It is Halloween time! Eeeek! I must admit that it really isn’t a holiday that is big on my list anymore. (I’m an adult who can buy her own candy…anytime I want!)
I just don’t like to be scared. I appreciate that there are people who love ghosts, zombies and ghouls. I also have people in my life who I know are witches. (Or maybe that word spelled with a “b” but either way they are frightening!)
The things that go bump in a night make me shiver and I am sure there are shadow monsters just waiting to get me. I can still master the art of jumping into bed at a high enough arch so no monsters (or sisters) grab my ankles.
I think the only thing that doesn’t scare me about this season is the color orange. I love orange!!!! There is warmth to that color that makes me feel like I’m invincible. (This is why I wear orange jammies so the boogey man thinks twice before messing with me.)
Over the years, I’ve also become a fan of orange food. I love carrots, squash, apricots, cantaloupes and orange peppers. I can’t get enough pumpkin, cheese and creamsicles. (I didn’t say it had to be naturally orange.)
But the one orange food I probably love the best is a sweet potato! (Did you think I was going to mention an actual orange? I like the flavor but am not a pulp fan. Go figure!)
It took me awhile to warm up to a sweet potato because I had only had them in this potato casserole dish that was a family staple. I think I have post traumatic stress disorder from it because the thought of this dish makes the hair on my neck stand up. (Looking back I probably never tasted it because I was terrified of any color in my food as a kid.)
As I learned how to cook, I discovered that the sweet potato was more of a treat than a trick. It was the essence of orange. It WAS warm and comforting. Every bite was velvety smooth and coated my taste buds with sweetness. You would have to be mad if you didn’t love the feeling this orange food gave you. (This is where I wanted to write a love poem about oranges but we all know nothing rhymes with orange!)
The funny thing is that there are people out there who are scared of orange food. They will look at it once and never give a second thought. (Maybe their subconscious slips it into a scary dream and that is their aversion. I don’t know.)
My thought is when you try a new food; eat it with some other things you like. (My first enjoyable sweet potato experience included nuts, maple syrup and a cute boy.)
Believe me, learning to love orange food is as easy as toast.
Sweet Potato Toasts with Gorgonzola and Walnuts
(A version of this was given to me years ago so if anyone knows the original author,
I’d be happy to pass on the credit.)
1 sweet potato
1 whole grain, nutty baguette (you know the one in the bakery that you can see the chunks of nuts bursting through the crust.)
1 clove garlic
1 Tablespoon of Butter, room temp
1 tsp of maple syrup
3 ounces crumbly Gorgonzola
¼ – ½ cup of chopped walnuts (toasted either on the stove or in the oven)
Pierce your potato a couple of times with a fork (I love to use a fondue fork) and place on a cookie sheet. (You want to use a cookie sheet because sweet potatoes ooze a little when they cook.)
Bake for 40-60 minutes. It should be a bit crunchy on the skin but mushy inside. The time varies so greatly because a longer thin sweet potato will cook faster than a big fatty.
Cut the baguette into ¼ inch wide slices. Brush with olive oil.
Broil for about 1-3 minutes until the tops get a bit brown. Rub the raw garlic lengthwise down the center. Set aside until your sweet potato is cooked. (Or shove a couple of pieces in your mouth because toasted bread with garlic is delicious!)
Remove the sweet potato from the oven and scoop out the beautiful orange insides into a bowl. Whip in the butter and maple syrup. Taste. If you NEED it sweeter add a smidge more of syrup but remember this isn’t a plate of pancakes!
Add a little salt if you need a tad more seasoning.
Spread a generous scoop onto your little toasts and sprinkle with Gorgonzola and nuts. (I found it easiest to flick the cheese on with a fork so it didn’t clump in one spot.)
Halloween is supposed to be scary but your food doesn’t have to doesn’t have to give you the willies.