednesday night, I called my pastor to report that I would not, in fact, be available to serve on Thursday, but that I had cooked my assigned dish and would be happy to drop it off. He listened to my excitement over having snagged a cheap ticket and my apology over opting to leave, and then said “Well, it’s good to know your priorities are in order.” Hey, I cooked for the homeless before I jetted off for a weekend of debauchery. Sheesh.]

[Also: debauchery? Hmmm. Yes. So far I’ve had half a glass of wine. But we haven’t played Scrabble yet. I guess we’d better cram in as much wild living as we can, today. Maybe I’ll have a WHOLE glass of wine. Woo!]

Anyway, yes, do fly on Thanksgiving Day. I mean, aside from the discomfort of having to rise several hours before dawn—which, actually, had the benefit of leaving me the only car on the road for most of my trek to the airport—it was lovely. The airport was calm and uncrowded, the staff was pleasant, the plane took off on time and landed early. My kind of travel day.

Heck, I even put my book down on the ticket counter while getting my boarding pass and forgot it was there until I’d gotten through security, and figured now I would be stuck in line again after I retrieved it. But a nice TSA lady let me back out, I got my book, came back through (no line), and other than the annoyance and squick of having to take my shoes off a second time, it was no big deal.

And I got a WHOLE can of soda on the plane. So it was pretty much a banner day.

Otto picked me up and we came back here to finish cooking his contributions to the orphan Thanksgiving we were attending. (Orphans! Yet, no one brought gruel! So confusing.) Then we were off for an afternoon of food, food, and more food.

At one point during the dinner festivities, I was chatting with one of Otto’s fellow faculty members and he exclaimed, “It’s so refreshing to talk to someone who’s not an academic!” (I cannot for the life of me remember what we were talking about. Suffice it to say I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a particularly deep subject matter.) I turned to Otto and said, “I think he just called me dumb.” Because I am smooth that way.

I am a lifelong fan of the sweet potato in all of its various preparations, but someone brought a dish that was… I don’t know, mashed, I think, and then topped with candied pecans. Of course. Because it’s Georgia. And I discovered this dish and after two servings they found me in the kitchen, passed out with my face in the pan. Well, they would’ve if I’d had a little more wine. Turkey, schmerky; I am all about the glazed, sugar-infused pecans. How else can you exceed your monthly allowance of fat and sugar in just a few heavenly bites?

After dinner and socializing we came back home and sat around watching TV and looking at the paper and occasionally remarking on how full we were. It’s like we’re married already! All we need now is a little bit of unabashed ass-scratching.

Today we’re headed out to eat some more with some other folks, later, and until then, passing the time with Otto asking me every fifteen minutes or so if I want to go out and shop the Black Friday sales. He hasn’t tired of my look of horror at the very notion, so he keeps asking.

In other news, some family members reported a skirmish at their family dinner when our wedding was brought up, our right to PLAN OUR OWN WEDDING, OR NOT was defended by one family member (imagine, what a concept), and then some folks who aren’t even directly related to either of us jumped in to agree with the first party, that we HAVE to do such-and-such. What I love is how people feel so entitled to dictate what should arguably be the only day in our whole damn lives which is solely up to us, and also how no one seems to realize that each time this happens, it only cements our decision to elope.

Though if we DO end up having some sort of to-do, I’ve decided to serve nothing but those pecan-crusted sweet potatoes. When everyone slips into a diabetic coma, we’ll be able to slip out the back.


  1. Aimee

    Eloping is fun! But those potatoes sound dee-vine. Not being Southern, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to put candied pecans on sweet potatoes. But NOW it will — and lookie! Christmas is just around the corner.

  2. Susan

    I like that your wedding caused contention at a dinner YOU WERE NOT ATTENDING. Now THAT is impressive.

    Happy holidays! I’m going to see if there are any more sugar-covered sweet potatoes in the fridge (because yes, we had them too! and they are like vegetable crack).

  3. Suebob

    Sounds like a fun day. I love me some candied pecans, too, whether on top of sweet potatoes or not.

    Come to my church. I know our minister would high-five you at the thought of getting cheap last minute tickets and give you a pass on the serving.

  4. Cele

    I unfortunately am the only one in my family who LOVES whipped (mashed) sweet potatoes. And I’ve never even had them with sugar encrusted pecans, I’ve lived a sad live.

    I say, take the kids and elope. Or at least tell everyone who tells you how you should do your own wedding that you took the kids and eloped – when in reality you did what you wanted and didn’t invite them. That would be bliss.

  5. birchsprite

    I too am going through the wedding plans from hell. If only everybody didn’t care, then we could just organise it the way we wanted and it would all be fine. At the moment the prospective mother in law doesn’t like a) the date or b) the venue….i’m beginning to wonder if she just doesn’t like c) ME !!!

  6. Caren

    Living in Southeast Georgia, I am confused…

    How does one eat sweet potatoes if not mashed with candied pecans or marshmallows on top??

  7. andi

    You can thank me after you wake up from your diabetic coma.

    3c cooked, mashed sweet potatos (or two large cans), blend in 2 eggs and 6 tablespoons softened margarine. Place into 2-quart greased baking dish. In separate bowl mix 1/2c chopped pecans, 1c packed brown sugar, 1tsp vanilla and 6 tablespoons margarine. Sprinkle over the top of the potatoes. Bake @ 350 for 30-45 minutes.

  8. Carolie

    I heartily agree with the delightful and generous, recipe-sharing Andi…except for two things. (And there is no right and wrong when it comes to sweet potatoes, just subjective preferences…)

    1. NO offense meant, Andi, but in our house, butter is the food of the gods, and margarine is of the devil (besides, how come it’s “mar-jer-ine” when it’s spelled “mar-gah-rine”?)

    2. Add a tablespoon or two of bourbon to the sweet potatoes (and a glass or two to the cook), a very tiny pinch of salt to the pecans, and you’ll have our version of the dish.

    Oh, and those candied pecans also go by the name pralines, and if you expand the pecans to 2 cups, you can forget the sweet potatoes and cook the pecans, sugar, butter and salt all by themselves, cool them, and eat them while hidden in the closet (or at least that’s how we always found Mom eating them…)

    In any way, shape or form, the sweet potato is divine.

  9. joaaanna

    Yummy Yam Casserole – try this, it’s divine, it has that crunchy, candied pecans on top. I love allrecipes.com

    4 pounds yams
    2 eggs
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    2 tablespoons butter, melted
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
    1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    6 ounces pecan halves
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup melted butter

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
    Poke yams in several places with a fork, then cook them on high power in microwave oven until heated through and soft, about 20 minutes. When cooled, remove skins and place the yams in a large bowl.
    Beat yams until smooth. Then beat in one egg at a time, blending after each addition. Stir in 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/8 cup melted butter, salt, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg; beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
    Transfer mixture to an ungreased 3 quart casserole dish. Arrange the pecans in a single layer on top. Sprinkle with remaining brown sugar and drizzle 1/4 cup melted butter over the top.
    Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until browned and bubbly.

  10. Niki

    Flying on Christmas Day is much the same – cheaper flights, nobody at the airport, nobody on the roads, and few if any delays. Since we celebrate with family at home Christmas Eve, we usually fly up to Minnesota to visit Mom on Christmas Day. This year, however, I put my foot down and said we weren’t traveling, so she’s coming to visit us. Flying in on Christmas Day, of course. She arrives late, though, which prevents me from sending my newly-licensed 16 year old to the airport to pick her up – darned provisional licensing laws!

    I’m so glad Otto found you a flight, and that you got to go visit and debauch (can that be used as a verb?)! And yes, your priorities are definitely in order!

  11. Karen Rani

    See why I don’t go to church? The guilt, man, the guilt. :)
    You are a Saint, however for cooking a dish for the homeless. I’m very impressed.
    Sounds like you’re having fun so far, and you know, raising eyebrows at dinners you aren’t attending. Sheesh.

  12. Elleana

    Ohhhh, I’m here in the South, and we HAVE to have the sweet potatoes that involve STICKS of butter and CUPS of sugar, and then topped with more butter and sugar and pecans. It’s so bad for you, but so delicious. Thank goodness I only allow it in the house twice a year – Thanksgiving and Christmas. (It takes the whole rest of the year for my body to rid itself of all the bad stuff!)

    I’m glad you had a good trip and are able to enjoy your Thanksgiving with Otto.

  13. Gillian

    So, does the family actually know that you two are getting married in the Elvis chapel in Las Vegas and still have complaints? There is nothing finer than Elvis nuptials, just ask the fine folks at the chapel. Plus, you can buy a set of memorial Elvis plates for your wall. A lifetime of memories.

    BTW, the opposite of an academic is a person who can speak on a number of topics and doesn’t include citations or statistics.

  14. Woman with Kids

    My ex-in-laws are renewing their vows in Vegas, with Elvis leading the act. I think that is totally the way to go. Imagine how your relatives will looooove that! And? It’s Elvis.

  15. Stacia

    The only marriages in our family that have lasted have been those that eloped. That’s why my husband and I eloped. We told our parents before it happened and then called the rest of the family afterwards. Try the sweet potatoes with melted marshmellows on top. Wonderful.

  16. Beachgal

    I do not like sweet potatoes, in any form. Also, I live in the South. That is all.

  17. Melanie

    I had those on Thanksgiving, too – the sweet potato-pecan thing, I mean. It was my first time, and I, too, was in the kitchen, pretending to bake my pie but actually just spooning up a little more sweet potatoey goodness. Oh so yum. I love pecans and sweet potatoes and just general sweet goodness.

  18. Sophie

    That chicken bone joke was the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. And then I read about your encounter with the candied sweet potatoes. LOL LOL HEE HEE HO HO. Being a GA native, I guess I just take it for granted. Glad you found something you loved on the menu.

    The weather is fantastic this weekend in GA, wouldn’t you agree? It’s our payback for surviving July, August, and September.

  19. Daisy

    Loved the post, stayed for the comments — and poor Wisconsin-dweller me is awed by all of the sweet potato recipes. Maybe I need to move South.

  20. julie

    Glaze your pecans in butter, brown sugar, salt and a hearty pinch of cayenne pepper.

    And best wishes on your upcoming marriage!

  21. janie

    Elope! Elope! My hubby and I did the whole courthouse thing, since it was our second time around. Just us, the kids, our parents. 20 minutes. Loved it!

  22. Hannah

    I agree with Carolie – the bourbon is the way to go. Mmm… boozy sweet potatoes.

  23. MMM

    I flew the day after T.day one year and the airport and the plane were practically empty!

  24. Marti

    I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. I wanted to say hello to everyone on my blogroll, and wish them well, because this is Thanksgiving weekend, and I am grateful for my Internet friends!

  25. Jenn

    My husband and I eloped 5 years ago because of various reasons and every time I hear someone making wedding plans, I am eternally thankful that we chose to elope.

  26. carson

    I do not eat sweet potatoes at all, so I delegated them to my dad with relief that I wouldn’t be serving something I hadn’t tasted. He made the glaze from his mother’s Better Homes & Gardenscookbook. Circa 1940 or so. Ingredients in the glaze were butter and brown sugar.

    I still don’t eat sweet potatoes, but I made sure there was no leftover glaze in the serving dish or the pot he made it in. And then the sugar high was over, and I crashed and burned in a fiery blaze.

  27. Bob

    It is called Sweet Potato Souffle. (Sweet Potato Casserole to those partially in the know). There are absolutely NO MARSHMALLOWS on top, there is the brown sugar, flour & pecan streusel instead. There is no bourbon as you don’t adulterate bourbon or sweet potatoes that way. My neice won 3rd place in a cooking contest with my sweet potato souffle recipe.

    Another southerner setting things straight.

    (you will also have to get used to cooking all green vegetables with fat back – or bacon. NO EXCEPTIONS. Remember that we have a reputation for hospitality down here, and pork fat is why.)

  28. Ben

    After eating numerous Thanksgiving meals, the kicker was Saturday morning when we had grilled bacon soaked in brown sugar.


  29. Liise

    Mir!!!! Do NOT give the secrets away for T Day Travel. Dang it next year we shall both suffer now that you told everyone!


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