When we speak about the food we love as adults, the conversation often returns to our childhood memories. Our dietary preferences and favorite treats are so often dictated by nostalgia for childhood and home, and influence the foods we crave as adults in a powerful way.
Lorna, Calvary’s program chef, decided last month to create a special meal for women at Calvary in celebration of Black History Month. When I asked her what she planned to make, she said, “Sweet potato casserole was my dad’s favorite. Sundays after church, Mom would be in the kitchen preparing Sunday dinner while we played outside. It was always a big thing, and sweet potato casserole is still a comforting food to me because of those memories.”
Women at Calvary enjoyed barbecue baked chicken, sauteed cabbage, potato salad and cornbread, and Lorna’s spread that night was tasty as always. But her sweet potato pie earned the most raves.
Tell us – what dish takes you back to a particular time, place, or memory?
Chef Lorna’s Sweet Potato Casserole
3 large potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter, softened
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup sour cream
Pinch of salt
Pinch of baking soda
Chopped pecans, raisins or marshmallow for topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chopped sweet potatoes in a large pot of boiling water and cook until tender. In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes with a mixer or fork. Combine mashed potatoes with sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, nutmeg, sour cream, salt and baking soda. Stir until all ingredients are incorporated.
Spread the mixture in a 1 ½ quart baking dish and bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes. When done, spread pecans, raisins and/or marshmallows over the top layer of the casserole and brown for 4-5 minutes in the oven.