Tag Archives: Sweet potatoes
January 20, 2015 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
A dish of sweet potatoes was special-occasion food in my family.
They made regular annual appearances at Thanksgiving. My mother was a working, single mom, so Thanksgiving was an endeavor best tackled in stages. Mommy would buy a big bag of sweet potatoes a week before the holiday to get ahead of the crowd. A few days later, she or my Uncle Bobby would scrub the spuds, pile them precariously into the biggest pot we had, covered them with water, and let them boil for hours on the electric stovetop. The pot of potatoes bubbled away beneath the TV and the phone ringing and my family’s normal volume that was always set to “Yell.” As the house settled into the evening, the phone calls more distant and the talk a little quieter, Mommy or Uncle Bobby drained the sweet potatoes, peeled off the skin with a butter knife, sliced them length wise, and arranged them like shingles in a baking dish. That night, or the next day depending on how her full schedule was looking in those scant days before Thanksgiving, Mommy would cloak the naked potato slices in a layer of brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg dotted with pats of butter. The dish baked until it bubbled and the brown sugar formed a crust on the once exposed sweet potato slices. The smell alone was justification for 365 days of waiting.