Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!
Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallows after a Thanksgiving hike!

John hikin' on the trail.
Growing up, Thanksgiving in my home as in many, has always been a family affair. I have years of memories of my Mom and Dad working together to make a large Thanksgiving feast for my brother, sister, and I. Each of us would vie for the sacred wishbone. Most years, Dad would dry it out and then pick which two would break it over a wish. Of course we took turns with him carefully remembering who did it the year before! One year, ever the artist, he spray painted it gold, and still another he soaked it in vinegar which made it rubbery!  Dad was constantly keeping us kids enthralled with amusement!  Good memories!

As we got older, some of us kids did not make it to Thanksgiving for one reason or another. Adam was in the Marines, Sheryl had moved into Philly, and I was away at school at Rutgers. Mom and Dad also divorced with Mom moving south to Florida. What can ya do but go with the flow as they say? She met my stepdad Barry and they built a wonderful vacation home back up here in Lake Wynonah, PA. Traditional Thanksgiving dinners resumed at Mom's in Lake Wynonah.  Mom would bring out Nanny's China, sterling silver service, and Waterford crystal just for the special occasion.  In fact, I don't think she brought it out any other time!

Me and John hikin' the trail by the Sand Spring Stream.
As many of you know, Mom unfortunately passed away in 2009 for reasons left for another essay, another time. Thanksgiving though was Mom's favorite holiday in mine and my sibling's eyes. I have had difficulty getting over this and moving on. My sister now goes out to my brother's for Thanksgiving in San Diego with the West Coast Haynes'. I am just not ready yet to move on. The holiday became painful for me after Mom passed on. I eventually will be able to deal better with it but for now have created a new tradition with John.

Bobcat!
John's parents are out at his brother's in Arizona, so John and I have had Thanksgiving together each year after a long hike in the morning. This year, we hiked up the Sand Springs Trail by Shartlesville, PA, to the Appalachian trail on the top of Blue Mountain. Once at the top, we went down the Tom Lowe Memorial Trail to finish a full several mile loop.

Possum? My friend Kyle thinks so and I agree.
At the top of the mountain, we found the spring source for the stream that followed the Sand Springs Trail.  We also spied the tracks of a couple animals on the way up and around the springs.  We identified bobcat, possum, chipmunk, and squirrel tracks. I love that stuff!

The weather was brisk, at times sunny and at other times a little dangerous when we encountered snow squalls at the top of the mountain. At least an inch or two had already fallen up top so hiking was a bit treacherous and cold. Luckily, my good man brought his flask filled with one of our favorite libations, Bulleit Bourbon. Maybe not the best idea while hiking down over snow covered rocks! :) 

Enjoy our (belated) Thanksgiving message made on the top of Blue Mountain:




After the long hike, we enjoyed a couple of well earned drinks at the Haags Hotel and then ventured home. The turkey eventually went into the oven at 2:30 PM and John and I finally sat down to eat at 8:30 PM. But it was well worth it. He made his Mom's potato puff and I made my Nana's recipe for Sweet Potato Pie with Marshallows. I actually used to dislike it as a kid. The only thing I liked was the toasted marshmallows!

John crossing a treacherous snow covered log bridge.
Year after year, Adam, Sheryl, and I would just hit the marshmallows first. Mom and Dad knew but still put up with our grumblings about having to finish the sweet potatoes. It wasn't until I was in my 20's that I actually began to like them! 

Here is my Nanny's recipe for Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallows.  I substituted mandarin oranges for a little bit sweeter orange flavor.  Check the oven towards the end of cooking time. If you want your marshmallows toastier, keep in a couple minutes longer but make sure you watch them so they don't over cook!

Nana's Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallows

1. Scrub - peel - boil sweet potatoes
2. Mash well
3. Add 1/2 to 1 stick of margarine
4. Salt to taste
5. Add sliced orange - cut into pieces
6. Combine all ingredients, blend well
7. Put in casserole dish
8. Dot with butter and marshmallows
9. Bake in low oven (325'F) until marshmallows are brown for 30-35 minutes.




1 comment:

  1. I like your Mom's recipe... mine doesn't call for the orange... different...and hold the marshmallows....but the best part was your video clip... you two clowns are the best entertainment in these parts. Happy to be your friend. Jack Ross

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