Highly nutritious and versatile, the sweet potato has been cultivated for over 5,000 years possibly originating in central and south America. It is a tuberous root vegetable only distantly related to other potatoes. It is also distinct from a yam and even related to the morning glory and its skin and flesh come in a multitude of colors.
The CBS Homemakers Exchange Recipes has 2 wonderful-sounding recipes and 1 recipe that sounds so strange we have to try it. Here is the pictorial story of The Sweet Potato Parade.
1. Baked Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
|The Recipe Book: Jan/Feb/Mar 1951|
|Baked, Scooped, and Ready for Filling|
|Filled and Ready for Second Bake|
|Served With Fennel and Rosemary Marinated and Grilled Pork Chop|
|The Recipe Book Jul/Aug/Sep 1951|
|Peeled Sweet Potatoes, Graham Cracker Crumbs, Melted Butter|
|Ready for Baking|
|Baked and What a Wonderful Aroma!|
And now for the recipe that we had to make but agreed we would try but might not eat. Haha!
3. Escalloped Sweet Potatoes and Prunes
|The Recipe Book Jan/Feb/Mar 1950|
|Ready for Baking|
|When does a prune taste like a sweet candy? When it's baked in this recipe!|
Patrick's mom, Bernice, would be so proud of us. This is Bernice is 1946 when she married Patrick's dad, Arthur.
She was an independent woman, born and raised in North Carolina, and knew more about food preparation than anyone I had ever met.
"From the mid 1960's into the late 1990's, Bernice Murray, my Mom, was a well known Southern-style caterer in South Central North Carolina. While most of her catering events were in and around Anson County, it was not unusual to find her turning fried chicken and stirring cream style corn in banquet halls from Charlotte to Raleigh.
Now being a growing high school boy of sound mind and appetite, I knew where to find a good meal when there was catering going on. My Mom and Dad had the Friday/Saturday night dinner concession at our local Country Club and Bernice's staff was always preparing things for the upcoming catering events that weekend. Knowing better than to ask Bernice for a mere taste of whatever was on the stove, I would go directly to Laura-Ann, her head cook, and with a little sweet talking I usually walked out of the there with a plate full of supper.
But not this Friday night! Bernice intercepted me at the back door of the Country Club and told me that she was cooking for 500, not 501, and there was a pound of hamburger in the refrigerator at home. Fix yourself a burger and fries. Leave! So hungry and mad I drove back to our house, got out the hamburger, poured oil in the pot for french fries, turned on the burner, and for some unknown reason, decided I had time to do one math problem in my room while the oil heated up. Being math challenged, that problem took more time than I had figured on and I was suddenly interrupted from my calculations by a loud WHUMPH that came from the kitchen. I found the pot of french fry oil looking more like the tail end of a rocket with the flames reaching the underside of the wooden cabinet above the stove and curling around and up to the white ceiling. The stove top was completely engulfed in flames and dark, oily smoke filled the kitchen. Being a quick thinker and action oriented I ripped off my T-shirt and threw it over the flaming pot which smothered the flames for approximately .01 seconds but long enough for me to grab a gallon pitcher of sweet tea from the counter and doused the pot and the stove top in one desperate attempt at firefighting. Blazing oil and water...right...BUT IT WORKED!!! Hot, smoking oil was splashed everywhere in that kitchen. The stove was history. The cabinet was heavily charred and there was a black hole in the ceiling tiles above the stove. The smoke damaged five other rooms in the house. But worst of all...I had to call Bernice.
Being of sound mind and a big chicken, I called my Dad instead. Told him I had burned up the stove and some of the kitchen, don't tell Mama but come home...NOW! He made the five minute drive in under two. I am sure he asked me if I was all right in there somewhere but all I could think about was Bernice, who by now had figured something was up and was on her way home. With no chance to break the news to her in a controlled way, she walked right into a smoke filled, burned out kitchen and gave me the surprise of my life. She grabbed my shirtless self and gave me the biggest hug ever. She then looked me over to see if I was all right and found several small blisters coming up on my face and chest which I had not even felt. She told me she was thankful that I was all right and that insurance would cover most of the damage she was sure but now she had to figure out how to cook for all those people at the events that weekend. And so it goes.
News spreads fast in a small little town and people were calling before the smoke cleared. How can I help? By noon the next day, Bernice had friends and neighbors cooking stuff all over the county. I'm sure everyone at the events got fed because I put several hundred miles on the company station wagon picking up string beans in Ansonville or apple pies in Morven. One thing for sure though...french fries have never tasted the same."
So whether sweet twice baked, with graham crackers or prunes,
or even French fries, think of us when you next enjoy a potato!
Patrick and Jeanette
Historical Food Fortnightly
What It Is: The Sweet Potato Parade
The Challenge: #6 Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables
The Recipe: Baked Stuffed, Oven Browned, Escalloped with Prunes
The Date/Year and Region: 1950 and 1951, United States
How Did You Make It? Followed recipes closely
Time to Complete? 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Cost: $.99 per pound for sweet potatoes, $2.39 for package of prunes, $.67 for an orange
How Successful Was It? 4 thumbs up!
How Accurate Is It? Rated by a North Carolina native (Patrick) it is completely spot on.