I’m not a sentimental person, but kids have a way of bringing out traits in us parents that we never knew existed, such as patience (who knew I had so much patience?). Maybe it’s the fact that I now have two kids of my own that I find myself spending more time reflecting on my own childhood memories.
The holiday season is one of the times my sentimental and reflective self comes out. I think back to the memories I enjoyed as a kid with a desire to find a way to bridge the old with the new.
As I think back on the sweet memories that made my childhood so special, particularly during the holiday season, they aren’t things. The must-have gift that my parents did or did not place under the tree, the size of the turkey we ate at Thanksgiving (although I vividly remember the year my mom burned the turkey which nearly resulted in a kitchen remodel…sorry, Mom, good memories!), or even the color dress or new shoes I wore at the family Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
While the things were so important to the seven year-old I once was, now as I look back, those aren’t the memories I remember most and giggle about (except the fiery turkey). In fact, I can’t even remember the majority of the gifts I received or the color of my clothes for special holiday dinners.
My most vivid memories aren’t things, but rather time spent together and the traditions we honored.
The time my mom and I spent in the kitchen each Thanksgiving running butter and breadcrumbs through our fingers (sneaking in greasy bites here and there), the pumpkin pie filling we beat together in her large glass bowl, and the flour that covered every square each of my mom’s kitchen just hours before the family arrived to enjoy the feast we lovingly prepared.
I’m reminded once again that the holidays aren’t about the giant sales already plastered on our TVs, the newest toys, or the fanciest trees. The holiday season (the season upon us) is about much more, which money can’t buy and no one can beat you to (which means you don’t have to wake up at 3am…Woohoo!).
This is the season for getting into the kitchen with our kids and covering our counters with flour, letting the kids roll out the dough, and lick the spoons. It’s about creating memories and traditions and slowing down, enjoying a meal together and delivering a box of homemade cookies to the neighbors we may barely know.
These are the memories and traditions that add spice to the holiday season, setting them apart from the rest of the year, and bridging the gap between the old and new.
As our family prepares for the upcoming holiday season and creating new memories in our kitchen and around our table, today, I’d like to share one of my favorite recipes…sweet potato biscuits.
These sweet potato biscuits are a special twist on my family’s well-loved whole wheat biscuit recipe, with the addition of fresh, seasonal sweet potatoes and thyme. This year we decided to add an extra special treat to our favorite biscuits: maple cinnamon butter. The simple, sweet butter mixes perfectly with the warm savory biscuits, adding spice to the holidays and creating memories in the kitchen.
Sweet Potato Biscuits with Maple Cinnamon Butter
Sweet Potato Biscuits:
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the cold butter cubes to the flour. Use a pastry cutter (or your hands) to crumble the butter into the flour mixture, until the butter resembles coarse crumbs.
- In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the sweet potato and milk.
- Pour the sweet potato and milk into the the flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Using your hands (gently kneading the dough if necessary), form the dough into a ball.
- Sprinkle a surface with a small amount of flour. Roll the dough, on the floured surface, into a long rectangle. Fold the dough in half, lengthwise and gently press together.
- Using a biscuit cutter (like this) cut out individual biscuits. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet or stone. Brush the top of each biscuit with the 1 tablespoon of milk.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until the tops are golden and the sides are firm.
- For the Maple Cinnamon Butter: In a medium-size bowl, beat the butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon with a large wooden spoon. Beat until the butter is brown and whipped. You can also use a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand-mixer to make this butter. Serve the soft butter with the warm biscuits.
*Whole wheat pastry flour may be substituted for einkorn flour.