A church in Charleston handed out over 40,000 pounds of sweet potatoes they got from a farm in South Carolina where they were going to be plowed under if someone didn’t haul them off. They shipped them back to West Virginia and gave them away free to anyone who’d take them. We took off to the big city and picked up about 10,000 pounds in our “they’re free!” mania. Okay, maybe just a couple hundred pounds, but it seemed like more. We gave most of them, bags and bags and BAGS of them, to Georgia. She said, “Oh my, that’s a lot of sweet potatoes.” She’s on a mission to pass them out to her church ladies and friends and shut-ins. And, well, any hapless soul who crosses her path. See the happy children unloading sweet potatoes at Georgia’s house–straight into her car trunk for easy delivery everywhere she goes.
I just made up that part about happy children. They don’t like to do work of any kind.
That evening, we were planning to head out to a visitation for my first-cousin-once-removed who passed away at 91. After we unloaded our loot, Georgia said, “Do you think we can bring sweet potatoes to the visitation?”
I said, “I think we’re supposed to bring flowers.” Georgia said, “We don’t have flowers. We have sweet potatoes.” And sure enough, when we pulled in to pick her up (Georgia would never miss a visitation outing!), there she was with a bag of sweet potatoes in each hand. Morgan, who insisted on coming along (she would never miss a social event!), ran around asking everyone at the visitation if they wanted sweet potatoes while Georgia handed them out at the door like funeral wake party favors. Morgan wore her darkest blue t-shirt in honor of the somber occasion and put it on inside out because she didn’t think it was appropriate to have any decoration on her shirt at a funeral visitation. I said, “But it is appropriate to ask everyone if they would like a sweet potato?!”
Luckily, we were not thrown out. Unluckily, my kids don’t like sweet potatoes, but luckily again, their easily diverted little minds have not yet made the connection between those mountains of sweet potatoes in our possession and our kitchen. I made sweet potato fries the other night and when Morgan said, “Why do these french fries look orange?” I said, “Oh, it’s just some special seasoning I put on there.” She said (suspiciously), “What kind of seasoning?” I said, “Orange-colored seasoning! Here, you want some ketchup?” She ate them right up. And so when I made sweet potato pie, I told everyone it was pumpkin pie. And they ate that right up, too. Ha. Sweet potato pie does taste very much like pumpkin pie, and this recipe is my favorite.
How to make Sweet Potato Pie:
Boil sweet potatoes in skins until very tender. Drain then slit the skins with a knife and they’ll peel off very easily.
Mash sweet potatoes with butter then use an electric mixer to blend well. Add sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. Use mixer to blend again.
Pour sweet potato filling into unbaked pie shell. I like to sprinkle a little more nutmeg on top. It looks pretty, and I love nutmeg.
Bake at 350-degrees (mostly on the lowest oven rack) for one hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool and top slices with whipped cream. Then call your kids and ask them if they want some pumpkin pie.
And, by the way, if a little old lady in a $200 Aries K stops in front of your house and opens her trunk, well…. I hope you like sweet potatoes.