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LIZ SMITH: "PUMPKIN is the new bacon!"

The Best Sweet Potato Pie ... It's Never Too Early for the Rockettes!
by Liz Smith
Tuesday, November 20, 2012


“PUMPKIN is the new bacon!” reported New York magazine recently. 

And people do get all pumpkin crazy around Halloween into Thanksgiving Day.

Well, pumpkin may — as reporter Felix Salmon writes — “be perfectly pitched for today’s eaters.”  But a lot of just plain eaters and even traditionalists simply do not like pumpkin pie.  And there it is, the Thanksgiving holiday staple dessert.

So, once again, we will reprint an alternative, the famous Pink Teacup café’s recipe for a dessert  that looks just about the same as pumpkin. At the Teacup, they always offered  Sweet Potato Pie and here is the recipe:

2 lbs. Yams
½ cup of butter
1 teaspoon  cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs, separated
½ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
½ cup of evaporated milk

Peel and boil yams until mashable. Add butter, spices, salt, sugar to hot yams. Beat until light and smooth.

Beat egg yolks until light and add to mixture.

Stir in orange juice, orange rind and milk. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold in.

Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell. Preheat oven to 350 and bake 35 minutes or until the pie puffs up and is firm in the middle.  Cool on a rack.

Add whipped cream.

Then, dig in, Pilgrims!  You’ll have something that resembles pumpkin pie but is a thousand times better tasting and easy to make once you assemble the ingredients.  Is it fattening? Sure, but Thanksgiving only comes once a year. 

I have been giving this recipe annually for 50 years. People stop me on the streets of New York and ask me for it or about it.  So, consider this a public service.  And I’ve given you a few days time to work on this dessert, which is really easy to concoct even if you are not a chef.    

The whole world doesn’t like pumpkins except to look at!
I'M NOT rushing the season but Thanksgiving is when tourists and New Yorkers start thinking about those fabulous women in uniform who lean back against one another until they all fall down boom in a straight line on the Radio City Music Hall stage after their little cannon shoots off its imaginary bang! 

I’m talking about the Rockettes and their wooden soldiers number, legends for all Christmases for 85 years! This year the show is refurbished, re-costumed, re-choreographed but with the usual oldies-but-goodies. The opening where Santa takes us into New York City on Christmas Eve while we are wearing the special glasses is worth the rumored $49 price. Surely worth it.

Radio City during the holidays is one of the rare things one can count on.  This year the Rockettes are emphasizing health and fitness as part of their regime and aspiring dancers and dance  fans  can meet the Rockettes, train with them for a day, pose for pictures and all that. Go to the Radio City web site.

But to see the Christmas pageant this year, young or old or middle-aged, you only have until December 30th for the greatest live show in town.  That slogan was invented for the Circus but it truly applies to the glamorous Radio City Rockettes now!

Contact Liz Smith here.

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© 2013 David Patrick Columbia & Jeffrey Hirsch/NewYorkSocialDiary.com