Last weekend we were invited to our friends’ house for a dinner party. The theme was Cajun and so Matt made a humongous pot of gumbo, which has been many meals this week and is very good, and I made this sweet potato pie that was obliterated by the end of the night and I sadly didn’t have any leftovers for breakfast. I’m actually glad it got gobbled up because that’s instant portion control. I shared one slice of this pie with Olive, she ate most of it, and I enjoyed every bit. I had a lady at church last night say, “I’d love to live in your house so that I could eat your food, but then I’d be 7,000 pounds.” I’m not exactly sure this blog is conveying the truth if that’s the overall sentiment! I’m also not sure I’m conveying properly the amounts of these foods I DON’T eat. I made three batches of The Cinnamon Rolls over the course of two weeks and I think overall, I ate two whole cinnamon rolls, maybe three. But it wasn’t a couple each batch, or “the whole pan” like a lot of people swear they’d eat if they made it themselves at home. I don’t think people give themselves enough credit. Of course you wouldn’t eat the whole pan. How on earth would that be enjoyable to have a stomach ache because of something you baked? Maybe that’s the whole problem with portion control with indulgent foods. People get a feeling like they need to “eat the whole thing” to pretend like it never happened, to remove it from sight and further temptation. They feel “bad” eating it in the first place and so why not eat it badly?! Whatever the reason, it’s a wrong mindset. And one I hope to never impose on Olive-that rich foods are somehow bad and we should feel guilty or gain 7,000 pounds for eating them on a weekly basis.
During the week, we eat simply. Bowls full of beans, rice, sauteed chard and potatoes and steamed fish, beet pasta, roasted carrots, butternut squash soup-that was this week. These do not make the most riveting blog posts, nor do I always remember to take pictures of “regular” meals. Perhaps I should! Maybe it would help balance out peoples’ fear of the occasional pie or butter sauce. My hope for myself and anyone who loves to cook is that we find a good balance and that we effectively remove all GUILT from eating. Find a way. Whether that’s eating smaller portions or just meals made from fresh, good ingredients that couldn’t live in a box if they tried. Maybe if that was the norm, and eating at home was what we did 6 days out of the week, than a crazy good, gooey brownie on the weekend or a night out at a restaurant would seem like the treat it is, instead of the impending portion of guilt that it’s come to be.
This pie was light and fluffy almost like a souffle. It wasn’t overly sweet and so it went AMAZINGLY well with the butter rum sauce I decided to make at the last minute. I think it would be perfect without the sauce, but it was the gilding of the lily for a festive occasion like a dinner get-together. I also adore the website I adapted this from – The Gumbo Pages! That is the best website name, possibly ever. And the recipe was clearly from someone who never had to write it down. A lot of “approximate” measurements and “about this much” kinda talk. I love the nature of a recipe like that. And I love that this recipe came from someone with the nickname “Pie Man.” Honestly, how can you go wrong with that combination?
Sweet Potato Pie with Butter Rum Sauce
makes one, 9″ pie
3 cups cooked, peeled and mashed sweet potatoes (about 3 medium potatoes)
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
dash of salt
1/2 cup sugar
Boil the potatoes whole in plenty of water (covering them by about two inches) for about 30 minutes, until tender all the way through. Peel them after they’ve cooled a bit and give them a rough dice. Mix the potatoes in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until they are smooth and very few lumps remain. Mix the eggs with the cream and spices, lemon juice and vanilla until smooth and gradually mix it into the potatoes. Add the salt and sugar and let the mixture blend on medium for about 5 minutes. Pour filling into UNbaked 9″ pie shell, bake for 40-45 minutes at 350-325. Serve with butter rum sauce or whipped cream!
Butter Rum Sauce
1 stick of butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
a few pinches of kosher salt to taste
2 tbs rum
Let the butter melt with the cream and sugar and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add salt until it tastes right to you – let it take some of the sweetness away and give it some depth. Add the rum and mix well and serve!