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Experimental Sweetened Yams

November 23, 2018 am30 11:44 am

I don’t publish recipes because:

  1. I don’t cook much and
  2. I don’t use recipes

I mean, I have a sense of what foods / herbs / spices / flavors / textures might work together. It’s not nearly as tricky as picking a good math problem, or as incomprehensible as knowing whether or not clothes match.

Anyway, I don’t do sweetened yams, but Wednesday I planned a root vegetable mash that went sideways. So here goes:

Yams – 4 huge ones.
Carrots – or Other Things that go with yams. I chose carrots. Big old loose ones. 3 or 4 of them. Probably the equivalent of a full cello package. Is that a pound? I think parsnips (justalittle) might have worked, but not sure about the sharpness. Celery root would have been a waste. Squash would have been good. But too much work. Pumpkin would have been perfect.* Might have skipped the yams altogether. But Garden Gourmet’s not selling pumpkins this year. Bastards. So yams it is. Yams they are?

Bosc pears. Very ripe. Big ones. 4 of them.
Apples. I think these were Cortlandts. Big.
Honey. That was last minute. I was going to grab maple syrup, but the bottle was old and looked icky. And I have the bottom of a jar of honey that I got gifted a year ago (I use it slowly) by the Actual Beekeeper.

Some milk.

Spices?  I was going to skip them. But when the maple syrup didn’t look like a good idea, vanilla.
I guess you could do “pumpkin spices” – cloves, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg.

Boil the yams for a while, until they are almost soft. Then throw in the carrots for a few minutes to soften them, but not as much. Pull out carrots and yams. Peel the yams. Throw them in the pot. Slice the carrots into slices or chunks (depending on diameter). In the pot.

Core the apples, and peel them. Slice them. Peel (carefully here) the pears, then cut out the bottom little pyramid with the core/seeds. In the pot.

Stir up the stuff in the pot. This was work. let them yams mush as you go. Keep mixing, mushing. Pour in some milk. Pour in some vanilla, if you are going that route. Keep mushing/mixing. I wasn’t sure about sweetness, so I grabbed a super ripe banana and mushed that in, too. Mush mush mush.

I put it in the oven. 350 seemed too high for this one. I tried 320.

After half an hour I looked. It had started to have a nice smell. I pulled it out. Tasted. Mushed mixed a little. The carrots were the firmest thing in there, plus some of the apples. But the apples would cook down. A carrot in yam matrix tasted good, and some of the fruit sweet was in the bite, but not much. I tried another spoon from a different corner of the pot. Same verdict. That’s when I went for the honey and vanilla. I poured a little vanilla. But the honey was my only measured quantity

2 tablespoons of honey

I know that because I poured in one tablespoon. Then I looked, and decided to add another.

Mix mix mush mush. Back in the oven. Maybe another hour. Or a little more.

It was good. The carrots (less sweet) were “floating” in a yam matrix with unidentifiable fruit flavors (apple/pear/banana) and while there was sweetness, it was dinner sweetness, less sweet than the cranberry sauce (but no acid), and far less sweet than the abominable yams with marshmallows on top that my sister asked for (what, no marshmallows?) before declaring mine perfectly good.

*Pumpkin is a good ingredient because the fresh stuff does not show up year round, and it has an interesting texture, and because, if you buy a small to medium sized one it’s pretty easy to get the guts ready for cooking. Take a small-medium pumpkin. It should fit on a plate. Saw it in half along the equator. Yank/scrape out the seeds. Fill the plate with water. put the pumpkin face down in the water. Microwave on high. 5 minutes. Probably not enough. Take it out of the microwave. Is the flesh ready to fall out? Nope? Try another 5 minutes. You might need a third 5 minutes, but that’s the longest it’s ever taken me. And then you can just cook with it.





One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    November 23, 2018 pm30 12:39 pm 12:39 pm

    Sounds good but seems to be missing brûléed marshmallows on it.

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