Because my youngest daughter has invited all of us to travel to Camarillo to have Thanksgiving with her family and told me not to bring anything, I won’t be having two of my traditional Thanksgiving dishes, sweet potatoes and green beans with mushrooms.
My Aunt Flossie always made these and brought them to Thanksgiving dinner when we lived in Oxnard and then after we moved to Springville and continued to have Thanksgiving at our house with all of our relatives–my whole family and my sister’s family.
When my sis moved to Las Vegas along with all of her children, Auntie and my cousin and family went there for Thanksgiving. (I guess Las Vegas was a bigger draw than little Springville.) We still had plenty of guests for Thanksgiving dinner right here–but with I had to take over the cooking of the sweet potatoes and green beans along with cooking the turkey, dressing, and gravy. Fortunately, the guests contributed salads and desserts.
I’d like to share these two recipes. I’m a dash of this and a dash of that cook, so you aren’t going to get exact ingredients. I also like to find the easiest ways of doing things–so both these recipes are simple as well as yummy.
My auntie always used fresh green beans but I made life simpler by using frozen green beans. How many bags depends upon how many people you’re going to serve and whether you want left-overs or not. I cooked the green beans sort of by the package directions but I added cut-up pieces of bacon–so they really are over-cooked to make sure the bacon got done and really flavor the beans. Again, how many fresh mushrooms you want to use depends upon how many people–and how well you like mushrooms. Slice the mushrooms and stir into the beans–you can cook on low for awhile. Actually, this dish gets better the longer it is cooked. (Probably there aren’t many vitamins left–but it’s really good.) You could make this the day before and reheat on Thanksgiving.
For the sweet potatoes–I buy the yellow sweet potatoes, not the orange yams. Put them in a big pan with water and cook until you can pierce them easily with a fork. (Be careful though, you don’t want to cook them into mush.) Allow them to cool, then peel off the skins. Slice in half.
Put in a pan along with lots of butter and about a cup of brown sugar. Cook slowly to melt the butter, stir gently. Or…you can do this the day before and put the sliced sweet potatoes, chunks of butter and the brown sugar into a casserole to cook on Thanksgiving. Yummy! I like these so much better than the yam recipes. (But I also like baked sweet potatoes with butter.)
And for the dessert, these cookies are a pain to make, but oh are they good. My mom made them during WWII when sugar was rationed, and we only got one small bar to eat each evening.
Congo Cookies (This is a bar cookie)
Sift 2 3/4 flour with 2 ½ tsp. baking power and ½ tsp salt. Mix in 2/3 C shortening with 2 1/4 C brown sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla with 3 beaten eggs, mix altogether with 1 C of chopped nuts and a 7 or 8 oz. package of chocolate chips. Pour it all into a greased oblong baking pan, bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the middle of the cookies comes out clean. When they’re done you can cut them into whatever size chunks you please.
And that’s my contribution to our Thanksgiving favorites.