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October 9, 2013 / theyellowbungalowla

autumn afternoon snack…

baked sweet potato
I didn’t always love sweet potatoes.

Growing up, sweet potatoes did not make regular appearances at our house. Thanksgiving was the exception, though, as there was a sweet potato dish swimming in a pool of buttery brown sugar and topped with a mountain of marshmallows. My mother loves this dish. I do not.

When autumn arrives, I crave the hues of season, warm oranges and blazing reds, rich browns and golden yellows. I want to pull on a warm sweater and climb onto a hay bale-lined trailer, pulled by a tractor, and drive out into a field full of pumpkins. I want to pick out a pumpkin to sit on my front doorstep, and another to grace my kitchen table.

Naturally, I crave the flavors of the season as well: sweet-tart apples, caramel-y soft pears, and of course, fluffy sweet potatoes and their cousins, the winter squash crew. Autumn is in full force here in Vancouver, and for the first time in years, I’m surrounded by gorgeous trees, cool breezes, and yes, the occasional (or constant) autumn rain. It’s the perfect excuse to bake some sweet potatoes and call it a snack. Or a side dish. Or even breakfast, for that matter. But more on that another time.

This treat is warm and sweet, with a real commitment to cinnamon that says, “Excuse me, I’m not afraid to use a lot of cinnamon.” The kosher salt balances out all of that sweetness and adds a salty crunch. When simply baked in the oven, the flesh turns creamy and fluffy, and the natural sweetness steps forward, making it a perfect match for this salty cinnamon butter. A tiny pat is all you need to take a delicious sweet potato to a whole new level.

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