Saturday, November 19, 2016

Giving Thanks And Sweet Potato Souffle

"Mimi, if you miss me, you can look at this. That's me in the red nightgown."

Like Batman who always responded quickly to the bat signal, this grandmother headed out as soon as she saw the "signal." It's part of the grandmother gig. As soon as I got home from a wonderful, relaxing knitting retreat with friends (old and new) in the mountains last weekend, I got a call that Little Sister was sick. Not critical like Baby Girl was last fall, thankfully. But sick enough to need extra hands. You always have to remember that when one child is sick, the others still have a regular schedule to keep.

Knitting retreat friends.
Someone got clever with the popcorn at the retreat.

I had not unpacked from my knitting trip yet, so I threw the suitcase and knitting bag back into the car and headed out. And almost a week later, I am back at home. Little Sister is improving. Recovery will take a little longer but it's coming.

Next week, we will be hearing lots about thankfulness. We should be giving thanks each and every day, but we really do talk about it more in November. If you asked me today, these things are top of my list...
  • I am thankful for the interstate highway that let me make the trip down quickly and safely.
  • I am thankful for doctors and nurses who work odd hours at urgent care offices and answer night phone calls.
  • I am thankful for paramedics. (And I'm thankful no one scowled because she was better by the time they arrived.)
  • I am thankful for airline personnel who got J-Daddy on a return flight 90 minutes after his plane landed on the other coast.
  • I am thankful for the ER staff that finally sorted it all out days later.
  • I am thankful for all-night pharmacies where prescriptions can be filled in the wee hours.
  • I am thankful for children playing loudly because that means things are better.
  • I am thankful that as bad as it sounds, it wasn't quite as scary as it reads here. Although in the moment, it was scary enough.
  • I am thankful that Daddy-O can manage without me here when I am needed there.
  •  And today I am thankful to be at home. But I am ready to go again if needed. Just put up the "grandmother signal." I'll answer as quick as Batman responds to his signal!

In the midst all of the craziness of the week, Mommy was trying to make lists and get Thanksgiving things planned. She said, "Mom, your sweet potato recipe isn't on the blog. I was at the grocery store and looked for the recipe. Why haven't you posted that one?"

So in the interest of collecting all of my favorite recipes here in one place, I'm sharing our sweet potato recipe. I grew up with sweet potato souffle with marshmallows on top. With raisins in it if we got fancy. Then my mother switched to this recipe and made it for years. When I started making it, I cut down the amount of butter. (She used a half cup of butter in the topping.) And no one has ever complained.

(I will try to pop a recipe photo in here soon.)
Just so you understand, this is not really a souffle. But that's what this recipe was called back then. That's what my mother's recipe said, so I'm leaving the name as is.


5 medium sweet potatoes, cooked (3 cups mashed)
1/3 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoon flour

Mash sweet potatoes in mixer. (Hand mixer is fine.) Melt butter and add to potatoes. Add sugar and salt. Beat in eggs and add vanilla and flour.
Pour into a greased 8x12-inch casserole. (2-quart) 

1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar

Mix and spread crumbly topping over sweet potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. 
Can be made a day ahead, refrigerated and baked the following day.

You can substitute 2 medium cans of sweet potatoes, drained, in place fresh sweet potatoes. I think it's worth peeling the potatoes, though.

We worked on many art projects while home from school.


  1. Yes indeed there are so much to be thankful for. I am glad she is feeling better! When kids are sick the whole household suffers, I remember those days. I sure wish I had a knitting/crochet club to belong to and maybe even travel together with the ladies. :( I live sort of in the middle of nowhere. Looks like you had a great time with the knitting friends. Wishing you and family a lovely Thanksgiving!

    1. The online knitting community is strong if you don't have one near you. It was an online knitting friend who suggested I would enjoy my first knitting retreat. I stick to ones within a reasonable drive but there are many who fly in from all over. I don't know where you live, but there are so many retreats. I've made great knitting friends and look forward to seeing them again at the next retreat. It's kind of like going to summer camp and seeing old friends! If you are interested in knowing more about the ones I attend, email me.

  2. So glad your little one is better. I love your Grandma Signal and Batman image.

    1. She is better, thankfully, but still has a way to go before she's completely well. They have all arrived here at the farm for the week. Maybe a few days here will help speed the healing!

  3. Hi Mimi! Just found my notes from the retreat and found your blog. I've been assigned the sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner and will try your recipe. Glad that Little Sister is feeling better! It was lovely meeting you and all of the other kind ladies in NC.

    1. Welcome, Stephanie! It was nice to meet you at the retreat. This sweet potato recipe has been on our Thanksgiving table for years. I just saw a similar recipe posted by Trisha Yearwood and the comments on her recipe got pretty ugly because she had called it a souffle (Aren't people picky? Not to mention rude.) I'm glad I had already added a "souffle disclaimer!" For whatever reason, that is just what it was called.

  4. Taking a moment from my blog break to wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. It was a fun family day. Lots and lots of cousins. Lots and lots of food. Happy holidays to you and GN!


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