Holiday time has rolled around again. Time to prep for my standing assignment, sweet potatoes. No, I don’t mean yams. Grocery stores sometimes label them as yams, but they’re really sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes sound delicious. Yams sound like something you just yacked up. But whatever you call them, we’re cooking the taters that are purple outside and orange inside. The ones that are about 2″ in diameter work best in this dish, and try to get them fairly uniform in size so they cook at the same time. So, pick through that potato bin like it’s your job.
My sweet potato recipe comes from my Aunt Violet, who was my Dad’s older sister and my stand-in grandmother, since his mother died before I was born. She owned a little restaurant in Fowler, California for a while, and she was a really awesome cook. She taught me all about healthy eating. Fruit pies & her homemade jams & jellies contained fruit. Fruit is good for you. Hence her pies and jelly were health foods and must be eaten at every opportunity. Same goes for these sweet potatoes. Remember that under all the butter and sugar are sweet potatoes, which are very good for you, so you can feel good about shoveling them in.
Her sweet potatoes have spread to my Mom’s family, and to my husband’s family, who now require them at all holiday meals. Fortunately these are a dish best made ahead of time, so the sweet potatoes get to soak in all the tasty goodness of the syrup we cook them in. You can make them a day or two ahead of time, or even a month ahead and stick them in the freezer. Freezing doesn’t hurt a thing, in fact it might even make them better.
I bake them at home and transport them to family dinners in an electric roaster, to keep them warm until serving time. Two 9 X 13 pans full is enough for our big family dinners of about 35 people.
So, check out Aunt Violet’s sweet potato recipe. Somebody else better learn to make them because I can’t do it forever!