Sometimes in our lives we aren’t blessed enough to really get to know some of our family members before they pass. We all have little snippets of memories of those people. Sometimes, sadly, none at all. I have but one memory of my Great-Grandma. Oddly enough, I remember her kitchen and the way it was set up. I don’t remember what she looked like, I don’t remember her smell, I don’t even remember the sound of her voice. Frankly, I don’t remember how old I was when she passed. I’m not sure why her kitchen sticks out in my memory so much. I remember when you walked in from one of the doorways, you looked over the bar into the den. The bar is what I remember the most it seems. If my memory serves me right, it was a laminated counter-top with a brownish tint to it. I think the den was wood paneled. I remember everything feeling very warm and loving there.
Even though this memory is all I have of her, I do have one more thing…her Sweet Potato Pudding recipe. And, OH what a recipe it is! Mom wanted me to make it this Thanksgiving and bring it for lunch. I can’t say no to my wonderful Mom, so of course I made it. Whilst giving me the recipe, she made sure to tell me something else about my Great Grandma. She said that my Great Grandparents grew Sweet Potatoes. Great Grandma would always have baked sweet potatoes sitting on the bar, and when Great Grandpa would come in from working on the farm, he would grab a cold sweet potato and enjoy the fruits of his labor. Cold sweet potatoes??? Doesn’t sound very good to me. Thankfully, there came this recipe out of it.
I won’t add much instructions here with this one. Mom was just told verbally how to make it from Great Grandma years ago, so Mom had to write an official recipe for me to go by. Mom did a great job explaining the steps for us.
1 cup sugar
3 cups sweet potato (raw – peeled and grated)
½ cup whole milk (I used low-fat, and it turned out fine)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 stick butter or margarine (melted)
1 cup coconut (flaked type)
Combine the eggs and the sugar in a big mixing bowl and mix well. It is fine to use a hand or a stand mixer at this point.
Add milk, vanilla and butter. Mix well.
Stir in shredded sweet potato and coconut. Wait until the last minute to shred the sweet potato, because it can discolor like white potatoes.
Pour into a lightly greased or Pam sprayed medium sized casserole dish (9 x 9 or similar). Sprinkle the top generously with sugar. This will add a nice browned sugar topping.
Bake for an hour at 350° or until the center is set. For the first 30 minutes, cover it with aluminum foil. Then remove the aluminum foil and bake the remaining 30 minutes uncovered to get the browning desired. You can stick a knife in the middle to see if it is set and sweet potatoes are cooked. The edges may get very lightly brown. You may also check the temperature in the middle and make sure it is at least 145°. Enjoy!