Friday, April 10, 2009

Sweet Potatoes with Mini-Marshmallows and Ma

(Sweet readers! Your suggestions for our Eat Your Veggies Experiment have been ST-to-the-ELLAR so far, and Rach and I would both love to hear more. What can we feed Dustin and Linda that won’t make them hate us?)

Since this is a blog about cooking, I tend to write a bunch about food I loathe, much of which I learned to hate whilst growing up. In the process, I kind of make my Ma like a terrible cook. She wasn’t/isn’t, and I feel bad about that. Especially since her mother, to my best recollection, was … uh … not a spectacular … er … less than the greatest … uh … a very nice lady.

Ma kept three kids alive and relatively healthy from 1977 to whenever my brother moved out. She even had a few dishes that we went crazy for, which included (but weren’t limited to):

Lasagna. I know there are more authentic lasagnas out there, with homemade sauce and fresh-from-the-store mozzarella and sausage ground from pigs kept in the basement. But Ma’s, made from Prego and Ronzoni and Polly-O, was manna to us. Part of it was the taste – with kids, you can’t go wrong with cheese and sauce – but the other part was the extra time she put into it, even after a full day at the hospital.

Crumb Cake. This is a recent development, but Ma makes the best dang crumb cake I’ve ever had. I’m pretty sure she got the recipe from a unicorn or leprechaun or other mythical creature, because it’s that good.

Meatballs. For a woman who only tans at gunpoint, these are impressive. Her secret? I have no idea. She won’t tell me and I don’t pay enough attention.

Christmas cookies. These are Ma’s specialties. Every year, she takes a full weekend in December to just bake her face off. In the end, there are dozens and dozens of pinwheels, peanut butter kisses, lemon bars, M&M chocolate chip cookies, and my absolute favorite, peanut butter and jelly bars. Nowadays, I make them myself for parties and such, and friends tend to suck them up like water.

Banana and Irish Soda breads. One is moister than a bucket of Jergens. The other is drier than the surface of the sun. Both are delicious with jam.

Sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping. This is one of my Top 5 absolute favorite foods in the world. In my brain, it’s the reason for Thanksgiving, and gives canned vegetables an excuse for existence. I’d eat it everyday, but then it wouldn’t be special for the holidays. (Like, say Easter.)

Honestly, I don’t know where Ma got the recipe. It’s easy enough for a fetus to make, though, and contains very little fat, to boot. Plus, if you have a sweet potato hater in the house, it’s guaranteed to change their minds forever.

Er, maybe I’m playing this up a bit too much. But it’s hard not to do when you like a dish this much. And it’s hard not to do when talking about your Ma. Because when all is said and done, she did good.

Ma’s Sweet Potatoes
Serves 6

40-ounce can sweet potatoes or yams, drained, with 1/8 cup liquid reserved
½ cup low-fat sour cream
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon salt
¼ - 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Cooking spray
1-1/2 to 2 cups mini-marshmallows

1) Preheat oven to 350°F.

2) Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and beat on medium-low speed until there are no lumps.

3) Coat a small casserole dish (1 or 2 quarts) with cooking spray. Pour sweet potato mixture in dish and top with a single layer of marshmallows (enough to pretty much cover everything).

4) Bake for 30 minutes.

5) Eat, love, and apologize to your mom for anything bad you’ve ever said about her.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
246 calories, 2.5 g fat, $0.51

40-ounce can sweet potatoes or yams, drained, with 1/8 cup liquid reserved: 982, 2.7 g fat, $1.99
½ cup low-fat sour cream: 140 calories, 8 g fat, $0.38
1 large egg yolk: 55 calories, 4.5 g fat, $0.18
1 teaspoon salt: negligible calories and fat, $0.01
¼ - 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg: negligible calories and fat, $0.02
Cooking spray: negligible calories and fat, $0.05
1-1/2 to 2 cups mini-marshmallows: 300 calories, 0 g fat, $0.40
TOTAL: 1477 calories, 15.2 g fat, $3.03
PER SERVING (TOTAL/6): 246 calories, 2.5 g fat, $0.51

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Thumperdd said...

OOOOOOoooooo! I've been on a sweet potato kick for about two years now. They're scrumptious, even without the sugary topping...

Thanks for the recipe!


Cindy Brick said...

How about sharing Ma's recipe for crumb cake?

Anonymous said...

Or share the peanut butter and jelly bar recipe. YUM!

Kris said...

Cindy, I don't have the crumb cake recipe on hand, but I'll see if she'll send it over to me.

Anon, here you go. They are mah favorites:


1-1/2 cups flour
½ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup butter or margarine
1 egg, beaten
¾ cup grape jelly
1-2/3 cup (10 oz) Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips, divided.

1) Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease 9-inch square baking pan. (Round pan okay, too.)

2) In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar and baking powder, cut in butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg; blend well. Reserve half of mixture; press remaining mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Spread jelly evenly over crust. Sprinkle with 1 cup chips. Stir together remaining crumb mixture with remaining 2/3 cup chips; sprinkle over top.

3) Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack; cut into bars.

David said...

I do no think marshmallows are vegetarian. Most of them contain gelatin.

Game Master said...

David is right, there's gelatin in marshmallows, so this isn't something vegetarians (like me and my GF) can eat. Gelatin is made from the collagen in animal bones :(