Sweet Potato Yams

Way back in November, the primary department at Marco’s school had a special Thanksgiving Day Feast and the parents were asked to send in contributions. So, I filled out the little sign up sheet… I checked the box next to the item that said “I can donate food to the feast…” I did not check the box next to “I would like to be on the planning committee…” I wrote down my e-mail addresss… and I patiently waited to get an e mail listing the needed items so that I could quickly reply that I would be happy to donate a few cans of cranberry sauce or liters of hawaiian punch.

Turns out they did all of the assigning at that committee meeting that I opted out of. So, the e mail that I got informed me that I was responsible for yams. Now, I wouldn’t have really minded not having a say in my dish, but here’s the thing. I never ate yams before, I certainly never cooked yams before, and to be totally honest, I’m still not 100% sure what the difference is between a yam and a sweet potato. I was also a little miffed because I am the mother of a picky, boring eater. So, my son– the one I was I was trying to be a good volunteering-for-stuff mom to– wasn’t even going to eat one measly bite of my contribution.

So, I googled “really easy recipe for yams,” read a few to get some ideas, and came up with this recipe. It makes enough to fill a medium-sized roasting pan, so feel free to halve it if you aren’t sending it to school to feed thirty 6-9 year olds.  

Since I was a little bit curious about how it tasted, I made a little side portion in a ramekin for myself. I have to say that I really liked it, and if I can ever get Marco on board with sweet potatoes and Yuseff on board with marshmallows, this would be a great dish to make again. Or maybe for next year’s Thanksgiving Feast, I’ll volunteer to make it again!

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Sweet Potato Yams

Step 1: Drain and lightly mash a 29 oz can of yams and/or sweet potatoes (because I’m still not convinced that that they aren’t the same thing). Mix in 1/2 cup brown sugar. Spread into a large roasting pan or casserole dish.

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Step 2: Cut 1/4 cup butter into pieces and sprinkle over the yam mixture.


Step 3: Dust with cinnamon to taste and top with mini marshmallows— as few or many as your little heart desires.



Step 4: Bake–covered with foil– for 25 minutes at 400°. Then remove foil and return to oven for 3-5 minutes to let the marshmallows brown (keep a close eye on them).


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