This past weekend we got our first real snowfall of the season – a little over a foot. Then the temperature plunged into the single digits. On cold, snowy winter nights, nothing’s better than simple comfort food for dinner. Last night we roasted half a chicken and used up the ‘almost dead’ asparagus that was in the fridge.
But the showstopper was the sweet potatoes. What made them especially sweet (pun intended) is that they were from our garden. Last summer I grew sweet potatoes for the first time. Using locally-grown, organic sweet potatoes I started the slips inside last spring.
I wasn’t really sure what I was doing but we got a pretty good harvest and then they had to cure. Apparently it’s the curing process that makes them sweet. Everything that I read on the internet said that you really don’t want to eat a freshly harvested sweet potato because, well, they’re just not sweet.
So it was really gratifying to eat them last night. I grew up eating them baked, so that’s how I made them. Simply pierce the potatoes with a fork, rub with a little olive oil (my grandmother used lard!), place on a baking sheet and bake at 375F until tender. It will take about an hour.
If you’re impatient like me, give them a head start in the microwave for about 5-7 minutes and then you can reduce your baking time to about 35 minutes or so.
If you can grow your own food to eat fresh or enjoy in the winter months, it’s a wonderful thing. What’s your favorite winter vegetable – home grown or not?