Swirling Leaves and autumn thoughts

Sweet Potato Pound CakeThe leaves are changing very fast here in the Oregon Coast Range and now that the Halloween costume frenzy has subsided it is time to start thinking about “the Holidays”.  It is such a quick turn around from just getting used to fall canning and freezing being over, to opening the cookbooks, magazines and blogs for great ideas to use at Thanksgiving, Christmas and even New Year’s.  Experience has shown me that early planning is the key to having a relaxing time for the next few months and enjoying the whole thing versus becoming the Queen of the Grinches.

I love to use berries during the holidays because they are so unexpected and add such a great taste of Oregon to any meal. I use individually quick frozen berries that I have either put up myself from the berries in my garden or purchased from farmer’s markets. When those are all gone, and believe me they don’t last long at my house, I rely on the great variety of frozen berries that are available at groceries, big box stores and even farmer’s markets. Berries are a freezer staple that I would not be without.

Marionberry Oat Bars

Marionberry Oat Bars

This Thanksgiving I am planning on making a recipe that uses sweet potato, buttermilk and berries with touch of bourbon for good cheer.  It is a lovely way to end your Thanksgiving feast and gets away from the traditional without abandoning it altogether. Sweet Potato Pound Cake with Buttermilk Ice Cream and Blackberry Bourbon Compote uses yams, the best of fall produce paired with a sweet, tipsy blackberry sauce and the absolute best ice cream you will ever taste. Sweet potato pound cake is moist and delicious, the blackberry compote adds a crisp, clear tang and you can make each and every portion of this recipe in advance!

If you are stretched for time, a good quality vanilla or praline ice cream from the store will be fine as a substitute for the buttermilk ice cream.

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