Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving and Sweet Potato Biscuits

I love Thanksgiving. It is, without a doubt, my favorite holiday. It has everything that makes me happy: food, family, conversation, stories, and did I say food? For the last fifteen years or so I have been the family's Thanksgiving hostess and the menu rarely varies--if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Turkey, cornbread dressing with lots of bacon drippings, homemade whole berry cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, pumpkin and berry pies, caramel cake, boiled custard and our family favorite: sweet potato biscuits.

This year on the proper Thanksgiving Day, Charlie and I will be visiting his son in Ireland. It will be a whirlwind trip with us leaving on Tuesday and coming home on Sunday but these were the only few days off we could manage during this fall semester while Jacob is studying in Dublin.

Unwilling to give up the feast, we designated today as Thanksgiving Day in our house and as an added bonus--it's my mom's 75th birthday! Happy Birthday, Mom.

Yesterday, morning I was up early starting the dough for the sweet potato biscuits and as I assembled the ingredients on the kitchen counter, my computer beeped in the other room telling me that I had an instant message. Quickly looking at the clock I realized that it could only be Sara, who six hours ahead of us in the Balkans might be awake when it was 6 a.m. in Maine. It was Sara, indeed, so I set the computer on the counter and chatted with her while I made the biscuits. It wasn't quite as good as having her on the stool, chin in her hands, talking to me about her dreams of going into the Peace Corps like she did last year while I made the biscuits but it was pretty darn good. I'll take it.

Sweet Potato Biscuits
3 large sweet potatoes
3 packages active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
7-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups shortening.
Cook, peel and mash sweet potatoes or use two large cans of sweet potatoes and mash
Combine yeast and warm water and let stand 5 minutes
Combine flour and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl; cut in shortening with a pastry blender or fork until mixture is crumbly. Add yeast mixture, and sweet potatoes, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 5 minutes. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning to greast top; cover and let rise.
Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness; cut with a 2 inch round cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheets and bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.


Kallen305 said...

OMG Beth, I am so hungry after reading your post. It all sound soooooo yummy! I love the color the sweet potato biscuits are. Your guests are very lucky people indeed!

Happy Birthday to your mom and I hope you have a fantastic time in Ireland!

The Texican said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you.... Happy Birthday to Auntie Maine.... Happy Birthday, happy Thanksgiving, happy birhtday/Thankgiving to Y'all. Sounds like a great time. We will celebrate here with the girls this year. Give all a big hug for us. Be sure to include yourself in that. Pappy

rach :) said...

Around here we do Thanksgiving at least 3 times... some years 4. We've already feasted once with Mike and Katie, I've cooked the turkey for my classroom feast on Tuesday, and there is a full sized bird in the freezer awaiting cooking upon our return from the Cape, where there are never enough left overs to go around.

We usually stick with the same menu, but every now and again throw in something new for fun. Rest assured that I expect these to be added to the regularly expected options.

have fun!

beckie said...

Ireland! I have always wanted to go and may just manage it some day. Have a great time with Jacob and take LOTS of pictures.

You evidently have some southren blood in you Beth. Sweet potato biscuits and cornbread stuffing...mouth watering wonderful. I have some southern connections on my Mom's side and grew up with these kinds of dishes. Also, I have some German and married a German. I'll never forget when I made cornbread stuffing for a first Thanksgiving with his family my MIL had a fit about me spoiling the stuffing with cornbread! Never the less, my hubbie now loves it and it will always be a staple in our house.

So glad you got to 'chat' with Sara. Hope she is doing well. Happy Birthday to your Mom and have a great Thanksgiving!

KGMom said...

Have a great trip.
And happy birthday to your mom!

SJ said...

The look yummy.... I will have to give them a try. Do you happen to have a smaller recipe that only feeds half and army?

NCmountainwoman said...

Like you, I just love Thanksgiving. And our menu never varied. Only when we are not having family over can my husband and I try something different.

Your sweet potato biscuits bring back wonderful memories of my grandmother who made them every year. Thanks.

And a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your mom.

Have a safe and fun journey!

Beth said...

Kallen, thank you--the biscuits are yummy feel free to try them.

Texican, Enjoy Thanksgiving and wish your family a happy thanksgiving from the frozen north.

Rach, 3 or 4 Thanksgivings would work for me!

Beckie, yes I am southern through and through--a marriage brought me north and stranded me but it's all good.

KGMom, thanks--I think she did have a good birthday.

SJ, I have cut the recipe to 2/3 before and it has worked--the full recipe does make quite a bit but they disappear pretty quickly, too. I don't remember any going stale on us.

NCMountainwoman, thank you--I'm glad it brought back some memories--grandmother memories are the best. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Jayne said...

Yummmmmmy! Those look wonderful Beth, and how special that you got to "make them with Sara!" :c) Happy Thanksgiving my friend. Have a very wonderful time in Dublin. Oh, and happy birthday to your mom!

RuthieJ said...

Wow, a busy week ahead and lots to be thankful for. I hope you have a great trip to Ireland (have you been there before?)

Happy Birthday to your Mom!

Katie : said...

Just out of curiosity, will you have access to the internet in Ireland? :) Have fun in the land of my kin!

-Kathleen Shannon Finn Nolette

Anonymous said...

Good looking biscuits, hope you have a safe and enjoyable trip. Happy Belated Birthday wishes to Auntie Maine.

Mary said...

Beth, those biscuits are making my mouth water! I know how the years change the holidays and how we adjust. You are doing a great job.

Thanksgiving in Ireland will make a great memory! Please share?

We have Italian holiday meals with homemade cheese ravioli as the main course :o) Turkey is a side.

My late Mom and late sister-in-law shared the same birthday on Nov. 26. We always remember them as the Thanksgiving birthday girls.

Have a wonderful time. It's hard to cook and not taste too much. LOL!


nina said...

Those look delicious.
We have the same meal every year, too. And, aside from the turkey, it's all different from yours!
Isn't it amazing how many different forms of Thanksgiving we have!

Ruth said...

I saw on FB that you were in Ireland and found I had missed this post somehow. Hope you have a wonderful trip. Your biscuits look delicious, but the recipe is so large! I would eat far too many.

Andy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
June said...

Someone gave my blog the Butterfly Award and I have passed it on to you because I love your blog. June