Delicious Autumn – part 2

Yesterday I blogged about unexpected harvests from the compost garden. Perhaps the sweetest surprise we had, however, came from a completely unexpected source: a retirement home’s flower garden.

Here’s a tip: don’t throw out the browned-out ornamental pots sitting on your front porch too quickly. If you’ve planted sweet potato vine do some digging for the sweet potato (they’re not called “sweet potato vine” for nothing). We got two small spuds from our two pots this year, but nothing compared to the mammoth 8lb beast that maintenance staff dug up at the retirement home where my mother volunteers.

the biggest sweet potato I've ever seen

Since the skin of these sweet potatoes is pink and the insides white, the maintenance guys didn’t recognize it as a sweet potato and didn’t know what to do with it. They pulled several monster spuds out of the ground and were ready to throw them out before my mom got her hands on one. I made scalloped sweet potatoes out of 1/3 of the one pictured, which gave our family of 5 two meals. Here’s the recipe:

  • approx. 2 or 3 lbs. sweet potato
  • sliced or cubed ham, sausage or cooked chicken
  • parmesan cheese
  • mozzarella cheese
  • white sauce:
    • melt 1 Tbsp butter in a medium saucepan. Thoroughly mix 2 Tbsp flour with 2 cups milk and add to saucepan, stirring constantly. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

 

Arrange potatoes in a glass baking dish. Layer ham, sausage or chicken on top. Spoon ½ the white sauce over the potatoes and meat. Sprinkle generously with parmesan cheese. Repeat. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top, cover, and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and bake 10 – 15 minutes more until the potatoes are soft and the cheese is golden.

This recipe beats regular scalloped potatoes because the sweet potatoes have more flavour (in my opinion, anyways).

 I’ll bet you never knew you were growing food in those urns!

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