I moved to Mongolia after I got married and had my first child. She was only six weeks old when I made Mongolia my home. It was September. The Autumn and Winter holidays that followed were my first holidays ever outside my parents’ house. I wanted to have Thanksgiving–real Thanksgiving. But, there are not turkeys in Mongolia, unless they are imported for foreign business people and cost an arm and a leg. Besides, my oven was about the size of a shoe box, so I couldn’t have roasted one anyway.
Sweet potatoes, yams and pumpkins were also not available. Forget about lettuce or other greens!
I started to realize that creating an authentically American experience was not going to happen. I made my peace with that, counted my blessings and bought a chicken. I baked it with a honey glaze. I called up a missionary who lived about four hours away and asked her what she did instead of pumpkin or yams. I just felt that there must be something orange on the table! She gave me the following recipe.
Several years later we were to celebrate the holidays back in America at my parents’ house. Each family was supposed to bring something. I got assigned the vegetable. So, I said I was making carrot souffle. Some members of my family gave me a look. Maybe you know that look. It says, “You can’t be serious. Why do you always have to be so weird.” Everyone was so skeptical. And then the moment of truth. They took a bite and said, “This is actually really good!!!” And then they had seconds. And thirds.
And since that day this souffle has found its way onto our table every Thanksgiving, Christmas and sometimes even at Easter.
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 heaping tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat carrots with mixer or in blender. Add all other ingredients and beat well.
Bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until set.
Sprinkle with chopped walnuts or pecans. Bake five minutes longer.
(Linked to Try A New Recipe Tuesday)