Yes, that is a PURPLE SWEET POTATO. I KNOW!
My favorite sarcastic farmers were selling purple sweet potatoes and I was like “!!!! fun novelty item for potluck!”
And then I (as well as the ENTIRE STAFF where I work including our bosses) received an email inviting me to a Christmas luau at Steve’s, to celebrate the holidays, Hawaiian culture, and the fact that we just got a new Americorps member, David, who is currently, due to housing complications, sharing a one bedroom apartment with Steve (and would thus be graciously if somewhat involuntarily cohosting).
So purple sweet potatoes are apparently Hawaiian!
Since I was at Steve’s, I knew there’d be a limited pantry but plenty of hot sauce, so I brought my own pumpkin pie spice and bummed some of his Sriracha (olive oil, salt, pepper, and a bit of cayenne also went to the mashed mix. And I roasted the sweet potatoes first, OBVI!)
Final thoughts? Purple sweet potatoes are basically a slightly less sweet version of regular sweet potatoes. But hot damn are they PURPLE.
Our cohosts did a great job of welcoming us. There was of course Hawaiian pizza (I already like having David as a coworker because he tolerates, nay indulges, my obnoxious blog picture taking).
I somehow ended up taking the pizza out of the oven, which was sort of a dicey proposition becaaaaaaaause Steve’s kitchen is sort of in the bare-essentials-bachelor style and thus contains a single baking sheet. So when it was occupied with something else he just took the metal shelf out of the microwave and covered it with foil. And then I got to take that out of the oven… one handed… with a kitchen towel.
Steve also made festive daiquaris that followed a recipe that contained all the typical ingredients:
But somehow ended up like an alcohol sorbet… a STRONG alcohol sorbet.
Out on the table there were various classy/complicated nibbly appetizers our bossed picked up, my favorite of which was sort of fruity-cheesy…
There were latkes (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) with of course both applesauce and sour cream (and I had both!). They were Trader Joe’s brand and oh my godddddddddddddddd Trader Joe you make good latkes. Though when you get down to it, “good latkes” is a pretty redundant pair of words.
In other fried deliciousness, Erin (the nice supervisor one, not the nice coworker one. They are both named Erin G. and usually sit next to each other) made HOMEMADE WONTONS! Some were crab, some were veggie, and they were aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawesome.
(that’s the finished pizza in the background which was good but… wet).
My favorite reasonably healthy thing was the salad made by Katie (my supervisor, an awesome human being, and a good salad maker). It had cucumber, red pepper, chickpeas, goat cheese (mmm when she got that out I went on a long, slightly ridiculous tangent about how I’d probably eat squirrel meat if someone put goat cheese on it), and a yummy vinaigrette.
There was more, but, yknow, the paparazzi must rest.
Steve made everyone start off the luau with a toast… but not of drinks… of popsicles.
I do not eat popsicles in December. But my coworkers were game.
Then the eats. I figured I’d be nice and take a little plate so the new guests would feel welcome… but yknow little plates mean refills… so multiply all these quantities by like 3.
And then there was an irritating quantity of delicious desserts, including Patricia’s orange and coconut cupcakes, Carolyn’s chocolate croissants…
And then oh. em. gee. Kyle’s concoction.
So apparently a Southerner friend of his taught him how to make “quick peach cobbler”: a can of peaches, a box of cake mix, mixed together, topped with a stick of butter, chopped up and spread out. He made this “tropical” by replacing the peaches with pineapple.
OH MY GOD GUYS I LOVE BUTTER SO MUCH.
The evening concluded with a white elephant gift exchange.
I parted with an enchanting Mickey Mouse tshirt that my stepmother brought me from Taiwan, but received a lovely murder mystery game. However, by farrrrrrrrrrr the best gift of the night was Patricia’s (made by Carolyn): a make-your-own snow globe with a picture of… Uncle Jesse from Full House!