Continuing to build our Southern Thanksgiving dinner, today it’s Grandma’s Candied Yams. Yesterday it was eggplant dressing, the day before, easy turkey gravy and last week it was green bean casserole. Also on our menu are cranberry sauce, baked ham, potato salad, oyster dressing and merliton dressing with pecan pie and pumpkin pie for dessert. We usually have a gumbo too!
In building Thanksgiving dinner, Grandma always made candied yams with oranges for every holiday. Grandma died when I was about 19. After marrying, settling down with the kids and husband, every holiday I would attempt to make Grandma’s Candied Yams. Though, they were good, they weren’t like Grandma‘s the way that I remembered them. They truly were candied, thick as caramel was the sauce and the oranges were so candied you had to have good teeth to chew them. Sometimes the sugar crystals would be on the outside of the candied yams. Some people only ate the yams, but I thought the candied oranges had their own special appeal. So, thus every year for too many years to count, I attempted to make the yams. My sisters inevitably heard about my dilemma and one got involved. She was the first to let me know that LOTS and LOTS of sugar was needed to candy the yams, like 3 pounds. Okay, are you sure? Since then, the candied yams are only made during special holidays. The guilt is just too extreme.
Grandma’s Candied Yams
- 6 sweet potatoes (8 if yams)
- 3 medium oranges sliced (seeds okay)
- 3 # sugar
- 2 tablespoons of Karo syrup
- Peel sweet potatoes
- Then cut in chunks all the same size.
- Rinse oranges and slice ½ inch slices.
- Place orange slices in pot with 3 pounds of sugar.
- Turn stove on and cook with the lid on. (Lot of juice will be made)
- Add the chunks of sweet potatoes to the liquid and cook till the sweet potatoes are done.
- Stir every once in a while.
- Once the sweet potatoes are done, remove them from the pot.
- Continue to cook the syrup without the cover and reduce and thicken.
- Watch the orange peel and cook until you like the texture of the peel. If you cook too long it will be like leather.
- Once the syrup is as thick as you like it, you can add the sweet potatoes back. In this way, the sweet potatoes do not break up.
- As quite a bit of liquid is made, you may either add 2 more sweet potatoes if you want more or you can reduce the sugar amount to make less liquid.
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