Friendships – November Column Cook’s Library with Patsy

A Facebook friend recently posted, “I need friends. In person, real time, call me to do things, actually like me, and want to spend time with me, friends. Anyone else?”

I think the answer to that for most people is yes. Once we’re out of school and going about daily life, we tend to move in pretty small circles. There are the people we work with, volunteer with, go to church with or share kids’ activities with. But few of these circumstances offer opportunities for us to actually get to know people beyond the most superficial levels.

Would you eat lunch with that person down the hall if you had to schedule a time to get together? If so, that’s great. But for many folks it’s convenience that dictates that lunch partner.

Over the years I’ve tried to create multiple opportunities to engage with people on a meaningful level. It’s harder than it seems it should be.

I’m blessed to have a wonderful circle of friends, but there are never too many. I remember once hearing someone say she wasn’t really open to new friends. I was flabbergasted. I couldn’t imagine such a thing.

One of the things that can spur me to take on a new project is meeting new people. A bonus – you can use your tried and true recipes because they’re all new to them!

Because it is Thanksgiving season I can’t resist sharing one of the recipes I make every year. I generally spend Thanksgiving in Joplin, Missouri, at the home of my best friend’s mom. She graciously lets me cook, which I love to do. We enjoy a big meal and start looking forward to leftovers before dinner is even over.

This dish is always on the table. It would probably be considered dessert any time of year other than Thanksgiving, but it’s a side dish for the holiday.

I hope the season finds you with much to be thankful for.

Sweet Potato Casserole

The first time I made this for Thanksgiving we enjoyed it so much we had to go buy more sweet potatoes and make a second batch to go with the leftovers. I bake the sweet potatoes, just wrapped in foil, alongside the turkey. When done I mash them for the casserole.

4-5 small/medium sized sweet potatoes – cooked and mashed
2 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4-1/2 cup orange juice
pecans and marshmallows

Mix all ingredients together except pecans and marshmallows.  I like to taste the mixture and make sure it’s as sweet and cinnamon-y as I like it. Put in casserole dish and add pecans and marshmallows on top. Sprinkle with more brown sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees until done. It will depend on how big your potatoes are and what size dish you use. Could take 30 minutes – could take an hour. All you really need to cook are the eggs. I like to let the marshmallows melt into the top of it, too.