Dec 11, 2013

Memories and Sweet Potatoes

I have always loved sweet potatoes and my first memories of them are from long ago.

Hello and hope all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  This time of year we in the south have  many wonderful foods available and the sweet potato is one of them I especially like.

Mama "Dot"
Beautiful inside and out!

Mama always made something she called "Sweet Potato Pudding". This dish had very few ingredients but would melt in your mouth.  The family always loved it, so much that it was almost a staple in our home.  She could make the very best that's sure.  She would say, " Cook your potatoes or you can even use yams in a can.  "Put in some sugar, cinnamon, maybe some nutmeg,eggs and a little milk oh, and a stick of butter.." I declare good cooks just don't measure most of the time.

Daddy worked in his shop, which was behind the house.  I can remember him coming in for a cup of coffee quite often.  He loved his coffee so much or maybe it was also an excuse to visit mama and we children.  If mama had made this sweet potato pudding it would most likely have been refrigerated and he would automatically get him a piece or two!  I can still see the smile on his face.  He would from time to time walk over to his mother's house next door and see what goodies she would have baked.

He was such a kind hard working man.  He treated everyone in the same manner with kindness. Daddy had fought just 8 short years before my birth all over the Mediterranean during WWII in a secret unit.  They were called the Artillery to Darby's Rangers. My hero and my friend whom I miss so much.

 Grandmother "Goldie" and Daddy "Carl"

Grandmother Goldie loved her sweet potatoes too.  She made a very good "Sweet Potato Pudding".  It was a lot spicier than Mama's was. I think her's had lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger. It was good just the same.  Wish I had her recipe too.  I'll have to experiment with that one.
This woman was an extremely good cook.  I guess we've been blessed to have had such good cooks in the family.

My fondest memories of this grandmother are of her home.  It was a very pretty plantation type southern home with a wrap around porch.  She had beautiful fancy furniture as I like to call it from a child's mind back then.  We didn't run and play wildly in that home, no sir ree not us.  Our bottoms would be paddled if we had.  We sat on the velvet chairs and looked around at all of the what nots the know the things we weren't to touch.

The most fun we had there was out on the farm.  Chickens, cows, guineas,goats a beautiful working windmill, large barns and pack houses.

To me the most fascinating and scary place...the smokehouse.. things were hanging in there. Things like ham and such. Ha! Funny now to think that dark, hot, then cool place was scary. I didn't know what all of that was hanging from hooks, and yet I was drawn to that place.

She also raised worms..ugh to me worms.  They loved to fish so they used them quite often.  I got off subject didn't I?
continuing on...

"Grandmama Cora"

Some of my fondest memories are of Grandmama Cora. She was (my mama) Dot's mama.  She was the sweetest woman alive and rather short, she always wore an apron. She had the softest voice and never spoke a harsh word about anyone ever. No not just words she never in my lifetime spoke ill of anyone.

I remember her cooking on her wood stove.  The room was extremely hot of course from the fire. 
I can picture her now standing in front of that stove frying slices of sweet potato on an iron frying pan. She simply sliced them lengthwise and fried them in a little oil, which if my memory serves me correctly was lard that they had rendered from their own pork. It seemed that while she was doing that she would also be frying up some great lace cornbread or baking some of the best biscuits in the world!  I kid you not.  She would also bake those delicious sweet potato delicacies in that same wood burning stove.

I can remember the smells coming from that kitchen while playing around their home were so good! I could write a book of the wonderful times that we all had at this grandmama's house.

I had watched mama  make her " Sweet Potato Pudding" so many times.  I thought I would try it from memory. I made it for Thanksgiving Dinner. It was so close to hers I was thrilled.  It was like she was with us for this first holiday without her. God does bless you with these memories and feelings. We miss her so much and always will but the good memories will help us carry on without her.  It feels as if she is still with us.

Sweet Potato Pointers
You must find local sweet potatoes.  They are especially delicious this time of year. You MUST bake them in a conventional oven, no not a micowave.   Bake at 400 degrees until fork tender.  You want them very tender because you will be mashing them.  Look at the picture.  It may look messy to you but that juice that has caramelized on the pan is pure sweetness and that is what you hope for.

Thanks all for letting me share a few memories and for being such loyal friends & followers.


  1. What sweet memories!
    I love Sweet Potatoes, I will be checking out your recipe!

  2. Hi Sandra,
    Thank you! So good to see you!

  3. Oh my word....this is the sweetest thing I've read in quite a long time. You sure do have quite the beautiful vamily and all of it somehow centering around yummy food ;) :) I"m gonna need to seriously learn how to improve my cooking skills ;) :) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

    1. Dear Heather,
      That is such a lovely compliment especially coming from you. You are one of the sweetest young ladies I know! Love ya girl have a good rest of the weekend.