Sep 28, 2019

Grandma Fried Her Sweet Potatoes on a Wood Burning Stove!

This post was done in 2014 over at Dolly is Cooking.  I thought since it is sweet potato season it would be a good thing to transfer over to main blog here.

Do you like sweet potatoes?  I do they are so versatile.  There is nothing like a baked sweet potato, so moist, sweet and delicious.  I love when you bake them and some sweet juice has caramelized underneath the potato.  That is the one I would choose off of the baking pan. 

You can make a southern favorite Sweet Potato Pie!  My Mama and grandmothers also made something that they called Sweet Potato Pudding, delicious hot or cold.  Souffles, casseroles, sweet potato fries, there are any number of ways to use this very healthy vegetable that tastes like a think about that!

Today we are frying sliced sweet potatoes.

I wish I could remember how Grandma Cora's wood burning stove looked.  I really don't remember the white like the one pictured below and think her stove was all black.  I do remember watching her stand over that stove and cooking some of the best food that I've ever put into my mouth.  Picture the lace cornbread, fried squash and fried sweet potatoes cooked in an iron skillet on a wood burning stove. 

I found this little wood/coal burning stove 
1954 Coal Wood Range 
Price: $49.95 
Description White parts are porcelain enameled. Balance plain black finish. Side pouch feed for coal. Burn soft coal or wood that is eighteen inches long. Polished six lid cook top. Oven heat indicator. High closest model. 

I can remember Granddaddy cutting wood a lot.  My Aunt Fannie and I, when staying with them would go to the wood pile he had cut to get some to place on the back porch.  A wonderful screened in porch complete with a hand pump, winger washer, tin wash and foot tubs.  The coldest, best water I have ever drank came from that hand pump.

The kitchen of that house was built away from the rest of the rooms.  When Grandma and those lived there the hall had been built to connect the rest of the home to the kitchen.  They did that long ago to prevent the entire home from burning down if the kitchen caught fire.  Strange thing is this home did burn to the ground so sadly a lot of family pictures and heirlooms were lost. 

The living room was called the heater room by my grandparents.  Let me tell you something that room should have been called the heater room.  Hot does not describe the heat in that one room!  Granddaddy was a slim man and evidently cold all of the time.  He kept busy chopping wood and filling the potbelly stove (like the one pictured below) and the wood burning stove. 
potbelly stove from Appalachia Museum

Topic:  Sweet Potatoes

I now have a stove that I can't use an iron frying pan.  I hate it!  If you can use an iron frying pan for cooking these they will be so crispy and delicious.

Use small sweet potatoes.  The ones I used today were slim about 2 inches wide by approximately 6 inches long.   Why you may ask?  They taste better, are usually a lot more tender and easier to slice. I heard a chef on PBS say not long ago that her mother and grandmother told her this but she thinks it may be just fork lore.  I can tell you those older women knew what they are talking about.  It is true they are more tender and taste better.

I am using a coated griddle pan to fry mine.  
  • Wash, peel and slice lengthwise about 1/8 inch thick.
  • Put only enough vegetable, canola, or olive oil to just cover the pan.
  • Cook over medium heat to cook through and watch so they will not burn. 
  • Remove from pan when tender and browned to your liking.  
  • Sprinkle with a little salt and a mixture of sugar and cinnamon if you wish. 

My pictures do not do these justice but they are delicious.

photo and info credit

Sweet Potatoes are an incredibly nutritious food that are packed with antioxidants like beta carotene, vitamins C, E & D, and minerals such as manganese and iron. They are also high in potassium which helps to lower blood pressure by removing excess sodium and regulating fluid balance in the body. Sweet potatoes are an excellent anti-stress food and are known to help relax muscles, steady nerves, more HERE

Fry up some today, they are delicious!


  1. Great post, Dolly. Let me know if you would like to cook together sometime and film it.
    So much we could talk about when it comes to the old foods.

    1. Hi Linda!
      Thank you!  You know cooking together would be great I would love that!  We must make plans to do that.