RECIPE TITLE "Aunt Hattie's Scrumptious Sweet Tater Bread" Author:
Like so many of my special recipes, my Aunt Hattie Mae gave me
this one. It has only been in recent years that I've gotten into
baking and, so much of what I know about it I learned from Aunt
Hattie and Aunt Josh.
Aunt Hattie and Aunt Josh are some cooking Sisters themselves.
In Georgia, the ancestral home of my father's family, their culinary
skill is legendary. For years, Aunt Hattie and Aunt Josh cooked
in private homes for wealthy White families. More than a few folks
stopped speaking to each other after one family visited another
for dinner and an awestruck diner tried to hire Auntie Hattie or
Aunt Josh away.
Aunt Josh even cooked President Eisenhower his first soul food
meal. He'd spent the night with the family she was working for and,
the next morning, Aunt Josh rose with the sun and cooked him a soul
food banquet: hogshead bacon, sausage scrapple, grits and redeye
gravy, sweet potato waffles, and, of course, Grandmother Tempie's
flying biscuits. Aunt Josh says President Eisenhower mopped his
plate clean. Can't you just see the look on the face of the White
House chef when Ike got back to Washington and asked him to whip
up some grits and gravy!!?
Aunt Josh and Aunt Hattie are both fabulous cooks, and as much
as I relish their food, the stories they have told me over the years
about our family are what I love most. When you put Aunt Hattie's
Scrumptious Sweet Tater Bread in the oven, invite a very old or
very young relative to join you in the kitchen. While it's baking,
listen to or pass on your own family's very special legends and
lore. You'll be glad you did.
2 medium orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon or 1/8 teaspoon lemon extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9 x 5 x 3-inch
loaf pan, tapping out the excess flour.
Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil over
high heat. Add the sweet potatoes and cook until tender, about
25 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water until easy to
handle. Peel the sweet potatoes, place in a medium bowl, and
mash well. Measure 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes, saving the remaining
sweet potatoes for another purpose. In a large bowl, using a
handheld electric mixer on high speed, beat the butter and sugar
until combined, about 1 minute. One at a time, beat in the eggs.
Beat in the sweet potatoes, evaporated milk, vanilla, and lemon
zest. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt.
With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat the flour mixture
into the sweet potato mixture, scraping down the sides of the
bowl with a rubber spatula. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.
Bake until the top springs back when lightly pressed and a
toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour,
15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Invert onto
the wire rack, turn right side up, and cool completely.
Best-Ever Banana Bread: Substitute 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
for the mashed sweet potatoes. Reduce baking time to 1 hour.
| LaBelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About
"From the time I was a little girl, I knew there were two
things in this world I was born to do: sing and cook. I've spent
my life developing my voice and my recipes, and to tell you the
truth, I'm hard pressed to say where I'm happiestin concert
or in the kitchen, making music or making meals."
For Patti, cooking is about love. Taught by the great Southern
cooks in her familyher mother, father, and aunts Hattie Mae
and Joshia MaePatti LaBelle has kept these family heirlooms
close to her heart. But now, she invites you into her kitchen and
serves up more than 100 of her favorite recipes, from treasured
down-home favoritesSay-My-Name Smothered Chicken and Gravy,
Fierce Fried Corn, and Aunt Hattie's Scrumptious Sweet Tater Breadto
good-enough-for-dinner-parties dishesShrimp Etouffée,
Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary-Lemon Rub, and Aunt Mary's Philadelphia
Wherever Patti goes, so do her electric frying pans and bottles
of hot sauce. After her raise-the-roof shows, she often goes back
to her hotel room and whips up a meal for her band or celebrity
visitors. When she's homeat holiday time and at family gatheringsor
just after one of her sold-out concert tours, Patti likes nothing
more than to head for her kitchen and cook her Geechee Geechee Ya
Ya Gumbo, Pass-It-On Pot Roast, or Burnin' Babyback Ribs. And like
her bestselling memoir, Don't Block the Blessings, her accompanying
personal reminiscences will fill your heart just as her recipes
will fill your stomach.
Patti LaBelle's LaBelle Cuisine has the recipes you'll want to
cook, eat, and share with friends. Filled with the legendarydiva's
favorite dishes and step-by-step instructions on how to prepare
them, LaBelle Cuisine makes you feel like Patti's in the kitchen
with you, demonstrating the recipes and techniques that can turn
anybody into a fabulous cook.