homegrown | (not so) sweet potatoes
last week i spent some time cleaning out our gardens, preparing them for the what seems like will be a long winter. late spring, i planted a sweet potato plant and all summer long, there was nothing except a vine growing in, taking over one of our garden beds. i was baffled by the fact that this vine was growing, but yet i did nothing about it. the man kept telling me it had to be the sweet potatoes & i thought, no way. that's just weird. i saw a few flowers bloom, but then that was it. then it just started to die off as the weather fluctuated from hot to warm to cold... then as i was harvesting all the tomatoes, eggplants, cabbage, herbs, etc, i proceeded to remove the vine like plant & noticed super tiny red things underneath... i looked and couldn't figure out what they were. so, i replanted the tiny red things and moved to the other side of the garden to toss dirt onto them (praying they continue to grow, hahaha) and next thing i know, i find these four gigantic red sweet potatoes peeking up through the dirt. i was in shock! amazed and excited at the same time!
see i grew up not liking sweet potatoes, but they were always on the menu, especially around the holidays. my parents called them candy yams... my mom would cook them by wrapping them up in foil and bake them until they are tender enough to eat and smother them with lots of butter. they just weren't the same as the regular white baked potatoes. something about the sweetness of them just turned me off. four years ago, after reviewing various recipes and talk about how good sweet potatoes are for you, i decided to try them out. i cut them up into wedges, roasted them w/ just a little s&p, olive oil and i've not looked back at a white or red potato since! now i can't stop eating them. i eat them the same way my parents cook them, too. baked until tender inside and i don't use butter, instead, i top it w/ chopped pecan or chopped almonds with a nice drizzle of honey and cinnamon sprinkled... YUMMY!!! funny how your taste buds change (occasionally)....
already shocked by their color, i was pleasantly surprised by how these homegrown sweet potatoes taste. they are NOT overly sweet and i think that makes them even better. even the man thought they tasted good and he's not a sweet potato loving kinda guy. maybe i won't be the only one who will enjoy the last two i have sitting a basket on my island.
now i shall be dedicating a garden bed just for these babies... i hope the others i replanted continue to grow & yes they are still connected to the vine. (confession... i never did take the time to research how to grow them, my mind was else where & had i done my research, i would have known...)