shane and I have made it a tradition to visit Farm Sanctuary in Orland for their Celebration for the Turkeys event. He was out of state visiting family this year, so I went up with friends Shalon and RJ instead.
It was a beautiful, sunny day, and as always, it was so nice to see these lucky animals living out their days on a picturesque farm, a wonderfully drastic change from the nightmares they had come from. I love seeing people interact with enormous steers and talkative pigs for the first time, and I appreciate that staff and volunteers take care to allow the less gregarious animals watch from a distance. It was also great to see Josh, Michelle, and the lovely Ruby, proprietors of Herbivore in Portland. Josh gave an excellent talk about everyday advocacy, and how to be eloquent with stupid people, even when all you really want to do is punch them in the face.
For the actual holiday, shane and I went over to Shaudi and Danny's home for a feast, where we enjoyed cornbread-stuffed seitan, tamales, biscuits, cornbread, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts, and green beans.
Violet outdid herself with a kick ass pumpkin cheesecake. There was also apple, pecan, and pumpkin pies, and chocolate cookies.
My contribution for the night was stuffing and glazed sweet potatoes. As much as I like the traditional candied yams, they are never quite as candied as I would like. Most recipes call for boiling first, which doesn't let the potatoes live up to their full sugary potential, and they're usually so soft, they might as well be mashed.
Instead, I slowly roasted cubed sweet potatoes (nutritious skins on!), starting in a cold oven, to give the starches time to convert to sugar (thank you checkout stand America's Test Kitchen) until they were toasty brown. Meanwhile, I made a glaze from water, sugar, molasses, freshly grated ginger, cardamom, and a touch of cayenne pepper, that I boiled to a syrup. Once the potatoes were roasted, I sprinkled them with a bit of salt and tossed them in the caramel-like glaze. Finally, I topped them off with a bit of Shaudi's marshmallow cream and popped them in the broiler. Sweet, but not too sweet, crispy outsides with creamy centers, and just a little hint of spice.