It’s Sweet “Tater” Time Again!

Pearl Harris

I saw some sweet potatoes (now called “Yams”) in the market the other day and it made me remember when the sweet potatoes got ready in the fall. My Dad would get a pitch fork and go out and dig up the potatoes so that we could reach down and pick them up and put them in a “tow sack” (burlap sack to you who don’t know about the sacks). We would drag them to the yard and let them dry and get the dirt from them before we put them in the “potato house”. As I’ve told you that the “potato house” was a small building about half-way underground. The Irish potatoes were kept there and it also served as a “storm shelter”. Do you remember how good those fried baked potatoes were? My mom would just lay them in a black tin pan and put them in the oven of a wood-burning stove. They stayed in the oven all the while she cooked other things. When we took them out to eat they had a kind of juice on the outside. They were so good peeled and put a big hunk of butter on them. I like them cold better. My brother and sister carried their lunch to school in a syrup bucket and sometime they wouldn’t eat their baked sweet potato. So, when they came home I would get the potato and eat the top off and get me a hunk of cold butter and poke it down in the middle and eat it like you would eat an ice cream cone. I baked one in the microwave and it just wasn’t the same. There are so many ways to use these delicious vegetables. My Mom used to bake delicious “sweet tater” pies. She always made two and they disappeared pretty fast. If some baked potatoes were not eaten the first day, my Mom would slice them and fry them the next day. Nothing was wasted at our house. I heard on TV and read about the new sweet potato french fry plant over in the Eastern part of the state was up and running. I have not tasted sweet potato french fries – but I suspect they would be pretty tasty. We should be proud of the farmers who produce this very good crop and we wish them a very good year; all the fall vegetable are so good. I look forward to the fall crop of squash, potatoes, turnips, collards, and fall fruits just like I do when spring vegetables get ready. So, enjoy all the good fall crops and thank God for the farmers who provide them.

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