Being married puts an interesting twist on holiday celebrations.
Growing up, Thanksgiving was a coordinated event with a planned time for dinner, expectations of what everyone would bring to the feast, and napkins printed with turkey or cornucopia scenes.
Then there are my husband?s free-spirited family traditions that ebb and flow depending on who is available to make the journey, the new recipes everyone wants to try, and what the general mood of the group is.
We will be experiencing both versions of Thanksgiving on the 27th, and I have to say that I?ve grown to love the juxtaposition of the styles of both parts of my family.
So, in the spirit of the traditional and non-traditional, I tried a recipe that?s a little bit of both: sweet potato bundt cake. It is a delicious dessert that combines the spices of the season with a sweet marshmallow topping.
I got the original recipe from Betty Crocker (http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/sweet-potato-bundt-cake-with-toasted-marshmallow-topper/881e2156-bd0d-4b36-be73-db745b1345b1), but I changed up the spices quite a bit to give it more flavor than the original.
Sweet Potato Bundt Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Topping
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes (peel them, cube them, and boil until fork tender)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
Toasted Marshmallow Frosting
2 egg whites
6 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Combine all the cake ingredients into a bowl and beat for several minutes until very well combined.
Pour into a well-greased bundt pan.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the cake cool for five minutes and then invert onto a serving plate.
For the marshmallow topping, heat about one inch of water to simmering in a pan.
Whisk egg whites, sugar, salt and cream of tartar in a metal bowl (I used my double boiler). Place the bowl over top of the water and whisk continuously until the mixture reaches 120 degrees.
Beat the egg mixture on high speed until stiff peaks form.
Beat in the vanilla.
Spread the marshmallow mixture over the top of the cake.
Toast the topping with a kitchen torch (I used a wand lighter. It took longer, but it worked OK).
Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
If you don?t want to mess with making marshmallow topping, buy some canned marshmallow fluff instead, and if you?re not into sweet potatoes, try substituting pureed pumpkin.
As I look forward to Thanks?giving, I recognize that, despite their differences, the two sides of our family have some things in common. We will all gather around the table, thank God for our many blessings, and enjoy an amazing meal with people we love, and whether or not that comes with turkey-printed napkins, that seems like the right way to celebrate Thanksgiving to me.
When not helping husband Joey with newspaper work, Lindsey teaches speech, debate and forensics at Haven High School. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.