"I harvested sweet potatoes today." This is the opening sentence of The King of Clayfield. Throughout the Clayfield series, the main character insists on growing food to survive the apocalypse. He argues with other survivors about how eventually the canned and boxed food will run out or spoil and how only those with a knowledge and experience of growing vegetables or foraging will survive long term. He is always searching for seeds and contemplating the best place to plant crops. He finds two shriveled sweet potatoes in the looted produce aisle at the grocery, and they are the start of his garden.
I grow sweet potatoes in my own garden, and my family enjoys them baked, mashed, and in casseroles and soups My personal favorite is sweet potato pie. I cook this every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
SWEET POTATO PIE
1 large sweet potato (large enough to yield 2 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cloves (optional)
2 large eggs
2 Tbs butter
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 unbaked deep-dish pie crust
Peel and cube sweet potato then boil in a pot until soft enough to mash. Remove from heat and pour away any excess water. Allow to cool. Add butter and mash in with cooked potatoes (or puree in a food processor). Gradually stir in milk and other ingredients (DO NOT add eggs unless sufficiently cooled). Pour mixture into the pie crust. Bake at 425*F for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350*F and bake another 40 minutes or until the center is firm and an inserted knife comes out clean. If after 15 minutes the top or crust is beginning to burn, mask the top of the pie with aluminum foil.
Here is a link to a blog post I made about growing sweet potatoes. http://www.brainofshane.com/blog/shanes-survival-selection-sweet-potato