One of the things I love so much in this World, is family. Family is everything to me. I begin and end my day with my immediate family, but I also get to share so many memories with my extended families. This year we flew back to Texas for Thanksgiving, and I got to spend two full days in the kitchen with my Mother-In-Law. Just her and I. Cooking, Dancing, and Drinking wine. It was the highlight of my trip. Her passed-down recipes have always been talked about around the dinner table. Her staples at Thanksgiving and Christmas are always the highlight of the meal. And creating them along side of her was priceless.
Her kitchen is always stocked with everything you could possibly need. From Zip lock bags, Bowls, Big Spoons, Small Spoons, Tupperware, Mixers, Pots, Pans, and although this year I found out she doesn’t have a proper rolling pin (I had to go next door and ask the neighbor for one), she has about 10 of them hanging in her window but they aren’t for use. Just décor. You never run out of anything in her kitchen. I love it! This Thanksgiving she allowed me to help her make Aunt Wanda’s famous Sweet Potato Casserole. The one my husband will ONLY eat. It was absolutely beautiful and I am so lucky I get to share it with all of you!
SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
BY: GAGA & Aunt Wanda
4 LARGE SWEET POTATOES
4 CUPS GRANNY SMITH APPLES
6 CUPS MINI MARSHMALLOWS
2 CUPS SUGAR
2 TSP SALT
2 TSP CINNAMON
1 CUP WATER
4 TBSP CORNSTARCH
2 TBSP BUTTER
PEEL SWEET POTATOES AND SLICE AND CUT TO FILL A 9X11 BAKING DISH. SEASON WITH SALT AND PEPPER. PEEL AND SLICE APPLES AND PLACE ON TOP. SPRINKLE SUGAR OVER APPLES AND POTATOES. ADD MARSHMALLOWS.
MIX AND POUR CINNAMON SAUCE OVER POTATOES, APPLES, AND MARSHMALLOWS. DAB WITH BUTTER.
SET OVEN @ 350 DEGREE FOR 2 HOURS. ONE HOUR COVERED AND ONE HOUR UNCOVERED.
This week’s Play On Project pairing goes out to my Mother and Father-In-Law. These two incredible giving and loving humans are a big fan of George Strait. A Texas must. He’s larger than life. A musician I truly knew nothing about until I moved to Texas. And really until I met my husband. So many car rides with him playing in the background and I found myself really tapping into my first love of country. So in honor of this huge feast I got to help prepare, and in honor of my In-Laws, I am pairing this Sweet Potato Casserole with the none-other, All My Exes Live In Texas. You can’t go wrong with this!!!! GIDDY UP!
Because of our move to the Pacific Northwest, this year has been hard on all of our extended families. Especially hard on my in-laws because we were a close drive to them in Texas. All of them. Visiting was easier. We were around, even when they weren’t. And planning visits became spontaneous. I’ve learned over this last year, that no matter how far away you are, connection is everything. Phone calls, texts, and little packages in the mail are just as important as an in-person visit. Distance is and always will be hard. But I am so grateful for the memories I get to make with each one of them. And this year, I made some special ones with my Mother-In-Law. Thank you for sharing your kitchen with me. And thank you, as always, for your unconditional love for your family.