Monday, December 22, 2014

Spicy Sweet Potato Oven Fries

   I tried another recipe from my newest cookbook, "Recipes from the Root Cellar".  I found this fairly easy recipe on page 180. You simply peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into 1/4 inch thick sticks.  The seasoning mixture is combined with the oil and the sliced sweet potato slices are then coated with the seasoning mix. The seasoned slices are then baked in the oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes. The ingredients are as follows:

4 medium sweet potatoes
1/4 cup sunflower or canola oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice or cinnamon ( I used allspice in my first attempt)
My newest cookbook

    The instructions warned that if too many sweet potato sticks were cooked at a time, they would steam and wouldn't brown properly.  There was also a warning that if too few were cooked at a time the sweet potato sticks would burn. I only pass along the warning. I experienced no problems with the cookie sheet only half full.  I didn't have four medium sweet potatoes available at the time so I only cut up one good sized sweet potato. The results were well received by those who got to try them. They disappeared pretty quickly.  I think this method of cooking sweet potatoes would work out well with any number of seasoning variations.  Personally, I'd like to try a tablespoon or two of pumpkin pie seasoning and sugar to see how that turns out.
The finished product

   The day after I made these my daughter, Sarah, gave me a new cookbook entitled "The Cornbread Book".  That means "Recipes from the Root Cellar" is no longer my newest cookbook.  I have a serious affection for cornbread and I love the new cookbook. It is relatively small as cookbooks go. It has an interesting section about the history of cornbread which I particularly enjoyed, followed by about 90 pages of cornbread recipes. I've not included a photo of the new cookbook because it just has a plain yellow cover. I found the yellow cover to be very appropriate. Along with the new cookbook, Sarah also gave me a new baking pan. It is a heavy ceramic muffin pan with the muffins in the shape of little bee skeps, also a very appropriate yellow color.

   I made cornbread for our family dinner on Sunday. I used my favorite cornbread recipe, modified from the Fanny Farmer cookbook.  I used some of my stash of Ruby Gold Indian Corn, a variety I grew two years ago. I ground the corn within the hour of baking the cornbread and was very happy with the results. As I perused the new cookbook I found that the recipe I use is very similar to the first recipe in my new cookbook, called sweet cornbread. Of course neither recipe called for the use of freshly ground indian corn, which makes all the difference in the world.

    While I have a theme going on yellow things, I want to include the following photo I took at the shop a few weeks ago. I was anxiously engaged in rendering beeswax and remelting the rendered wax so I could pour it into one pound molds. I do this by putting the previously rendered beeswax back through my water jacketed wax melter. The remelted beeswax flows out of the wax melter into a five gallon bucket.  I then dip out the melted wax to fill the molds.  Usually I put two or three inches of very hot water into the bottom of the bucket first.  This helps keep the beeswax liquid longer and results in a somewhat flat bottom on the big cake of beeswax when I remove it from the bucket after it cools. The water in the bottom also makes it much easier to get the wax back out of the bucket as it isn't adhered to the bottom of the bucket.  Once I used water which was merely warm and wasn't as hot as that which I normally use. This resulted in the interesting abstract art piece shown in the photo below. I'm open to suggestions for a title, Wouldn't this make a wonderful 1,000 piece circular puzzle?

I can see a face

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