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Sweet potatoes taste like fall

October 4, 2011

One day this week, my mother-in-law came home to a huge bucket of sweet potatoes on the porch. A neighbor had been gleaning after the pickers had worked the fields.
He collected several five-gallon buckets full of sweet potatoes for all his friends.
At Sunday lunch, we all sampled a new sweet potato casserole recipe thanks to the hard work and generosity of Thomas Earl Latham.
Everyone raved about the sweet potato casserole my mother-in-law prepared this weekend. The topping is what made it amazing.
Sweet potatoes taste like fall in Mississippi. Even though they are ready for picking in late September/early October, the taste is reminiscent of the holidays. It seems to set your mind and heart for cooler weather and Thanksgiving.
Over the years, members of my family have fried, baked, pied and casseroled the sweet potato. I love sweet potato french fries, potato logs and chips.
A quick trip to Sweet Potato Sweets in Vardaman will inspire a wide variety of sweet potato flavor combinations. They have fudge, Bon Bons, congealed salad, sausage balls, marmalade, pancake mix, quiche and cheese balls, all made from sweet potatoes. The sweet potato fudge is delicious.

Sunday’s Sweet Potato Casserole
Boil and whip four medium size sweet potatoes. In a large mixing bowl, mix together:
3 c. whipped sweet potatoes
1/2 c. (1 stick) of butter
1 Tbsp. vanilla flavoring
1 c. sugar
* 1/2 c. raisins (we did not have raisins in our casserole)
Mix well and place in a buttered three-quart casserole dish. Top with:
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. chopped pecans
1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. butter
Mix dry ingredients well. Melt butter and stir in with the sugar and pecans until all sugar is moistened. Sprinkle over potatoes evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Another personal favorite sweet potato casserole recipe is more like having cake or sweet potato bread. The recipe calls for canned sweet potatoes, but fresh can be substituted. A friend of mine made this for a company Thanksgiving potluck lunch event and I had to have the recipe.

A Sweet Sweet Potato Casserole
1 29 oz. can sweet potatoes, drained
1 can evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. sugar
1 box yellow cake mix
1 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. (1 stick) melted butter
3 eggs
Mash potatoes. Mix in evaporated milk, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar and eggs. Put mixture in a buttered 9 x 13 casserole dish. Sprinkle yellow cake mix on top. Sprinkle with pecans. Drizzle 1/2 c. melted butter on top and bake at 350 degrees for one hour uncovered.

Gwen Sisson is the Lifestyles Editor for the Starkville Daily News. Contact her at sdnlife@bellsouth.net.

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