November 23, 2013

Please note: There is no photo of the sweet potatoes featured in this post, because, well, I didn’t take a photo. Get over it.

I’m tired.

Since being awakened all too early this morning when my alarm (which I NEVER set) went off at 6 a.m., I have:

  • Helped Child A rearrange my den, including furniture and art, and hang curtains.
  • Loaded the heaviest coffee table known to modern man into Child C’s SUV.
  • Took Lucy to the groomer.
  • Made three pints of apple butter.
  • Made a coconut cake.
  • Made an attempt at tom kha soup, which wasn’t all that and a bag of chips.
  • Cleaned out the fridge.
  • Made a sweet potato casserole for a pot-luck dinner at church tomorrow, and scorched the pecan topping. They’re getting it anyway. They’re Methodists. Open hearts, open minds, open doors, y’know?

But the den looks fine, and Future Son In Law is getting the table he has always loved for his man cave. Child C and Amazing Grandchild 2 are sleeping over tonight, preparatory to joining me for church tomorrow (amazing what the offer of a pot luck dinner will do). And I have the kitchen mostly clean, although I need to make my way out to the storage room fridge/freezer with two or three loads.

These sweet potatoes, now. I don’t care if the topping was a bit scorched. These are still the best sweet potatoes you’ll have.

I feel kinda ‘shamed about these sweet potatoes, truth be told. Because, well, when you do those second marriages when you’re grown, you naturally enough accumulate some stuff that belonged to or was associated with your spouse’s ex. But taking their sweet potato recipe? I have never felt just exactly right about that.

That said, she did publish it in a community cookbook (of which I was editor, back in the day). And I thought it sounded good, and had in fact begun making it before I married her (ex) husband.

And then I married him, and continued to make it. And always felt a little guilty.

And he, bless his soul, is gone now, and we’d been divorced for 15 years or so before he passed, and I’m STILL making that same sweet potato casserole for holidays.

Here ’tis.

Boil four or five good-sized sweet potatoes (about four pounds’ worth) until they’re tender. Drain, let them cool, and peel them. Put the potatoes into the bowl of your stand mixer. (The stand mixer is not mandatory. It is easy, and I’m all about easy.) Add to them:

  • 2 eggs
  • a stick of butter
  • a teaspoon of vanilla
  • a cup of white sugar
  • Mix that all up, and put it in a 9 x 13 casserole dish.

For the topping, melt:

  • half a stick of butter
  • about 3/4 of a cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup or so pecans

Melt the butter; stir in the flour and sugar and pecans. Sprinkle the resultant crumbly stuff evenly over the potatoes. Bake at 350 for maybe 45 minutes, but not long enough to scorch the pecans, like I did.

Honey. This is some good stuff. Don’t you be bringing no mini-marshamallows up in here next to my sweet potatoes, you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em hear me?

Meanwhile, I’m going to bed.


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