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Legacy & Candied Yams

I've been thinking a lot about legacy these days. You know, what we leave behind after we are gone. This year has been a lot.  Living through a pandemic with so much uncertainty, I find comfort in looking back to the ancestors for memories, guidance, & wisdom.

This holiday season, I had a serious craving for my grandmother's candied yams. Soft, sweet, buttery, spiced, with a hint of citrus, I've never had anything like them! There was nothing stopping me all these years from making them, yet I never tried. I definitely took my grandmother's candied yams for granted because I had them so many times.  This year was different. I'm newly married and I wanted to make them for my new family. Although I can recall the process clear as day, I called my mom to verify.  We spoke briefly and I was on a mission. As I sliced the parboiled sweet potatoes, I remembered my grandmother's hands. She used them like a cutting board. Peeling, slicing, and dicing without ever cutting herself. As I layered the spices, I thought of my mother. Just like her mother, she cooked by memory. No exact measurements or instructions, all sensory and memory. As I followed the steps, making a few slight adjustments like adding our Warm Spice Blend "Serengeti", I felt an overwhelming feeling of love and safety while preparing this dish. All of the memories from when I was a little girl came rushing back and I couldn't have been more thankful for my family and our candied yam recipe. What family recipes do you plan to try during the holiday season?

 -Shante'

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