I grew up with candied yams with toasted marshmallow topping as a Thanksgiving side dish. I never liked it. Never. I mostly just peeled the marshmallows off the top and choked down the little bit of yams that stuck to the white stuff. Sweet potatoes and yams were simply a dish to be avoided once a year. Not anymore.
Nine years ago I spent Thanksgiving on a NATO base in Italy. I was a missionary there. My companion and I were invited to Thanksgiving dinner by an American family and we were over the moon about it. When the sweet potatoes came around I politely took a helping. To my great amazement I ended up with two more helpings before the meal was done. Me, the devout sweet potato hater! I made sure to get the recipe before I left that evening. I have since converted my sweet potato hating aunt, as well. It has since opened me up to the wonderful world of baked sweet potatoes and sweet potato fries.
If you can't stand yams or sweet potatoes (or even if you love them) give this a try. Really. It's worth a shot, right? I've changed it up just a little over the years, so I'll include those notes in italics. The picture is not one I've made. I'm not making it until Thanksgiving and by then it's too late to help anyone. But it looks similar.
Sweet Potato Casserole--delicious style
9 small to medium or 5 large sweet potatoes (or yams; they're cheaper). Peel and chop. Place in a large pot, cover with water, boil until tender. Because I can't be bothered with peeling and chopping I bake mine. It takes longer to cook, but is less irritating to me. Wrap three times in foil and bake at 400 for about an hour and a half. Allow to cool enough to handle and scoop out the insides.
Mash (or use beaters) with:
1/2 stick butter
1/2 to 3/4 cup evaporated milk I add this toward the end to check consistency. It should be creamy, but not liquid-y or stiff.
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp butter flavoring My husband doesn't like butter, so I leave this out.
Place in baking dish and spread with topping mixture.
Topping (sometimes I double this because I like it so much):
1 cup crushed corn flakes
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup melted butter Again, my husband doesn't like butter, so I cut it down a bit.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
You can make the mashed part the day before and then make and add the topping right before you cook it. That helps free up the oven on the big day. Give it a try and let me know if you can stomach it better than the non-tasty stuff.