One week until Thanksgiving

This time next Thursday most Americans will be lazing around with full bellies - but until then there is a mad rush of things to do. Clean the house, buy the turkey, start the pies and side dishes! Speaking of side dishes, we spent Sunday evening at Oliver's cousin's annual Thanksgiving Sides Party. This was our third year in attendance and I have to say it's such a fun idea for a dinner party! Everyone brings one homemade Thanksgiving dinner side dish and sets it out buffet style. No turkey at this meal!  It not only allows for a practice run of dishes you're considering for the big day but it's also a great way to sample other's family traditions and secret recipes.

This year the meal started with with a yellow squash soup (last year it was tomato soup with a floating ginger man made of toast). Side dishes included: Oliver's sweet potato gnocchi with a sage butter (recipe below), my usual kale with olive oil, brussels sprouts and a sweet potato casserole topped with brown sugar (I think it was brown sugar).  Dessert was an incredible pecan pie made from our host's grandmother's recipe.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi
2 large sweet potatoes, baked peeled, mashed and cooled.
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 tsp nutmeg
2 cups AP flour

Mix above then fold in up to two cups of flour, a half cup at a time,
just until you get a workable dough.  With floured hands and a lightly
floured surface, roll out a hand full at a time to half-inch wide
snakes. Cut them into gnocchi sized gnocchi and cook in boiling water.
 Pull them out with a slotted spoon as they rise to the surface and
drain on a kitchen towel.

Sage brown butter sauce:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 hand full of sage leaves (10?)
1 tsp ground nutmeg

Melt butter over medium heat until the milk solids are about to start
to brown. Toss in the sage leaves in the pan and swirl over the heat
until dark green and limp.  Toss with the warm gnocchi and serve.