Friday, November 23, 2018

Sweet potato casserole

The 52 Ancestors theme this week is “thankful.”

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and one of the dishes on my table was this sweet potato casserole. It’s one that for years has graced many a Thanksgiving table in my family. I remember Mama making this sweet delight when I was growing up in Atlanta, but we called it a souffle instead of a casserole.

Now you might ask what this has to do with this week’s “thankful” theme. That’s easy—every time I make this casserole, I’m reminded of the years Mama came to Virginia and spent Thanksgiving week with me. She’d arrive the weekend before, we’d plan the Thanksgiving meal, and then I’d go shopping. On Wednesday, we’d crank up the Christmas music and spend the day in the kitchen preparing anything we could make in advance for the big feast. We laughed and had a good time while we worked. It was always so much fun. I hadn't made the casserole myself, thinking it was complicated, so Mama taught me how on one of her visits. And it couldn’t have been easier!

Being able to include this dish on our menu yesterday was great, but the true treasures are the rocking chair memories it brings to me every time I make it. And for that, I’m thankful. 

Casserole before baking
Sweet Potato Casserole
2 c. cooked sweet potatoes (about six)
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. butter
Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

1 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. flour
1 c. pecans, chopped
1/3 c. butter, melted

Bake the sweet potatoes in a 400-degree oven until soft. Once cool enough to handle, peel, and cut up into a large bowl. Add the sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk, butter, and spices then mix together with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into a buttered casserole dish. Mix topping ingredients together and spread on top of the potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly on the edges.

If you don’t like pecans, replace the topping with miniature marshmallows (my own family’s preference). If you do that, put the marshmallows in during the last few minutes, turn the oven to broil, and bake until browned. Don’t walk away though. It doesn’t take long and if left too long, the marshmallows will burn.

This is a great recipe to make the day before. Prepare the potatoes according to the recipe and store them in a large Ziploc bag. The next day, pour the potatoes into a buttered casserole dish, add the topping, and bake.

If you look hard, you'll see five little heads in this car.
Mama started making rocking chair memories with us years ago.

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