Tuesday, December 6, 2011

the goose loves december 6th

Hello, my long-lost blog lovers!

I promise I haven't forgotten about you. I've just been bogged down with a couple thousand other projects that had to take priority. Not that you're not special to me. It's just complicated.

But I'm finally back, with plenty to catch you up on! And, this post is extra special. It's EXACTLY on time!

To those of you Santa-lovers, you might not be aware that December 6th is the Feast of St. Nicholas (remember, the first santa?). Many countries have special celebrations centered around today, rather than Dec. 25th. Kids sometimes put out their shoes, for "St. Nick" to fill with candy.

In Slovenia, where my mom's family is from, they celebrate this day, but call it "Svete Miklaus" (which translates to St. Nick). I hope all my Slovenian readers can forgive my spelling (or correct me in the comments below!). When my "Scottish" (he's really more Irish) husband heard of the translation, he had trouble pronouncing it, so he made it into a Scottish holiday - McCloush Day.

When I was a kid, we'd put bowls out on the table and St. Nick would fill them with cookies and some other goodies. We would also write letters to him and place them on the windowsills at night. This was my Santa growing up!

This year, Billy and I wanted to celebrate the holiday but we decided to skip the delicious-yet-fattening bowl of cookies and candy in exchange for a dinner out together. Since we've been saving our pennies, we've severely cut back on eating out, so going out for Chinese was a treat!

But we also had to have a little something sweet. I had a homemade pie crust in the fridge from Thanksgiving, when I had made two crusts but only one pie, and I had a sweet potato (right) and a yam (left) also leftover from the holiday, so I decided to go with Sweet Potato Pie.
 I searched several recipes online and on Pinterest, and I decided to use the yam, as one recipe suggested. Yams usually are more orange, and I love the texture and flavor. We'll use the sweet potato for something else this week. I started by boiling it (after cutting it into three parts to fit in my pot).
 Once they are boiled (and soft when poked), their skins slip off really easily. I skinned them, let them cool, and then popped the chunks into the Cuisinart, where I gave em a whir to mash and make smooth.

I then added the eggs (3), brown sugar instead of white (1/2 cup), vanilla (2 tsp), lemon juice (1 tbsp), milk instead of half and half (1/2 cup), and an assortment of fall spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, ginger).
 I rolled out my pie dough, which I had made from the Cooks Illustrated recipe. Turned out great.
 Poured my pumpkin-like filling into the crust, smoothed out the top, and popped it in the toaster oven at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.
 While it baked away, I helped Billy string the lights on the tree and hang some ornaments! We're still locating some ornaments so photos will come later.
 And then we're done! Deliciously-golden and not gooey inside (ignore the knife test-mark. I was too lazy to find the toothpicks).

Billy and I each enjoyed a slice this morning, to officially celebrate Svete Miklaus. A Happy St. Nick's Day to the rest of you - hope your day is wonderful!

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