Retro Rose’s Legendary Stove Top Candied Sweet Potatoes
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Stove Top Candied Sweet Potatoes
I am republishing this post in honor of Retro Rose, who passed away this week. I wish I could have one more day, and one more time to see her make her signature dish.
I don’t usually eat food dripping in buttery, browned sugar, but I make exceptions and my mom’s Candied Sweet Potatoes are one of those. Once you’ve eaten these (even if you don’t have a sweet tooth), you’ll be hooked.
Retro Rose was and still is my mother. She cooked very differently from me. She cooked more old school, and while I take notes from the past, I tend to go a slightly more modern, healthier route. There are exceptions. There are holidays, Sundays and just because I need retro food to feel good days.
I named her Retro Rose, because she loved antiques, especially vintage pictures. I named her Retro Rose because she is/was a retro cook, and I mean that in a good way. She cooked from scratch , and it was her dishes that people wanted the recipe. There never was a recipe. I have one here for the Stove Top Candied Sweet Potatoes because she came over one year before Thanksgiving and made them so I could post them here.
I remember oranges and maple syrup flying and no shortage of brown sugar. The cinnamon stick always made me feel nostalgic, guaranteeing this dish to be one with many layers of flavor and sweet, while still being balanced.
It’s only been a few days, and I can’t fathom that she is not here. She loved to talk about recipes, especially starting a month before any holiday. I think she liked the food conversation and planning better than the eating.
Retro Rose passed away at age 84. She drove and made her own meals right up to the last week. She touched people in an unusual way. I had friends break down and deeply cry, even friends that knew her briefly. The lady behind the cash register broke down, and we are still concerned about how to tell her nail guy and hair dresser. Her doctor was grief stricken and said over and over how he will miss her. Her neighbors are young as she lived in an apartment and not senior living. They are crushed.
We will be celebrating her life the week before Thanksgiving, and I have to grapple with how to handle this. She liked spaghetti and meatballs, cheeseburgers, donuts and bagels.
I hope you make these candied sweet potatoes this Thanksgiving and make these sweet potato biscuits with the leftovers. She will be smiling down.
More Thanksgiving Food
The fresh turkey is dry brined, and then roasted in cheesecloth.
Retro Rose will bring the Pennsylvania Dutch Corn Pudding.
I’ll be making roasted brussels sprouts and a pear and pomegranate salad and sweet potato biscuits. I’ve already made a medley of pies, blackberry, apple and pumpkin. Corn bread stuffing will arrive with cranberry sauce and wine. Retro Rose’s friend Eleanor will bring her violin.
A lot of fuss for one day, but we revel in this. It’s the one day of the year we indulge in making memories.
The Process for Stove Top Candied Sweet Potatoes
When you have leftovers, use them to make biscuits and sweet potato pie.
Thanksgiving is the best holiday for material for family movies. Families that are a little kooky, (who’s isn’t), and there are always reminders of harsh family moments along with the best family moments. I think food is the cushion for the drama, the disappointments, the broken hearts.
If we can connect a loving moment with a taste of stuffing, we fare better, because it’s been my experience that even when a person has disappointed me, I am a lot more forgiving when there is food as a peace offering.
We all have moments in our life we wish never happened, but a good meal is not one of them. When I ate Retro Rose’s stove top candied sweet potatoes, all I saw was a sweet Italian mama, cooking with love (which she is good at).
Retro Rose's Legendary Stove Top Candied Sweet Potatoes
- 2 sticks butter
- 2 cups brown sugar see notes
- 8 sweet potatoes peeled
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks order here
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- black pepper
- 1 large naval orange cut into 4 pieces
- Cut sweet potatoes across into 1/2 discs.
- In a dutch oven (large enough to fit all sweet potatoes), melt the butter with brown sugar. Add cinnamon, ground cloves.
- Add in sweet potatoes.
- Squeeze oranges over potatoes. Put orange skins in pot.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add in cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and apple juice, (can add water or orange juice). You will need to judge how necessary adding liquid is.
- Cover and cook on low heat for about an hour, stirring every ten minutes or so.
Please follow me on instagram. If you make this recipe, please tag me #spinachtiger.
If you love this recipe, please give it five stars. It means a lot. xoxo
When a great city, we learned a lot of lessons from life. There are lessons fun and excitement, but besides that we also have to accept the face of things that did not desire itself. But the life that never gives us what choice?
Thanks for sharing. I hope it will be helpful for too many people that are searching for this topic.
This recipe, looks amazing! I am trying it now. The recipe calls for apple juice, but the directions never say when to use it! Can you clarify at what point in the process the apple juice should be added?
Sorry about that Phyllis. I edited the recipe. Add it after you add in the final spices.
I think I could probably eat this for dessert! I have never eaten sweet potatoes like this although I have done a similar thing with carrots and loved it.
Mallory That’s funny . I just turned the left overs into Pie!
Angela, your recipe, or your mom’s recipe, sounds delicious. I guess we would call these candied sweet potato scones. Yum.
Oh my heavens these look good! Angela, old school or new school, I love this recipe. As a sweet potato addict this is being added to my recipe file. Just beautiful. Happy, happy Thanksgiving week my friend.
Happy Thanksgiving, Teresa. My mom is thrilled. She’s says she’s now famous. So thankful to have good blogging friends like you.
Angela, I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never had candied sweet potatoes! But now I really have no excuse;)
Wishing you and your family a great Thanksgiving week!
Boy can I did into these. My mom had a similar version. I think what I like the most of thanksgiving outside of family and friends is my sweet potatoes…I take this time to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving…
Thank you, Normal, I wish I could share with you. They were so good, I made sweet potato biscuits with them.
Mmm, sounds like your mom and my mom are twins, separated at birth! She cooks with lots of butter and sugar and lard and all the goodies . . . this recipe does look yummy!
Amy, I call my mom the Italian Paula Dean, only I think she cooks better than Paula Dean.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Angela. The table will be groaning with delicious foods no doubt. Plenty to be thankful about.
Love it!!! I bet this is amazing! Adding this to my Thanksgiving menu. Tell your mom, thanks for sharing!
Priscilla, so easy and SOOO good. I’ll tell her.
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