Dad’s cynical yams

My dad gave up a career in architecture to work with food. He quit his job and moved the family to a small farm from Seattle. That was 25 years ago. So it goes without saying that food and aesthetics have always been of paramount importance in the Kennelly Ullman house. Along with being an architect and a chef, my dad was also a hippie, and over the years my brother and I were forced into veganism, fallism (only eating stuff that has fallen naturally from the tree) and any other new-age food trend that would come out of Eugene and make its way to the coast. And we hated it. We had to spend the money we made working in the family bakery to buy normal food for lunch at school just so we could avoid the “What are you eating now Mark-o?” comments.

The thing is, my dad knew we just wanted to eat like all the other kids on the block, and being the loving guy he is, he made us one concession. Yams! My father does not really believe in the holidays or any of the traditions that surround them. But he attempted to create a traditional All-American dish like the ones a grandmother would cull from a 1960’s holiday Reader’s Digest to show us how he cared. Hardly Father Christmas, but my father just the same.

Dad’s cynical yams

7 pounds yams, pre-cooked and cut into 1 inch slices

1/2 pint cream

8 ounces cream cheese

1/2 teaspoon mace, cardamom, salt

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 cup pecans saut퀌�ed in one stick of butter

1 stick of butter

* Cook and slice the yams into 1 inch pieces, then layer on the bottom of a backing dish.

* Blend the cream, cream cheese, mace, cardamom, salt and brown sugar. Pour mixture over yams (if too thick, add milk).

* Sautee pecans in butter until soft and layer on the top of backing dish.

* Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven until warmed through (30 minutes).