I think the thing that I love so much about food is the way it can evoke feelings and memories just with a simple smell or small taste.
Food, in a way, is a way to keep a memory alive. A memory of someone that you cared about or maybe of a special time in your life.
That’s what my Nanny’s sweet potato casserole is to me.
It’s more than just a few ingredients in a baking dish. But instead, it’s a memory of my childhood, of this wonderful lady I called my grandmother and of many happy times shared amongst my family.
Maybe that’s why I insist upon having this dish each and every year. To me, the way this dish makes me feel and the memories it evokes are so cherished that I just couldn’t imagine a Thanksgiving without it.
And I know my Nanny is smiling down on me – probably wondering when I started doing all this cooking 😉 – and is happy that her tradition will remain as the years go on…
Sweet Potato & Pineapple Casserole
Growing up this was the only sweet potato casserole that I knew. Casseroles full of pecans and brown sugar just didn’t exist at our table, at least from what I can remember. This was the one that everyone requested each year and this was the one that I’ll continue making for years to come!
Three ingredients, yep, that’s it.
(1) Sweet Potatoes.
Peeled & chopped.
Then boiled until tender.
(2) Canned Pineapple.
Drained, juice reserved.
Sweet potatoes & pineapple juice are whipped until smooth using an electric mixer.
Then half of them spread into a baking dish.
Followed by a layer of drained pineapple.
Sweet potatoes and pineapple are a surprising match made in heaven 🙂
And a final layer of sweet potatoes to top the pineapple. No picture of this one but don’t forget it! 🙂
The topping layer.
If your boyfriend helps you with this step you may end up with this…
Probably should have followed Mom’s instructions on leaving some space in between them 😉
Thanksgiving plate, complete with Nanny’s sweet potato casserole.
This year shared with The Man’s family, who had never had this combination of flavors before.
The final product is warm & creamy, sweet and tangy, topped with a layer of gooey on the inside, crispy on the outside marshmallows.
I think this one was a hit 🙂
And memories of my Nanny were with us… just as she would have liked it.