Shredded Yams & Squash Casserole

This year will be the fourth Thanksgiving that Judson and I have been married, and the third that we'll be celebrating in the UK. When I was in undergrad and lived in Paris, Thanksgiving was just about the only time I felt really, truly homesick. This could have something to do with the fact that I had a full day of class on Thanksgiving (and Black Friday), but since then, I haven't minded too much dealing with Thanksgiving in the UK. It's still kind of weird celebrating a holiday here that no one else is observing, but we celebrate on the weekend before and it's still a lovely time to get together with new friends (American or not), eat good food, and, for me, make all the recipes I've bookmarked since the year before.

I love Thanksgiving-- it's not my favourite holiday (that would be Halloween, followed by New Year's Eve), but I just adore Thanksgiving. Having an excuse to meet with your friends, eat delicious food, and feel gratitude is a great tradition that I love taking part in every year... and in a year like this one, where so many tragedies seem to be taking over the news lately, I'm looking forward to remembering some of the things that I'm grateful for. 

More on that soon, but in the meantime, here are some new veggie recipes you can serve as a side dish with your Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving) dinner.

The verdict:
Shredded Yams:

2 spoons out of five. The directions on this recipe were exceedingly difficult to follow, and I feel fairly confident I messed something up. Shredding them took nearly half an hour, and the finished product was way to salty... but somehow, also too sweet. So I made some revisions and the final product (as written below) is much better-- at least 4 spoons out of five. I know the name of the recipe should be changed since they are obviously no longer shredded yams, but the name was too awesome to change and I couldn't think of a better one.

Squash Casserole:

3 spoons out of five. I couldn't find summer squash (I KNOW, how weird is that?) so I used a hokkaido squash and an acorn squash, and it was still great. If you like squash, you'll love this recipe-- I just am pretty indifferent to squash in general.

The recipe:

Shredded Yams

the directions:

Preheat oven to 175C/350F.
Peel and chop potatoes in bite-sized pieces, pouring into a large bowl full of water as you go (to keep potatoes orange).
Sprinkle salt in the bowl and stir well.
Drain potatoes and rinse well.
Pour potatoes into a shallow roasting pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, water, golden syrup, butter, and pineapple juice.
Pour mixture over potatoes and cook until yams are tender and stringy, approximately one hour.

Serves 6.

the ingredients:

1 lb raw sweet potatoes
½ tbs salt
½ c sugar
¼ c water
½ c golden syrup or corn syrup
1 oz butter
½ c pineapple juice

the recipe:

Yellow Summer Squash Casserole

the directions:

Preheat oven to 175C/350F.
In boiling water, cook squash and onion for five minutes, then drain.
In a separate bowl, combine soup, water, sour cream, and carrots.
Fold in squash and onions, then set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine bread crumbs, butter, and herbs.
Spread half of crumb mixture in a small baking dish, then spread squash mixture over the crumbs.
Sprinkle other half of crumbs over the squash, then bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Serves 6.

the ingredients:

1 lb summer squash or a mix of acorn and winter squash, sliced
¼ c onion, chopped
½ can condensed cream of chicken soup
½ c water
½ c sour cream
½ c carrots, coarsely grated
½ c bread crumbs
¼ c butter, melted
Herbs of your choice: I used 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, and a pinch each of thyme, nutmeg, dill, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.