Marcia Strykowski

Holiday Reading and a Recipe!

AmyChoice_Front - smallerHappy Anniversary to Amy’s Choice! It’s been just over a year now since Amy’s Choice was released. It’s fitting that the sequel to Call Me Amy was published in November since the final chapter takes place on Thanksgiving day. And what better location to spend a cozy holiday than in a little fishing village on the coast of Maine. The first snowflakes are falling as guests arrive with pumpkin pie, cornbread, and a bag of still-warm roasted chestnuts.

Here’s an excerpt from Amy’s Choice:

Thanksgiving day dawned bright and chilly. Smells of turkey and turnip wafted through the house all morning. Mom was in her element, bustling about the kitchen in her holiday apron. I made little name cards shaped like turkeys to put at each place setting. And then I stuffed dates with walnuts and rolled them in white powdered sugar. In a special long dish that had belonged to my grandmother, I put celery sticks with black olives nestled in the hollows. I was excited, though nervous, too. Would everything go all right? Would everyone get along okay?

Later in the story, Amy teaches her guests how to make turkey apples for table decorations. For further instructions, please click on the Recipes & Crafts tab in the menu.
turkiesturkey apples

2968429Not only did my own children, along with nieces and nephews, enjoy making turkey apples each Thanksgiving, but we also had holiday stories to pull out and revisit every year. Without a doubt, one of our favorites was the humorous Thanksgiving at the Tappletons’.

For years I made the usual sweet potato casserole—orange and covered in marshmallows. But ever since switching to yellow-fleshed sweet potatoes, I’ve lost all interest in the orange variety.  I also try to stick with healthier recipes that work for guests on special diets. Marshmallows not only don’t work for vegetarians, but they’re loaded with corn syrup, so who needs them? Instead, try this delicious easy dish.
potato recipe

Last year’s Thanksgiving post included the origins of the song: “Over the River and Through the Wood.” You can revisit that blog post here.

Does your family have any Thanksgiving traditions?
To those of you in the states, have a wonderful, peaceful Thanksgiving. And to all of my readers, near and far, please know I am grateful for all of you. Without readers, there would be no reason to blog and I’ve got to admit it’s become a fun habit. Thanks!

34 Comments

  1. I would have never thought to mix garlic w/sweet potatoes! But I love both of those things so…=) Cute turkey apples! I’m making sw. pot cass this year, but mine has a brown sugar/pecan topping, so yeah, not healthy either, lol!

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    • Hmmm, brown sugar/pecan is another great option. Enjoy your Thanksgiving, Leandra!

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  2. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Marcia! I’m so grateful I met you – in writing and laughter.

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  3. Donna Carlino

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Marcia! When I was growing up, we not only had a turkey dinner with all the “fixin’s”….we would also have lasagna. One year my Mom put her foot down regarding the lasagna because no one would hardly eat the turkey, etc! We always had lots of desserts…apple pie, pumpkin pie, homemade banana bread, date nut bread to name a few. I miss those days

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    • I was so happy to see your comment come in, Donna! Sounds like you have some wonderful Thanksgiving memories. Thanks so much for reading my blog and best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  4. Bette Norton

    I love your turkey apples and your recipe for sweet potatoes! I am very thankful for your wonderful posts filled with so much information on many interesting topics, visiting author’s homesteads, meeting new authors through your Author’s Spotlight’s posts, music and travel, history and recipes and crafts and so much more. I enjoy your posts very much! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! 🙂

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    • Thank you very much, Bette. I appreciate your kind words as it’s not always easy to know which posts resonate with readers. A wonderful Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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  5. Happy Thanksgiving and Book Anniversary, Marcia! I love the idea of garlic with sweet potato more than with marshmallows (somehow marshmallows make me cringe because they are just toooooo sweet).

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    • Thank you, Claudine! Marshmallows ARE overly sweet, although I did always like them mixed with yams. But I ❤ sweet potatoes with garlic, now.

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  6. The sweet potato dish sounds delicious. So many sweet potato recipes call for sugar or other sweeteners; I like that this one doesn’t.

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  7. That recipe sounds delicious! I like to roast the white sweet potatoes with some paprika and other spices. It makes an interesting sweet-spicy combo.

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  8. I’ve been looking for a craft for the group of kids I’ll be with – thanks for sharing!

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  9. I’ve never tasted sweet potatoes, but your recipe sounds delicious so it’s time I tried them. Turkey apples are also new to me, but they look like a lot of fun, so I’m going to have a go at making them with my granddaughters.
    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Marcia. Thank you for your friendship. I will be away from my blog until the end of January, but I look forward to catching up with you then. Happy New Year Barbara.
    PS I enjoyed the excerpt From Amy’s Choice

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    • Thanks so much for your comment and most of all your friendship, Barbara. I’ll enjoy picturing you decorating apples with your beautiful granddaughters. I bake whole sweet potatoes just about every night, hope you get to try them. Have a well deserved break and a wonderful rest of the year. See you in ’16!

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  10. mirkabreen

    “Smells of Turkey and Turnip…” Love that. Never would have thought about the smell of a turnip, but now I’ve got to try it!
    Joyous and yummy holiday, Marcia.

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    • I think I like the smell of turnip even better than the taste, but I’ve just realized I’m not serving it this year. I’ll miss its fragrant smell. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Mirka.

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  11. slochman

    Happy Thanksgiving! I am so grateful for your positive and continuous input! Wonderful post.

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  12. Oh, that looks delish! Happy Thanksgiving Marcia!!!

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  13. Ashley

    That excerpt brought me right back to why I love Amy’s Choice. I think the Thanksgiving chapter was my favorite. Very cute craft pictures!! Thank you for all your blog posts and now I’m looking forward to trying sweet potatoes!! Happy Thanksgiving Marcia!!

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    • Thanks so much, Ashley. Best wishes for a beautiful Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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  14. The sweet potato recipe looks yummy. I’ll have to try it. Sweet post and photos. Happy Turkey Day!

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  15. Love the apple turkeys. I always enjoy your posts. I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are enjoying leftovers of the sweet potato casserole-if there was any that is! 🙂

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    • Thank you, Kathleen. I hope your holiday was wonderful, too. We’re just about done with leftovers here!

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  16. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. 🙂 I really enjoyed the excerpt of your latest book. Loved the pictures that went with the post and the recipe too. I have Thanksgiving at the Tappletons, but haven’t gotten to read it yet. It looks cute! Thanks for sharing.

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    • Hi Stephanie, thanks for your kind words. Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

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  17. Love the Thanksgiving at the Tappletons’s!! I read it to my fourth graders every year– I know it’s for younger kids– but the message is great and they love the humor…

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    • Oh I think picture books are great for all ages. I’m glad your fourth graders get to enjoy the Tappletons!

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