Flipping through a recipe box is a walk through memories. Every Thanksgiving, I love making the sweet potato casserole I first had in 2000, when I ate with my boyfriend Eddie's family in Dothan, Alabama.
The rest of my family scattered that year, and my mom's mom found herself with nowhere to spend the holiday. Eddie and I drove three hours round trip on Thanksgiving to bring Grandmama to his family's feast. Her favorite dish was Eddie's Aunt Shirley's sweet potatoes. Grandmama liked them so much, she had a second helping of them for dessert.
Both Grandmama and Shirley have passed away, and Eddie is now married and a daddy, but every fall I pull out the creased, splattered copy of the recipe Eddie's mom wrote for me to keep. I boil and mash the potatoes, chop pecans for the topping, melt entirely too much butter and remember how another family made me feel right at home.
Sweet Potato Casserole
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
3/4 cup to 1 cup sugar
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup oleo
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup oleo
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup to 1 cup chopped nuts
Boil and mash sweet potatoes. Add all other ingredients. Put in a casserole and top with topping. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Notes: I wanted to post the recipe in its original form, as above. Oleo is what most Southerners used to call margarine; I just use pure butter instead. Begin by peeling and cutting sweet potatoes into about two-inch chunks.
Cover with water, bring to a boil, simmer for about 20 minutes or until tender, and mash with butter until smooth.