I’ve written a few posts about my grandmothers and some of the wonderful dishes they would make. From weekday dinners to holiday meals with all the fixins’ they were talented cooks.
As far as we were concerned my maternal grandmother Gonga, was the maven of candied sweets. This was one of the dishes she made with what I call vibration cooking skills—-she would tell me “You just know when it’s right.” Mom and I have cooked a heap of potatoes in our quest to recreate Gonga’s dish.
Inspired by a recipe from one of my Southern Living features, the following recipe features hefty tuber slices that are layered with sugars and flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. It’s a perfect dish for busy cooks—–once the ingredients are in the crock simply turn on the slow cooker and your work is just about done. The recipe may not be identical to Gonga’s, but the family agrees it is pretty close.
Slow-Cooker Candied Sweet Potatoes
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Stir together butter, vanilla and salt. Combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium-sized bowl, mixing until well blended.
Layer potatoes and sugar mixture in a lightly greased 6-qt. slow cooker, beginning with potatoes and ending with sugar mixture. Pour butter mixture over layered potatoes. Cover slow-cooker and cook on LOW 4 hours or until potatoes are tender.
Transfer potatoes to a serving dish using a slotted spoon; reserve liquid. Keep potatoes warm and serve with remaining liquid, and toppings if desired.
YIELD: 6 to 8 servings