You know, things have a funny way of working out. Well, let me say that another way. It sure is funny when you think you’ve set one path and God has set you another. Yep, that’s more like it. And the truth is, I bet the big man upstairs is chuckling a little right now. You see, about 18 months ago, we set out to sell our house and find a new one with a bit more room. After listing our home, we started searching for another one. After looking at an endless number of homes, we decided that building might be the best option for us so that we could get exactly what we wanted. (I’ll admit I was being a bit particular about the kitchen – but for good reason, I suppose.) We found a gorgeous corner lot in the neighborhood we had always dreamed of raising our little boy in, but when we called the realtor, there was a contract on the property. We took that as a little nudge from God saying that maybe buying was the best option. So again, we set out to buy an existing home. Another comprehensive search over the course of several months ended up fruitless. Okay, so maybe we were supposed to build. So we go back to our favorite neighborhood and buy the very last lot in the neighborhood – which just so happened to be next to the original corner lot that we liked so much. Fast forward a few months. We have a lot, a builder, a beautiful set of customized plans. We’re ready to build our dream home. That is until we hit a brick wall – and unfortunately it wasn’t a brick wall of our new dream home. If you’re not familiar with the building process, here’s a run down of what happened. Before the lender will give you the loan, they order an appraisal of the property based on the plans. Many lenders will only loan you a certain percentage of that assessed value to build. Well, because of the slow construction market in our area our plans appraised well below what we felt it should have and well below the actual cost to build. See the brick wall I’m talking about here? I’m not sure about you all, but there’s not an extra hundred thousand dollars hanging around the bank accounts in this family. So, again, frustrated and exhausted, we go back to the drawing board. During a conversation with Heather late one night, we decided turn it over to God and let him handle it. Anytime I’ve faced decisions that I just couldn’t make, I’ve gone back to the words of my mother… “When you can’t decide what to do, don’t do anything at all.” So that’s exactly what we did about a month ago. In my prayers that night, I just asked God to take over… and he did. This past weekend we moved into a beautiful home. It’s brand new and as close to perfection as anything I’ve seen. You know what the best part is? It’s on that corner lot that we set out to buy over a year ago. Unbelievable, right?? Yep, the guy that bought the lot originally built a house that he was never able to move into because of his job. So we were able to get a great house, at an amazing price, in the perfect neighborhood. Yep, it sure is funny how things turn out when you turn them over to God. You should try it sometimes.
It is Thanksgiving tradition in our family to always have a Sweet Potato Casserole (my family recipe is in the book), but there’s a little bit of work that goes into peeling, cooking, mashing, more cooking, and topping that casserole. This is an abbreviated version that eliminates some of the work, but still has lots of great flavor. Y’all enjoy!
- 3 pounds medium sweet potatoes
- ½ cup butter (1 stick)
- ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Slice them into ¼ inch slices and place them in the baking dish.
- In a medium-sized pot, combine the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Heat over medium until just boiling. Remove from the heat and pour over the sweet potatoes. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and cook for 45 minutes.
- To make the topping, stir together the melted butter, brown sugar, flour, and pecans.
- Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and remove the foil. Sprinkle the topping mixture over the potatoes and cook for an additional 15 minutes.