Chat with Jayni about autumn cooking

November 1, 2007

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Jayni Carey, host of "Jayni's Kitchen" on Sunflower Broadband Channel 6, will take questions and offer tips about autumn cuisine.


Welcome to today's chat. Jayni Carey, host of "Jayni's Kitchen" on Sunflower Broadband Channel 6, is here to share her culinary knowledge in this season of savory cooking. With the holidays approaching and the local growing season ending, we're sure you have lots of questions about what's available and how to approach those big meals on the horizon. I'm Mindie Paget, and I'll be moderating the conversation. Thanks for being here, Jayni.

Jayni Carey:

Thanks for inviting me, Mindie. The holidays will be here before we know it and it's time to start planning family holiday meals and having your friends in to celebrate the season. Planning ahead will make entertaining a fun time for all with a little organization.


I'm a vegetarian, with very little time, and I LOVE squash. Any quick, autumn squash tips?

Jayni Carey:

Yet, eat lots of squash! There are many varieties grown locally that are available this fall. Winter squash keeps for months in a cool place so you can keep it on hand. Shash is a good source of fiber and vitamins as well. My favorite way to cook winter squash is to roast it in the oven and finish with butter, salt and pepper, and maybe a little brown sugar. On next week's Jayni's Kitchen (starting Tues.), Italian Chef, Andrea Sposini will prepare butternut squash gnocchi. It's awesome so please tune in!


Hi Jayni--Love your show! I'm looking for a unique non-traditional sweet potato recipe for Thanksgiving dinner. Something that would appeal to all those people who say they hate sweet potatoes. Nothing with marshmallows, please. Thanks.

Jayni Carey:

I've got a recipe for you! I also prefer to skip the sweet potatoes with marshmellows. I bake the sweet potatoes in their jackets at 375 degrees. Peel them, then mash them with a little creme fraiche (French dairy product) and a little butter, salt and pepper to taste. They should be the consistency of mashed potatoes. Spread them out in a shallow baking dish and cover and refrigerate until ready to use. (You can make this recipe ahead!). When ready to bake, put them in a 350 degree oven, uncovered, for about 15-20 min. to heat throughout. Sprinkle the top with a handful of coarsely chopped walnuts and a drizzle of maple syrup, bake 5 min. more. This recipe has been a hit for the last few years at my neighbor Tom's house on Thanksgiving.


Hi Jayni,
I would love to see more tips for eating locally and more vegan recipes on the show. Autumn would be a great time for this with so many wonderful local squashes for soups (the CSA has extended its season), and don't forget the magnificent local chestnuts. Are there any plans to include more of this on the show? Thanks!

Jayni Carey:

Certainly. The Community Mercantile is our sponsor and we always love to use locally grown foods whenever possible. In fact we will be doing a show in early '08 about how to eat locally in the winter, followed in the summer by a second show on eating locally in the summer. Hopefully we'll be able to remind everyone to support the local farmers and enjoy the freshest foods available to us. If you check out the recipes on our website you'll find Nancy O'Connors recipes from a recent show on preparing squash and pumpkin. We have featured chestnuts on the show in the past and hopefully will do so again. Thanks for your interest!


Back to sweet potatoes. Could you please explain the difference between sweet potatoes and yams?

Jayni Carey:

Yams are a tropical vine tuber and are popular in South America, Asia, Africa and the West Indies. Though they are similar to sweet potatoes, they are actually from a different plant species. When you see "yams" in the grocery store, they are acutally sweet potatoes. Yams are rarely grown in the US. Sweet potatoes are richer in vitamins A and C and are less starchy than yams.


Hi, Jayni. I am bringing an appetizer to Thanksgiving dinner and want to bring something cold so I won't be competing for oven time with everyone else. Any ideas?

Jayni Carey:

How about some goat cheese? You can make an easy spread by mashing up some soft goat cheese with a bit of lemon juice, lemon zest and fresh thyme. Serve with toasted baguette or crackers. Also a selection of olives, cheeses, nuts and crackers make an easy to serve appetizer. I'd keep it simple since there is always so much to eat on Thanksgiving. You don't want people to fill up too much on appetizers!


I watch your show often and ifnd you cook with a lot of butter/fat. Can you do a fall segment on no/low fat no meat dishes and meals?

Jayni Carey:

We just did a show called Winter Squash & Pumpkin with Nancy O'Connor. None the the recipes contained butter, and very little oil was used. They were all vegetarian. You can check them out on our website at We often feature such recipes (we try to have somthing for everyone). We also do a quarterly feature called Tips For Eating Well With Cass Ryan. Remember, a moderate amount of fat in your diet is okay for most people unless you have medical condition. Personally, I use olive oil whenever possible, and eat smaller amounts of foods that are high in fat. It's all about balance and moderation.


And we'll wrap up today's chat with a question that surely plagues us all.


what is the cranberry gel that poses for cranberries during the holidays? is it of earthly origin?

Jayni Carey:

You must mean Ocean Spray Cranberry gel! I'm not sure if this stuff is of this world. I admit, I used to love it as a kid, and my family still does, so I always make something with fresh cranberries for Frank and I. There are many quick and easy to cook (see directions on the package if you don't have a favorite recipe), and the are so much better than the canned gel! Fresh cranberries are very high in vitamin C.


Thanks for joining us for today's chat. Your questions were great. And thanks to you, Jayni, for taking time to answer the questions.


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