Sweet Potatoes

For as long as I can remember, sweet potatoes have been a major part of my family’s Thanksgiving tradition. It seems pretty obvious, I guess. We didn’t eat sweet potatoes very often except at big family gatherings in the fall or winter. Back in my grandmother’s childhood though, she had a sweet potato for lunch for the whole school year. Grandmama grew up on a small southern farm during the first World War, and as one of the oldest children-the second of many girls before two boys finally came along-she was lucky to get to go to school! She and her sisters walked a good ways to school every day-too far to walk back for lunch. Each of them carried a hot sweet potato which served as a hand warmer on the way and as lunch after morning classes ended. I often wonder if she got tired of having the same lunch day in, day out. Knowing her though, I bet she was grateful to have lunch and to have a chance to go to school! Next time you have a sweet potato, imagine that it’s nearly a hundred years ago and you are a little girl on the way to school.


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