Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes

I don’t know if the Pilgrims ate sweet potatoes on that first Thanksgiving but most of us like to serve them with our dinner. My mother used to open a couple of cans of sweet potatoes, put them in a baking dish, top them with some brown sugar and marsh mellows and bake until they were nice and brown and gooey. Unfortunately, it was not a very tasty dish and it put me off sweet potatoes. I didn’t start liking sweet potatoes until I had a baked one in a restaurant. Now I love them. I buy the wrapped and ready to bake sweet potatoes in the grocery store. You can microwave them in minutes and add your favorite toppings.

Every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I make a sweet potato casserole. Last year I was feeling lazy so instead of peeling, boiling, and making a sweet potato casserole, I washed them, wrapped them in foil, and baked them in the oven along with my turkey. After about an hour and a half, they were nice and soft. I pulled them out of the oven and let them cool just a little. I sliced them in half, scooped out the pulp, and mashed them with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. They were amazingly delicious! However, if you do need a prettier dish for company, this sweet potato casserole is easy to make and tastes delicious. It also has some crunch to it.

Sweet Potato Casserole
2 lbs. sweet potatoes
½ cup butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup flour

Peel and cut potatoes into chunks. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook on medium heat until tender (about 20-25 minutes). Drain and return to pot. Mash until smooth. Cool 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt half the butter. Using a large bowl lightly beat eggs and then beat in vanilla, melted butter, and sweet potatoes. Transfer to casserole dish. Combine sugar, pecans, and flour. Work in remaining butter with fork until pea sized crumbs form. Sprinkle over potato mixture and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

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