Sweets for the Holidays

Sweet potatoes are a holiday staple, and with these tips, you can serve them homegrown.

By Matt Ernst

Photography by Brian Tietz


Make the holidays special with a delicious home-grown sweet potato dish Bob Perry’s Mad Dog Sweet Potatoes

  • 3–4 sweet potatoes, or about 3 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Kentucky pure sorghum
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • Splash of Kentucky bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Wash the sweet potatoes and rub on a small amount of oil to coat their skins. Place in a baking dish and bake for about an hour like a regular baked potato.

2. Allow the sweet potatoes to cool slightly, then peel and discard the skins and roughly chop. Place in a large mixing bowl and add the sorghum, butter, bourbon, and salt. Mix slowly, then on high speed to blend all ingredients. Turn into a serving bowl and enjoy. You may also top them with marshmallows or pecans. Just reheat in the oven for a few minutes, then broil to brown the marshmallows.


Fun Facts

  • Sweet potatoes are somtimes called yams but yams belong to a different plant family and are native to Asia and West Africa. The sweet potatoes cultivated in North America originated in Peru and Ecuador.
  • Slaves from Africa found the American sweet potato like their native nyami and introduced one of Southern cuisine's essentials in the plantation kitchens where they cooked.
  • Americans eat an average of 4 pounds of sweet potatoes per person each year. That's a decrease from 31 pounds in 1920, and it is roughly equivalent to the amount of celery we eat.