Sweet Potato Casserole
Happy Thanksgiving everybody. I’m going to steal the first t.g. post with my mom’s sweet potato casserole, because Leland is busy brining the turkey and being mad that he’s “already behind on the recipe,” whatever that means.
Originally this wasn’t my mom’s recipe, it was her mom’s, but some time probably during the Reconstruction every lady in the South started making sweet potato casserole. This is, however, the best of their recipes. My mom served it at the Wilson family Thanksgiving to my great apprehension, but everybody loved it—even the regular authors of this weblog.
A note on the terminology
“Often called a yam, the sweet potato is not in the Yam family, but that is only the beginning of the confusion.” You’re telling me, Wikipedia! I grew up calling these things sweet potatoes, but have grown accustomed to the yankee conspiracy to label them yams. Fresh Direct condescends to label theirs Jewel Yams “Sweet Potato” for us ignorant southerners, while selling something else under the label Sweet Potato that I promise you do not want. If anybody doesn’t believe me that sweet potato is the right name for the orange-fleshed tuber in this recipe, why don’t you go eat one of these true yams, smart-aleck northerners!
Sweet Potato Casserole, Marilyn’s Modifications
(Not that the original is even here, but I like the way that sounds.)
- 6 sweet potatoes
Bake these for 1 1/2 hours at 350º, then allow to cool. The skin should be soft and easy to peel, or else you have the wrong vegetable and you may as well throw it out now.
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Mix in with the sweet potatoes as you’re mashing. When thoroughly mixed and smooth, pour into a casserole (dish).
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1/3 cup flour
Mix in a bowl, then spread atop the sweet potatoes.
Bake for 1/2 hour at good old 350º.
Now here’s the most important part: you don’t cook and eat the sweet potato casserole. When it first comes out of the oven the topping is a light brown color and its sugar base shows distinct granules—and that ain’t right. The casserole must spend the night in the refrigerator, after which it will emerge with a dark brown inscrutable topping that will amaze your friends and family.
I am thankful for sweet potato casserole.