Can you believe it? It seems like only yesterday, but I started the Opulent Opossum in March 2009—so the Op Op is five years old! Thanks, y’all, for sticking around! I sincerely appreciate you!
I started this blog amid some personal turmoil, but fortunately things have improved a great deal, which is one reason why my posts haven’t been as prolific as before. But I’ve really enjoyed doing this blog, and I’ve learned a lot.
Anyway—to celebrate this anniversary, I’ve prepared a little dessert, made with sweet potatoes. Yum!
Sweet potatoes seem kind of “possum-y,” don’t they. The sweet potato is a humble root vegetable that achieves enough sweetness to be worthy of a pie. Despite its southern twang, the sweet potato is capable of great elegance, when prepared with care. It can become a sweet or savory dish. It’s got a glorious orange color and a rich, complex flavor and is high in nutrients.
And sweet potatoes are possum-y for another reason: One associates sweet potatoes with possums, because they’re a traditional accompaniment to roast opossum . . . for people who eat opossums, anyway. I think it is perfectly all right if you don’t want to eat an opossum!
The recipe for my dessert today is from Manjula’s Kitchen; she calls it Sweet Potato Halwa (Eggless Pudding), and she posted the recipe, including a helpful how-to video, on December 24, 2012.
Yes, she posted it on Christmas Eve that year, and yes, it can be a fantastic addition to the holiday table, a tasty and interesting spin on the traditional pumpkin pie. Done up in a Jell-O mold, it’s also reminiscent of the traditional English plum pudding.
The cardamom in the recipe gives it a distinctly Indian flair, but you can fiddle with the spices to make it more like traditional American pumpkin or sweet potato pie (that is, use pumpkin pie spice, and/or use just cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg).
I’m not going to give the recipe here, since I encourage you to visit Manjula’s page so you can watch her video.
This is a vegetarian and gluten-free dessert, it’s incredibly easy to make, and it doesn’t require many ingredients: Sweet potatoes, butter, milk, sugar, and three ground spices: cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Plus whatever garnishes you choose.
Note: You can cook it longer to make it drier and more solid (as I have done here), or cook it less so that it is softer and creamier. When served soft and warm (highly recommended), it is great with ice cream or with a plain cookie or two. It’s a good cold-weather recipe.
I cooked it longer than usual because I wanted to mold it in one of my little vintage Jell-O molds. (The molds were given to me by Sue’s mom—thanks, Mrs. F!)
I think Julia Child would call something like this an “edifice”!
Manjula uses cashews, but I garnished it with crushed pistachios and some orange zest. As you can tell, I had fun with my little photo shoot!
Thanks, friends, for reading my blog! Here’s to Op Op Year 6!