Give Thanks

Today the Filipino American community at Ascension Catholic Church gathered together to celebrate Thanksgiving with a  mass officiated by a local Filipino priest.   This celebration was first started 38 years ago by our tireless “godmother” Manang Pat.  She is a quiet force and voice for the Filipino parishioners at our church.  She used to work for the church school until she retired and has been a lifelong volunteer for several ministries at church.  She is a Sacristan, a Eucharistic Minister, a former Minister for the Sick leader among others.  She also used to lead the Donut serving crew one month a year and counts the Sunday collection every Monday morning.  It is no wonder that her dedicated service to the church was recognized by Pope Francis with a special Papal commendation.  We give thanks for the gift of this faithful servant over the years. IMG_6526 Part of the celebration is a potluck dinner and a short entertainment.  Sanlahi, Inc. has performed Philippine cultural dances for the past few years. Today we performed 3 dances.  We give thanks to a tireless choreographer, teacher, and costume designer, Chan.  She has single-handedly sewn our costumes as well as patiently teach us the dance steps. IMG_6527 We give thanks for family.  Our small family of four grew with the addition of our sweet little Zeke.  He is our first grandson from Megan and Donald.  It has been a happy year for the family since his arrival in December.  He has been a blessing to us all. IMG_4215.jpg We give thanks for food, glorious food!  Every year, we share favorite dishes to bring to the potluck dinner.  Favorites such as lumpia, puto, and pancit graced the dinner table again this year.

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Brown sugar-glazed Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows

I shared a family favorite.  This recipe is from Bon Appetit (1994) through .  It is very simple to prepare and is a perfect dish to share for potluck gatherings.  Interestingly, our daughter Erin also prepared the dish for a Thanksgiving potluck dinner she attended today.  The addition of sliced almonds steps up this simple dish a notch.  The recipe calls for mini marshmallows but today we only had large ones and it worked just fine.

Brown Sugar-glazed Sweet Potatoes With Marshmallows


  • 4 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1-in pieces
  • 2/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 375 °F.  Arrange potatoes in 13 X 9 X 2 glass baking dish Combine sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger in heavy small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Pour over potatoes; toss to coat.  Cover dish tightly with foil. Bake potatoes 50 minutes Uncover; bake until potatoes are tender and syrup thickens slightly, basting occasionally, about 20 minutes.  Increase over temperature to 500 °F.  Top potatoes with marshmallows and nuts.  Return to oven; bake until marshmallows begin to melt and nuts begin to brown, about 3 minutes. IMG_4790IMG_4811IMG_4803IMG_4814IMG_6480 2IMG_6488 2 What is a classic dish you prepare for Thanksgiving? cropped-joy2-e1503862820383.png


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